During our last flea market outing, we spotted a classic vintage school desk that was just begging for a makeover — and picked it up for the price of $3 (bargained down from $5)! To give it a brand new look, we dressed it up in the Top Floral Apartment Temporary Wallpaper that also adorns our office. This vintage desk acts as a perfect entryway table, and welcomes any gal-on-the-go with a place to set her shoes, bag, or sweater, all while providing a wealth of stylish inspiration.
Study the directions below, then ace this clever back-to-school DIY with a smart-looking desk of your own!
- Thrifted desk or table
- Temporary wallpaper trimmings from your latest project
- Craft glue or Polyurethane
- Sanding block or sand paper
- Utility knife
1. Prep your desk. Clean away the cobwebs and sand any sketches, etchings, or edges smooth. Once finished, use a towel to wipe away dust and debris.
2. Paint your piece with your favorite spray or brush-on paint. We chose a brilliant gold to match the floral motif on our wallpaper — but a cool pastel might offer some clever contrast. Our project required two cans of paint, which yielded two complete coats on the desk and its shelf. Remember to paint and finish your desk in a well ventilated area!
3. After selecting the perfect wallpaper scraps to fit the desktop and seat, tape each piece down to carefully trace the edges. Use scissors to trim any excess paper, then confirm that each piece has the perfect outline.
4. Remove the backing and fasten the wallpaper to each surface, smooth bubbles with a card or another flat tool. Don’t forget that temporary wallpaper can be removed and reapplied, so you can take a second try if an angle seems a bit off.
5. Trim away the wallpaper over any details using a utility knife. We chose to expose the gold-painted bolts that adorn the seat and slats.
6. Apply your finish with a brush, allowing for it to dry between coats. We gave our desk two coats of poly across all of the patterned surfaces, which sealed the wallpaper permanently. You could also use that Mod Podge that’s in your craft supplies.
7. Find the perfect spot in your foyer!
How are you settling into your new space? Be sure to share your before-and-after photos!