This is a post about a desk.

I tell my students not to begin with sentences like “This essay is going to be about the mating habits of salamanders” or “In my essay, I am going to tell you about the mating habits of salamanders.” I also encourage them to write about things other than the mating habits of salamanders. But it’s summer, and I feel like disobeying my own guidelines, so I’ll begin this post by saying that this post is going to be about a desk. Or does it really count as beginning if you already began with details about the guidelines you are breaking?


This is a post about a desk. Specially, this desk:

desk makeover2

This desk that used to look like this:


First to go was the crappy polyurethane finish. Said crappy finish was compliments of my first foray into polyurethane, two summers ago, that did not end well. I basically went slap happy with the Minwax and ended up with a piece of furniture that looked like it had lost a battle with a Vaseline-wielding tree. So when we moved into our house last April, the desk was banished to the Land of Furniture Rejects…until a couple weeks ago, when I realized that it would make the perfect bedroom vanity to house my Girl Stuff. (You know, headbands, earrings, pins. Not bras. Too bad. I do love to discuss bras on this blog.)

desk makeover3

My goal for this makeover was to use only supplies that I already had, so after the gross finish was gone, I gave it a coat of tinted primer followed by three coats of Behr’s Seal Gray (primer and paint were both leftover from our former living room). The drawers got white spray paint inside and out. I spray painted the original knobs in glossy Krylon red and then gave them a coat of Rustoleum clear gloss protective finish so they will hopefully withstand frequent use.

desk knob spray paint makeover

I lined the drawers with red scrapbook paper. There were seams, which really isn’t a big deal because hello it’s a drawer and the seam would be covered by my Girl Supplies, but I was feeling OCD and punched out little circles to make a design where the seam was. So when you come visit me, feel free to open my vanity’s drawers. You will not see any seams.

lining drawers with scrapbook paper

The final coat is a mix of spray-on glossy protective finish (on the base and drawers) and Minwax wipe-on polyurethane for the top. The jury is still out on the wipe-on poly, but I have a feeling I may be writing a love story about it one day. It will be called This Is About My Love Affair With Wipe-On Polyurethane.

desk makeover


And not that this room is actually ready for a full “before and after” but I sometimes have to remind myself that this is what that corner looked like when we moved in.

bedrm desk cornerYou can read other details about the bedroom evolution here.

What did you get done this weekend? Who wants to be my student? Who wants to come help me keep my new desk/vanity clean so that it doesn’t collect every unwanted item in the house?

***Linking this up to Primitive & Proper, the DIY Project Parade & My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia!***


  1. it's adorable! i love the colors- those knobs rock!

  2. It's so pretty!!!! I really like the touch of the red knobs.

    I totally go through people's stuff when I visit so you'll be glad that you corrected that seam problem. It's the little things in life.

  3. Good job. Everyone needs a cute place for girl stuff. Even bras!

  4. So great! The red knobs make it.

  5. I like the make over and those knobs!

  6. This is a comment about a bra. Specifically your bras that I'm sure are wayyyyy too big for the cute little desk. :)

  7. This is adorable...the little design over the seams is such a good touch, and no one will ever know. :) I can't help but notice your gorgeous floors...tell me this is dark walnut?!

    1. YES! It’s a little darker than I envisioned (it was the first time we had stained anything and we didn’t wipe it off as quickly as we should have for a more muted dark, if that makes any sense), but I still like it. :) And the link to our process is here:


  8. Those red knobs are so sassy! Great re-do, even if won't hold any bras.

  9. So funny -- those little red knobs caught my eye over at the DIY Showoff but I got distracted and forgot to click through....but looky what's in my feed reader :) LOVE the color combo! And I will eagerly await your wipe on poly love story. I must know more (but am too lazy to find out for myself).

  10. i love this makeover! the red knobs are my favorite part...and, who am i kidding, the grey color obviously rocks my socks ;)

  11. Great makeover on the desk! The before and after of your room is incredible!

  12. I really like those colors together! Great job!

  13. This is a comment about a desk. ;)

    Awesome job! It looks great! I like how the red knobs pop.

  14. Great transformation. Maybe someone is your neighborhood has a stool you can use with it.

  15. I love it! I'm mildly obsessed with gray and the accents of red are perfect. Beautiful job!

  16. Cute! I like the scrapbook paper with no seams. I think you probably could put bras in there. I did absolutely nothing productive last weekend.

  17. I LOVE it. You're rocking the diy projects girl:)

  18. Great job! What a change! Love the colors and those knobs are perfect!

  19. Do you miss the tree mural? Even a little?

    The desk is crazy awesome, especially those seamless drawer inserts.

  20. LOVE this desk and what you did to it!

  21. Wow. You did such a great job on this desk. I'm loving the drawers with the red knobs. Nice touch.


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