{Pre}School Desk and Chair Makeover

{School Desk and Chair Makeover}

Hey friends!!  I recently updated a school desk and chair for my little boy! My son, appropriately named Chase, is old enough for Preschool, and I plan on homeschooling him this year.  
As you know, I almost always shop second hand for furniture pieces, and try my best to use what I have in my crafting closet to make them over.  A few months ago, I had scored some great pieces on Craigslist for free, including this wood chair, this Thomasville desk, and a little child size desk and chair set, that my son’s been using as a t.v. table.  T.v. table no more, this little desk and chair is just the right size to start mastering the ABC’s and 123′s!  

 http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist

 My plan is to teach him in what is now his playroom, so I wanted to stick to the fun whimsical look already in there..check out the side table I had made over for that room a few months ago:
Chase the Star

The set was in great shape, just had typical wear on it. So I my got gear on (o.k. just a mask) and went to town!

 Kid’s Desk and Chair Makeover Tutorial:

With an orbital sander and a course grit disc, I removed all of the paint from the top, and most from the apron and legs of the desk. Using a fine grit disc I went over the chair lightly.http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist
I primed both pieces (except the top of the desk) with 
Zinsser Cover Stain primer.
http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist
I painted the legs and apron a perfect shade of turquoise (in my humble opinion!) and added a dark walnut stain to the top with a foam brush.  
Already loving the combination!
http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist

{Distressing and creating an aged (glazed) look}:

With sand paper I went over all of the edges (on the legs and apron) to slightly reveal the bare wood underneath.  Using the same stain and foam brush I went over the sanded edges lightly, and wiped the excess off with a damp paper towel.   
I had some vinyl letter stickers in my craft closet, so to personalize the project, I spelled out his name at the top of the primed chair, and then with spray paint added two good coats of Candy Apple Red by Rustoleum.
http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist
 How ‘about that glossy red finish?!
Then simply peeled the stickers off when the piece was dry to the touch (about 30 minutes), and used the same method to distress/age it.
http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist
Both pieces got a coat of polyurethane as a sealer.  
I recommend letting the entire project dry overnight before handling it!
http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist
I’m seriously loving the red and turquoise together!  
Take another look at the ‘before and after’:
http://www.chasethestar.net, Preschool, Desk and Chair, Schooldesk, turquoise and red, craigslist
Let’s do the math:
Chair $0 (Craigslist)
Desk $0 (Craigslist)
Turquoise Paint (craft closet)
Wood Stain (craft closet)
Polyurethane (craft closet)
Vinyl letters (craft closet)
Foam brush (craft closet)
Red spray paint $4 (you got me!)
Total Cost: $4 {Oh yeah!}
Here’s my little guy on his first day of Preschool:
If you don’t already, take a look at the ‘free’ section on Craigslist.  Sometimes it’s junk, but sometimes it can be a treasure!  
Hope you’re enjoying ‘Back to School’ everyone!


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Barbara is a lover of all things creative, simple, and budget friendly. Chase the Star began in 2012 as a creative outlet and to chronicle her DIY and crafty adventures. She is a working mom and wife residing in sunny Southern California.

Latest posts by Barbara @ Chase the Star (see all)


  1. LOVE this.. SO pretty.. ;))) A bit late but I’m stopping in from GFC linky and officially a HAPPY follower here of yours.. LOVE your blog, SO much to indulge in and be inspired..So excited to get to read a bit more.. Hope you can stop in and follow back / visit whnever you get a sec.. Thanks SO much .. Wishing you a beautiful week. Marilyn.. Via http://www.theartsygirlconnection.com ….

  2. Great job, friend! I love how it looks! I bet Chase loves it too! I would have a hard time concentrating at such an awesome table. ;)

  3. This was great and gave me what I needed for another little project I have!

  4. After is def. a lot better! Nice job!

    Found you from the GFC Blog Hop! Hope you can check out my blog and follow back if you like it.
    Win a $10 Gift Card to Decorate Your Home

  5. The desk and chair look SO good and your son is adorable. How fun!


  6. WOW! I am so impressed, I love it, it looks really great and the colour choises are perfect
    DIY kids stuff is my favourite

  7. oh my WORD, this is AWESOME!!! :) and your little guy is too cute! thanks for commenting on my blog. I’m a sucker for any kind of tutorials. Hope you try the icons out!



