{DIY} Craigslist Desk – Before & After

Two years ago, I went out on a hunt for a feminine yet small desk for my daughter to use for school, getting ready, crafts and anything else she could think of. I knew I wanted it to be slightly smaller, similar to what I had seen at my grandmother’s house growing up. Knowing that’s more of an antique style versus modern, I went on a Craigslist hunt. Ironically I found one rather quickly and very cheap. I ran out, brought it home and then contemplated how to refinish it for a year and a half. Holy over-thinker here. Finally I figured out the color I wanted to paint it and the project began. Here’s the transformation along with the steps I followed to complete it. Hopefully this inspires you a little.

Craigslist Find "Before" Craigslist Find "After"

  • First I scrubbed this bad boy down with lots of soap and water. Let’s just say this was the dirtiest piece of furniture I’ve ever seen.
  • Next step was I removed all the handles, drawer faces, mirror, legs, inserts, screwed on drawers on the top of the desk and the piece of wood that lifts up in the center of the desk. Basically I took the whole thing completely apart! I lightly sanded all the pieces of wood with a fine grade sand paper. I didn’t sand the mdf pieces at all since they don’t need to be primed.
  • I used a sticky cloth to remove all of the dust particles. I did this probably three times and then also used a rag on it, just to make sure I got all of it.
  • Then I primed the entire desk with Alkyd Enamel Undercoater, solvent-based. I just used the brand from Ace Hardware. This primes the desk to take the paint and also covers and odors, stains, etc.
  • Then the fun part, I used a Benjamin Moore Semi-Gloss Latex Paint to add the color. Color used is Jamaican Aqua. We did two coats of this and letting each coat dry properly inbetween.
  • Last step was I decided I wanted to protect the desk since my daughter would most likely be spilling things on it, writing on it (or the most recent one, painting it with lipgloss). We added a coat of Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Finish, lightly sanded after the first coat and applied a second coat of it. I’m soooo happy I did this because it’s come in very handy and also gives the desk an amazing finish. Just be careful not to use this over white paint or it will turn it slightly yellow.
  • After it all dried, we put all the pieces back together again.
  • Finally just to finish off the desk, I added colored/scented paper to all of the drawers in a modern white and purple print. Matches her chair perfectly, plus it just adds an adorable fun look to it.

Craigslist Find "Before"

Craigslist Find "After"

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