We switched the girls bedrooms around several months ago so my oldest could have her own room.
As much as I wanted to keep the baby in her crib (not really a baby anymore at two and a half) she was ready for a big girl bed and my oldest was ready for her own space. So I took on the task of converting the nursery into a cozy room for a 9 year old and moving my not so little baby in with her sister.
One of the things Claire requested for her new room was a desk. She typically does her homework at the kitchen table but with two other noisy kids running around I know she will enjoy having a quiet space to work when she needs it.
I typically start my search for furniture on Craigslist. Especially if it's for the kids. I can usually find a good quality piece of furniture that I can customize to fit our specific style and it's so much cheaper than purchasing a brand new piece. I found this desk for only $15 and knew that with a little elbow grease it would be the perfect addition. It's solid wood with dovetailed joints and the perfect size for her little room.
I'm definitely not an expert at painting furniture but I've done it a few times and found a process that works for me so I thought I'd share it with you!
Step One: Clean it.
The first thing I always do before bringing used furniture into the house is give it a good cleaning. It had a few stickers stuck to the top which I got off pretty easily with Goo Gone. I scrubbed the whole thing down inside and out with soap and water and hand dried it with an old towel. I left it in the garage for a few days before I got around to sanding it and gave it a chance to dry out a little more.
Step Two: Sand it.
I sanded all the exposed areas of wood down with medium sandpaper (150 grit) and then switched to fine sandpaper (200+ grit) until the entire piece was uniform. You really just need to get the shiny finish off so the paint will stick easier. Since this piece was pretty old it wasn't hard to sand off what was left. I wiped down the whole surface with a tack cloth to remove the dust from sanding.
Step Three: Fix it.
One of the corners of the drawers was broken so my father-in-law added a thin piece of wood to the back and then filled it in with wood filler. Once it was dry I smoothed it down with sandpaper so it would match the rest of the corners and now that it's painted you can't even tell it was missing.
Step Four: Paint it.
Once everything had been sanded and the dust wiped away I gave the desk three coats of white chalk paint. I used a small roller for the flat areas and a small angled brush for the legs and areas that had more detail. I let each coat dry for about an hour, sanded it down lightly with fine sandpaper and wiped away the dust before giving it another coat.
Step Five: Seal it.
To protect the paint I finished it with Minwax Polycrylic protective finish in satin and applied it with a foam brush. Once it dried I sanded it down lightly with fine grit sandpaper, wiped it with the tack cloth again and gave it a second coat. This gave it a low luster finish that so far has held up very well. If you prefer a matte finish for your chalk painted projects I recommend using Rust-Oleum's Chalked protective topcoat in matte clear. You can purchase it in a spray can form and also in a regular can at your local Home Depot. I have used the spray before and it makes this part of the project so quick and easy!
Step Six: Accessorize it.
I lined the insides of the drawers with wrapping paper that I found online at Rifle Paper Co. I cut each piece to size and taped them to the bottom of the drawers with double sided tape. We found the adorable dipped brass feather knobs at Target. Above the desk I made a magnetic board for her to display her pictures, art, papers, etc. I'm still on the hunt for a desk chair that just needs a little TLC to be the perfect fit for this space.