My mom bought this little vintage school desk at an auction. It was in pretty rough shape on the surface, but it had character—perfect for a project! She was kind enough to give it to me to fix up for my booth space.
I never worry about redoing pieces that have existing finish, stains, or even rough spots because I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I’m not getting paid to promote her paint by the way…I wish. I just love it that much). You don’t have to sand or prep or anything with this paint.
I got a little overly excited to get going on the desk and forgot to take a before picture, but here’s the desk, um, half-painted. I used Paris Grey ASCP. I only had to do one coat on all parts of the desk except the top, where I touched up a few spots with a second coat.
I decided to do something kind of fun with the inside of the drawer, and as you may know, if you’ve seen any of my other projects or pictures of my booth space, I love old book pages. I have several old books from auctions and flea markets—some I use for decoration because I love the covers, and some I keep just to tear out the pages for projects like this. You can get old books for cheap, cheap, cheap at auctions, flea markets, garage sales, Goodwill, etc., so never overpay for an old book, unless it’s just amazing and you’re confident you’ll never find another like it :).
I simply applied some Mod Podge to the bare wood in the bottom of the drawer, laid my book pages down, and then applied another layer of Mod Podge over the book pages to seal them. Normally, my biggest pet peeve with applying a top layer of Mod Podge is the bubbles that pop up in the paper. I didn’t worry too much about bubbles in the pages, because, after all, it’s the inside of a drawer. I could’ve skipped the top layer, but since the pages are acting as the lining of the drawer, I felt that they should be sealed so that they wouldn’t get ripped when the future owner is rummaging around for a pencil or calculator or something.
While the desk was drying at home, I happened to find a sample pot ON SALE (which, like, never happens with Chalk Paint, at least at my supplier!) of a color I had never tried, nay, even noticed before. I decided I would paint the little pull out writing desk thingie (does anyone know the formal name for one of those?) to add the perfect pop of pink. I LOVE IT. The color is called Antionette, and I will definitely be using more of it! Can you imagine using this color in a baby girl’s nursery?! I’m freaking out just thinking about it! Someone hire me to decorate a nursery so I can use this color!
I ended up doing two or three coats of this color, which is very rare, indeed, with ASCP, but it was necessary in order to cover up all the spots where kids had so lovingly written their names. Youths. No respect for school property.
For the top, I wanted something Frenchie (yes, Frenchie) that made sense with the desk. I didn’t want to put just any old French typography on there, or my desk would end up saying something like “olive oil for sale,” which I guess is ok if the person who buys it doesn’t know French, but that seemed nonsensical to me. I found this typography with the name and address of an editor on Graphics Fairy—perfect for a desk!—when revisiting one of my pins on my DIY board entitled “11 DIY Painted Office Furniture Projects.” HELLO! Exactly what I needed.
For these sorts of things, I almost always use the same method—no special printer or transfer mediums required. I resized my typography in a Word document and printed it out using our plain old (and I do mean old) inkjet printer. I used some painter’s tape to keep it in place, and then I traced over the letters with a permanent marker. For this particular project, I used a fine-point Sharpie, since the letters were so narrow. The marker bleeds through the paper onto the desk, and then all you have to do is fill in your letters!
I used my trusty acrylic paint pen to fill in the letters. These are so cheap, come in lots of different colors and sizes, and get used in so many of my projects. I get them from Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby.
My pup pup keeps me company while I work on projects. Sorry about the yucky basement floor in the background. Just focus on the cute pup. I also had my laptop propped nearby so I could watch Gran Hotel on Hulu while working. I’m a great mutli-tasker…or I just love TV.
Here she is in all her glory in the booth! Someone come buy her! I don’t have anywhere to put her, or else I would keep her. I’m going to stop referring to the desk as “her” now, because it’s getting creepy.
Here are a few other projects I’ve done for the booth with acrylic paint pens. You can read more about the corner cabinet here. I don’t have pictures of how I did the poison label mirror, but it was SO fun. I didn’t document it because I wasn’t sure it would turn out, but it ended up being one of my favorite pieces! I’ll do something similar to it in the future so I can show you step by step. The Jardin chair was done using the same technique as the mirror, so stay tuned–I’m sure I’ll do some more like it!