Desk Makeover


My bestie and I moved to Koreatown in Los Angeles back in August, but our efforts to make the place homey have been less than stellar. With Thanksgiving on the horizon – and the promise of visiting guests – we’ve started to put the place together. I hung art in my room, she organized her bathroom, and jointly we bought a cute recliner on sale from IKEA.

About a month ago, I was poring over Craigslist in search of a dining room table when I stumbled across an ad for old student desks. You know the ones – metal body, fake wooden top, made you squirm in first grade. Apparently the seller had a ton, and the more you bought, the better the deal. My DIY instincts kicked in hardcore, and I texted the number listed.

Flash forward a week and I was dragging my roommate across town to meet the guy I dubbed Craigstlist Carlos (CC for short). CC led us to a shabby backyard that was, as promised, filled to the brim with these old desks. We picked the best looking two, I paid him in cash, and were out of there like cats in a lightning storm.


Before it received a little TLC

The makeover I had planned was largely inspired by a link my cousin // collaborator Jess sent to me on Pinterest. My roommate and I had previously agreed on an ocean // mint-esque color scheme, and so even though I was drooling over the gold, I settled instead for Rustoleum’s Ocean Mist and White Gloss.

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After separating the tops from the bottoms, I followed the instructions on the spray paint. Every 48 hours I would give each piece another coat. Spray painting is harder than it looks, I’ll tell you! Get too close and you cause it to run. Go too far away and you’re just painting the air. It took me 3 cans of Ocean Mist and 2 cans of the White Gloss to finish the project, which was completed over the span of a week and a half. Additionally, I finished the desks with a clear gloss protectant spray.

Midway through coats

Midway through coats

Another thing you learn along the way – the paint comes off very easily. One morning, after having painted the night before, I was moving the lids // desks together in my arms when they bumped up against each other, leaving a small tear in the paint. You have to be very careful, lest they be jostled in any way.

Though slightly imperfect, the desks turned out better than I’d hoped. One we are currently using as an entryway table, the other I’m temporarily utilizing as a mini desk.


Our new entryway! Baskets courtesy of Target

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I’ve got the feeling it’s going to be a creative fall // winter!



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