  8. oh…ps. just saw them on your sidebar, they look GREAT!

  9. Hey there! Visiting you from the GFC Blog Hop. I love this link party, it is one that I join in pretty much every week. There are always great blogs that I haven’t seen before linked up. I am now a follower :D yay! Looking forward to keeping up with things around here.
    I have an awesome sponsor showcase going on right now. Great giveaway with lots of great prizes. I would love for you to get your name in the drawing. Here’s the link:
    Hope to talk with ya soon!

    Pointing Up

  10. Very cute, love giving furniture color!

  11. Found and followed you through Hubby Made Me’s link party. I just love your blog! Feel free to stop by mine as well :)



  12. It’s just lovely and he must love that you made it especially for him!

  13. Wow! and Wow! Love the turquoise and red together too. You’re an amazing shopper! :)

  14. What a steal! And it turned out beautifully. Great job!


  15. Oh my goodness…can’t believe that you found this in the FREE section…and just look what you did to it!!!! SO CUTE!!


  16. That is so cute! I am working on the exact same chairs if you can believe it! Really fun!
    Thanks for sharing your excitement and ideas at the Creative Inspirations Linky! Please stop back next week for the Autumn Inspiration Linky Party to link up your fall ideas!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  17. Oh my gosh, sooo cute!! I love the colors you used!

  18. Awesome job! this turned out great – I’m looking for something similar for my granddaughter for when she comes over to “Nana’s house” ;-)

  19. What an awesome makeover! The red and turquoise is perfect, and I just can’t get enough of that little table. Looks like Chase loves it too!

  20. Your chair and table turned out so cute! Thanks for sharing… I would love if you would share them (and some of your other projects) over at my link party going on right now:


    Have a nice day!

  21. What a darling makeover and a darling space for your little darling to learn and create! And all for a $4 can of spray paint … score!



  22. Love it. I need to be more creative with repurposed furniture. I like to find used furniture, but tend to buy it as I intend to use it. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Please consider linking this post with Repurposed Ideas Weekly Blog hop at:http://repurposemylife.com/repurposed-ideas-weekly-6/

  23. Turned out PERFECT! LOVE it!

  24. it’s adorable, barb! i especially love the table top now!

  25. I love that!! That is so dang cute!! I love the look of the other things in his room too! I found you off of Ginger snaps link party! We are your newest followers! http://moresisterstuff.blogspot.com/

  26. Fabulous! I’m featuring you tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing at It’s Overflowing Party (Saturdays at 7am). XO, Aimee

  27. These turned out so great!! I love the colors! Lucky little kiddo :)

  28. Turned out cute! Stopping by from Romance on a Dime!

  29. I think it looks great!! Especially adding your son’s name to the chair! :) Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!

  30. I really love this makeover, I am loving the colors too! Thanks for sharing!

  31. The makeover is gorgous. I love the color combination and the vinyl letters was a great touch. Thanks so much for joining in on Whimsy Wednesdays.

  32. Love that colour combo…and Chase is just adorable…ox

  33. Ahhh, beautiful! I am LOVING those colors! It looks amazing, Barbara!


  1. [...] Everything dried completely in a few hours so I went ahead and distressed with with some fine grit sandpaper (check out a tutorial for distressing furniture here). [...]

  2. [...] your piece! This is the fun part!  I had two awesome shades of blue I’d used here and here that I mixed together to make this beautiful shade of pale aqua!  It’s saved in a [...]

  3. [...] Distress and Age it! This is optional of course, but with this piece I just couldn’t resist!  Using the sander, I went over the edges lightly to remove just enough paint to expose the fresh wood underneath.  I took a the corner of a paper towel and dipped it into a can of stain (dark walnut), and went over the exposed wood, immediately wiping it off with the clean part of the paper towel.  See this method in action here. [...]

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