Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Carson's New Desk

I have been looking for a desk for Carson's room for a long time.  I knew I would know it when I saw the one.  And I felt like it was a sign when we were going to be early to Jonah's baseball game (never happens) and I spotted a desk in front of a consignment shop that was PERFECT.  It just needed a little love and it would be just right for Carson.  So I pulled into the parking lot and claimed this desk.

Carson is our little artist.  He can draw just about anything.  He was so proud to be a runner up in the yearbook cover design contest and to have his artwork framed and displayed in the superintendent's office this year.  He sees himself as an artist, and his many masterpieces line the walls of our home.

So, he needed the perfect place to construct his masterpieces.  And I knew this desk could be it!  With just the right paint and polish.

I turned to one of my favorite bloggers, Liz at Naptime Decorator.  She does amazing things with furniture, and on a budget to boot.  I am always so totally impressed by her befores and afters.  She redid a dresser for one of her kids, and I was so inspired by that post, I knew I wanted to make it happen for this piece.  I facebook messaged her and asked what I should do with the desk I bought, to make it my own (or Carson's own) :).

She recommended I paint the desk one color and the back of the shelves another color, or use wallpaper on the back of the shelves.  The wallpaper sounded fun, but because I have never applied wallpaper, I decided to go with the paint.  Liz also has a neat trick where she mixes Plaster of Paris into her paint, giving it kind of a chalky look and feel.  She follows it with Minwax finishing paste.  I knew I wanted a matte finish, so I thought this would be the perfect recipe.

I went to Lowe's and purchased navy paint in a matte finish.  I also bought some Plaster of Paris.  The man who helped me with my paint had actually heard of the trick to mix in Plaster of Paris, so he gave me a formula.  Mix two tablespoons of Plaster of Paris into 1/4 cup of hot tap water.  Pour the mixture into one cup of paint.  Stir well.

Now I was ready.  First, I sanded the desk really well, and Justin helped me repair part of it.  I taped the outline of the inside so I could paint it white.

I was a little worried when I saw how the paint went on. 
 I knew it would take a couple of coats of paint.

I ended up putting on three coats of the navy and two of the white.  I used a little tub of white chalk paint for the back of the shelves.  And I loved the result!!!

Now for the inside...

I just couldn't imagine painting all those cubbies!!!  But, since I had already painted the back of the shelves white, I had to do it.  It was painful, but the end result was SO worth it.  Once the paint had cured for a few days, I waxed the piece with Minwax natural finishing polish (this is another of Liz's ideas--I had to message her in the middle of Lowe's to make sure I was buying the right stuff!)  I found a drawer pull that was perfect for the folding down part, and it was finished!

Ready to see it???


All set to fill with his art supplies...

The shelves are perfect for holding Carson's art and writing books.  And the cubbies neatly contain his markers, pencils, notepads, and other drawing accessories.

 I am so excited about Carson's desk.  I thought I might have been more excited than he was, until I spotted this.  See his head, bent over in concentration?

Remember when I was afraid of a little paint job?  Well, one project at a time, I am gaining confidence in myself.  There are parts of Carson's desk that are not perfect, but at the end of the day, the desk is doing just what I intended it to do.  Providing a space for my little guy to create away.  And create he does.

One more look at the before and after...

Now Jonah's asking for his own desk.  So, I'm on the lookout once again!


  1. Love your results!! So glad you took the time to paint the inside of the cubbies. It makes a huge difference! Now hopefully I can decide what colors to paint my secretary. ugh.

  2. Thank you, Holly! I can't wait to see how your secretary desk turns out!