Vintage School Desk Gets Modern Makeover

DIY Vintage Desk Upcycle

During one of my trash picking adventures last summer, I discovered this amazing vintage school desk sitting road side. I absolutely loved the shape of it and could not resist shoving it into my car to take home for a future project.

DIY Desk Makeover

When I had time to work on this guy, I started by sanding down the entire surface. The miss-matched paint colors where just not doing it for me. The ultimate goal of this project was to give it some modern paint dipped legs, so I didn’t spend too much time removing all of the old paint off of the bottoms.

DIY Vintage School Desk Redo

Next, the desk was stained with Minwax Special Walnut. Once it was dry, I started sectioning off the portions of the legs I wanted to paint with painter’s tape. I have always admired paint dipped furniture, but never attempted it before. So, I was pretty excited to see how this was going to end up.

DIY Vintage School Desk Makeover

Then, I brushed two coats of white paint onto the leg sections and in the desk cubby hole.

Stained Desk with Paint Dipped Legs

Finally, the desk received 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic. This will protect the surface and also prevent the paint from chipping.

The original hardware I left untouched. I love the beautifully aged look it already possessed.

School Desk Upcycled

Tada! What do you think? I love the way this turned out!

Vintage School Desk with paint dipped legs

For such a fun makeover, I am very sad to report that currently this guy doesn’t have a spot in our home. I was hoping to use him in my youngest son’s room, but that just didn’t work out space wise. Unfortunately, for now, he will be hanging out (looking good of course,) in my basement until further notice.

Vintage Desk Makeover


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14 thoughts on “Vintage School Desk Gets Modern Makeover

  1. Bethany at The Southern Couture

    I saw this on facebook when Hometalk featured it and absolutely fell in love with it. I love finding older pieces and making them new again. Y’all did a fantastic job! Thank you for sharing at Motivational Monday Link Party! Hope to see you again Sunday night.

    Bethany from The Southern Couture

  2. Kate

    I have that desk! My mother bought it 22 years ago for my eldest son. It has a hole on top for an inkwell (which came with the desk) and a groove for a pencil (or ink pen, I guess). It also has the original chair. It had a really bad stain job (that or brown paint) and plenty of ink stains on the top. We used it that way for many years, but now that my youngest child is using it, I gave it a makeover with blue paint. I didn’t feel up to stripping and sanding it. I really like your version. Maybe for my grandkids!

    1. Emily Post author

      That’s awesome Kate! It sounds like the exact one. I wish I had the chair that goes with it too. I bet it looks great blue. Thanks for stopping by!


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