Sunday, August 23, 2015

DIY Sunday: Old School Desk Turned Nightstand

Hello Sunday!

We had a very busy Saturday. I worked on our patio until I ran out of pavers, took apart some old (new) chairs to spray paint and built some random swings for the kids. This cool weather has made it very hard to do anything inside. I have a huge pile of clothing that needs to be folded and a house that has mud trailed through out it. But hey, none of us are inside to see it anyways.

Once the snow starts to fall, I have a pile of projects to do inside including our master bedroom. It leaves quite a bit to be desired. The color on the walls is left over from the previous owner, we don't have a headboard and the nightstands were barely functional. We are still playing with ideas, but the color scheme is prepared. I've picked a navy blue for the walls (Navel from Sherwin Williams) with accents of mint and gold.

I saw a old school desk at a salvage yard and started thinking about making it into a nightstand. I thought was being super creative until I opened my recent copy of Country Living, and right there is a picture of a desk being used as a nightstand. So much for being creative. (Those darn crafty publishers!) However, I found two desks for $5.00 a piece at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and I couldn't say no to the idea. Here's my tips on turning a school desk into a functional nightstand. Both nightstands with supplies only cost me about $15.00.

The first thing to do was take everything apart. School desks have adjustable legs that can also be removed with an allen wrench. It makes spray painting much easier, and makes it easy to adjust the height depending on your bed and bed frame.

Before you get down with spray painting, make sure you take second to prepare your surface. Rough up the surface with a wire brush and/or sand paper. Clean the dust and other surface dirt after you get it roughed up. I personally only use Rustoleum and Valspar spray paint. I get the smoothest finish and the most bang for my buck with those brands. (This project was a Rustoleum Gold and Ocean Breeze in Rustoleum) I also taped off the top of the desk since I had different plans for that portion.

Once you have everything spray painted, you have a couple of decisions. I thought about doing a Mod Podge top or doing some sort of wallpaper on top. I also thought about using some vintage yard sticks. In the end I decided to use something I had on hand, grey chalk paint. Before I got to painting though, I decided to make some changes for functionality. I wanted a hole in the top for my various power cables. I also wanted a place to slip a power strip cord out of, so I could plug it in discretely. I hate a bunch of cords showing.

I used a 1 inch drill bit to create my hole. I widened the hole a bit from the 1 inch so a plug would fit in nicely. I also used a large drill bit to drill on the side of the desk top so a power strip cord would fit through without making the desk top gap open.

My new cord hiding place. 

The desk before painting the top

Once I made those modifications, I sanded the top of the desk and applied two coats of grey chalk paint. (I tried the American Accent stuff available at Walmart, and I was actually pretty darn happy with the results).

New chalk paint top 

I'm really happy that we now have matching functional nightstands in our bedroom. Now we just need to wait for some cold weather to tackle the 100 other things wrong with the space.

This is our bedroom right now (before the nightstands). I'm planning on a wood headboard, a white board and batten, navy walls and some changes to the artwork.


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