My oldest son is going to the first grade next January. So when I found this old desk at our company’s second-hand furniture sale, I knew we could make it look great with a bit of paint.
How we transformed an old desk into an awesome camouflage big boy workstation
I love the steel frame on this desk, and I knew that it would look amazing for a children’s desk if we painted the frame in a bright colour. It did not have drawers, but I knew it could not be too hard to make ones and I initially thought to paint the drawers either in the same colour as the frame or in ombre tones of the frame colour.
And then my son gave the best idea for the drawers instead: camouflage! What five or six-year-old boy would not love a camouflage desk to do his homework at? And to tie in with the rest of his room, we made it blue!
Painting the frame and refinishing the top & Drawer base
We disassembled the desk and put the top and drawer base aside. We cleaned the frame, sanded, primed and sprayed the frame blue. I used a relatively new spraypaint on our markets, so I really hope it will hold up!
Marinus sanded and varnished the top and drawer base. The top had bad watermarks and a couple of dents, but he got all of them out, and it looks amazing. This top is made of different types of timber, and I love the variation! Then he also built us three new drawers from scratch to fit in the drawer base. I primed the drawer fronts with a spray-primer.
Painting Camouflage patterns on the Big boy desk
You can draw a camouflage pattern by hand, or if you are like me (too scared to draw it by hand), you can do the following. Download a free camouflage pattern you like, and print it out to the right size in greyscale or printer-friendly version. I placed the camouflage pattern onto the drawers with transfer paper underneath and traced the pattern outlines. If you want the pattern to continue from the one drawer-front to the next, do this step with the drawers in place in the desk.
I created a paint-by-numbers for myself and labelled the blocks according to the pattern I used. And now you can start painting; it is a lot of fun! I used wall paint sample pots to paint the drawer fronts with. I’ve found that it is less expensive and you have more colours at your disposal. Plus you get better coverage and fewer brush marks than with craft paint. I used Placson Double Velvet in the colours Space Box, Windblown and Eye of the Storm, and mixed two more colours from these three.
Start with one colour and paint all the sections marked for that colour. I had to use three coats of paint. A craft paintbrush puts the paint on really thin, so I needed three coats for good coverage. When you are done, protect your work. I used a clear, matt lacquer spraypaint as a topcoat.
A Cool and Groovy Desk if I may say so myself
I love how this desk turned out! The colours tie in perfectly with the rest of his room, and my son is so excited about having a big boy desk in his room to help with the homework next year!
There is so much you can do with paint! I also painted a toy cabinet for him, that cabinet has now been painted for three years (also partly with wall paint), and we don’t even have one chip or scratch! You can also take a look at this post to see how I painted a tree mural for him!
What fresh ideas do you have to add fun to your children’s rooms? If you love this desk makeover, please pin it here, and follow me on Pinterest while you are there.