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In this post Emma and I took this desk/vanity and transformed it into a painted desk that is perfect for her first off campus apartment she will be moving into. She wanted an eclectic, boho painted desk, so that is what we set out to do!
This will work as a study desk as well as a place for her to store her makeup in the vanity area so that she can maximize her bedroom space.
We chose the look by deciding on a color scheme, wallpaper, knobs and fabric. Read below for the full transformation.
Painted desk ideas
We were given this desk/vanity from Emma’s Aunt. They were going to get rid of this so we decided to use it for this project. This was not real wood, and the painting on it was printed on.
We went on pinterest (my favorite place to find ideas!) and scoured for painted desk ideas that would go with this eclectic boho feel.
Make a board and pin all the painted desk ideas that you like. You never know what you may find and it can spark a whole other idea from a combination of pinterest pins. The ideas are endless!
Painted desk colors
The decision was to paint this desk in a fun but neutral color. We considered a few before we decided on Lavender. We ended up using Wishing Well from Benjamin Moore.
Note* Trial sizes are enough for most furniture painted projects, for larger pieces a quart will work. Paint goes further than you realize on these painted furniture projects.
Other colors we had considered:
- Multi color
You can paint a desk any color you want, but you have to take into consideration the decor, color scheme and look you are going for. Painting your desk in a more neutral color will allow you to place your painted desk in more living spaces.
The goal for this painted desk was to be a fun playful piece to add to her bedroom. She will have plenty of years to decorate with serious furniture.
Prepping our desk for paint
If you have read any of my other furniture DIY posts you will know the first step is to clean your piece! Get a rag, some warm sudsy water, and clean from top to bottom and underneath, do it twice if its needs it. Painted dust is not a pretty look.
Make sure that you use painters tape to protect Mirrors or hardware that cannot be removed. This helps for clean sharp edges. Easy to peel off and doesn’t leave any marks.
Remove any hardware that can be removed, this helps when painting. Also if you are going to use the original hardware a chance to clean this as well. I have used Bar keepers Friend to clean. If you want to refinish the hardware I would suggest using Rub ‘N Buff to revitalize a metallic color. This comes in a variety of metallic finishes.
We decided to replace the hardware. Check below to see what we picked!
PREPPING WOOD FURNITURE FOR PAINT
If you are painting wood, either strip and sand so that you get the color of wood you are going for, and light sanding will help your paint bond to the wood surface.
If you have a dark wood that you are going to paint right over, then I suggest Bin shellac primer, it will seal the wood and block any wood tannins to bleed through to your paint surface.
Use a quality brush for painting! My go to is Purdy paint brushes, they are more expensive but if you clean them well, will last a long time. You can also use brushes that are made for furniture paint. I am not as familiar with these.
Use a drop cloth to protect your floor or caster wheels to put under your furniture piece to easily maneuver it for painting.
Using peel and stick wallpaper
We also had this fun peel and stick wallpaper that we would use inside the vanity part of the desk and the inside of the two side draws. the pattern was of a botanical feel and complemented the lavender color called wishing well by Benjamin Moore.
- Lay out peel and stick wallpaper on self healing mat.
- Measure the size needed, I use my acrylic ruler for easy measurement, then I add 1/2″ extra on all sides
- Lay wallpaper down then with a smoother tool any air bubbles out. This will also help wallpaper stay in place.
- When wallpaper is down, crease corners with blue squiggy, then with X-acto knife or utility blade
I have done a few posts using this fun peel and stick wallpaper. It is so versatile and can be used on a variety of projects. Check out the post below for some additional ways to use this product.
How to seal your painted desk
Once we finish painting the desk we need to seal it. Because the top will have heavy use it is important to seal your painted desk. My sealant of choice is Minwax polycrylic. This comes in a few finishes, I prefer the clear matte finish.
Once paint is dry, I usually wait a few hours or overnight. With a sponge brush I paint in the same direction that I painted the dek in. Two coats will ensure that you seal every surface. Wait for this to dry and you are all set.
For the bottom of the legs I use felt tabs to protect your flooring from any scratches. Dab a little wood glue on the adhesive side to give it more holding power.
These are good brushes for using with polycrylic. I will wash and get a few uses out of each ons.
Hardware for the desk
The original desk had non descript metal round knobs. We decided to add a fun furniture knob that would compliment the botanical peel and stick wallpaper and found these adorable brass bee knobs on Etsy. I love when you can find hardware that just fits the piece perfectly!
You can check out these posts I have done on furniture hardware to help you find the perfect knobs or pulls on your next furniture project. Check out these three posts!
- Dresser Refresh With Novelty Knobs
- Furniture Pulls and Knobs That Can Transform Any Piece
- 24 Acrylic Knobs And Pulls That Will Transform any Furniture
SInce we didn’t want to leave this as just a hard bench we decided to upholster it! I found this lavendar faux fur that matched so well to the painted lavender color we had chosen.
These were the steps to upholstering the desk bench, see below.
- Choose a foam- we went with a 1″ thick foam so as not to make the chair too high to sit while at the desk
- Measure and cut foam to size and shape of bench top.
- Cut faux fur to an approximate shape and size it larger than the foam cut out so that it will cover both the foam and be able to rap under the seat ledge. I measured 2 additional inches which was just enough. I then didn’t have to cut any excess fur off.
- Place fur or fabric upside down, then place foam on top. Turn the bench over and then align with fabric and foam.
- Cut any additional foam needed. In this case I used an X-acto knife and cut the corners off to reflect the shape of the bench seat.
- With a staple gun, gently pul and staple the middle of each side. Then continue this process by stapling on either side of the missle staple on each side. This will ensure that the fur or fabric will be evenly distributed across the top.
- Cut the excess fur away for a clean finish.
- Always use a homegoods fabric when using to upholster a piece of furniture and not fabric that you would use for apparel. You want this to be durable.
Check out these other upholstered projects I have done below. In each of these posts I have reupholstered the seats.
- How To Repurpose An Upholstered Bench
- Easy steps to Repurposed Patio Furniture
- Telephone Chair-DIY That Looks Amazing!
Check out this video which shows an abbreviated process on how we did this painted desk!
Check out some other fun painted projects below! Also check out the other categories on my Double Arrow Designs site for additional DIY projects.
- How To Paint A Metallic Dresser
- How To Repurpose A Sewing Machine Base
- Telephone Chair-DIY That Looks Amazing!
Thanks for stopping by!