Secrets to Inspire your Student to Study

This kids school desk makeover is a must for anyone who has a school-age child.

A school desk makeover is perfect to help inspire your student.  A mom can hope that her kids will just naturally want to study, right?  Mine didn’t.  I am not above bribery!

desk study full shot

My kid strongly disliked school for about the first 7 months of Kindergarten.  Sad for this former teacher.

I could have given up OR I could get creative…I choose creative.

Tip: Let kids select their own desk!

This desk was a steal.  I bought it on a Saturday morning stop at our local Goodwill for $30.00.

unfinished desk study

As usual, I shuffled around everything in my overpacked van and managed to shove the desk and chair into space which would allow the door to close.  I did my happy dance.

My son was pleasantly delighted to acquire his own piece of office furniture.  In my head danced images of pencils, pens, markers, stapler, and glue neatly placed in the drawers.  I’m pretty sure in his head he saw shreds of paper, springs, opened paper clips, and boy stuff that would be used for his inventions or art.

Tip:  Let your kids pick the paint colors.

Either way, together we went to the paint store so that he could select the colors he wanted for his new study desk.  He thought that it was the “coolest” thing that he could design what his desk was going to look like.  For each step, he acted as foreman over the project and was delighted with the outcome of my efforts and his vision.

8 Easy Steps to Create the Best Kids School Desk Makeover!

Before you start, Download our FREE checklist to help you gather supplies for this DIY project.  Click Here to Download.

Step #1

Remove all handles and set them aside

Step #2

Lightly sand the exterior of the desk.   I used a Dewalt Power Sander with 220 grit sandpaper.  Wipe the desk off with a clean damp cloth.

sanded study desk

Step #3

Paint the entire desk with one coat of paint.  For this project, I used Anne Sloane Chalk Paint in Napoleon Blue purchased at Your Favorite Things in Greensburg, PA.  If you need help finding the perfect paint for your project, click here for a paint checklist.

Step #4

Spray paint the drawer pulls.  We recycled the existing drawer pulls but added a cool color.   My son picked fire engine red.


Step #5

While the pulls are drying, add a second coat of paint to the desk.

Step #6

We added stripes using @FrogTape to the front of this furniture piece.  Measure and stick the tape to the dry surface then apply your contrasting color.  For this project, I used acrylic paint purchased at Walmart.

TIP  for removing the tape for straight lines every time: Wait a few minutes after the application but don’t let the paint dry the entire way.  

Step #7

Then I printed the alphabet on the top of the desk.  I measured across to determine the letter spacing and then placed them accordingly using Capital and Lower Case letters for my kindergarten student.

transformed study desk 2

Step #8

Inspirational words were added to the bottom of the desk for my budding scholar using EkTool Paint Markers in silver.  This is visually pleasing but also very practical for my new writer who uses it as a reference.

Wax your final surface to keep it clean and free of water stains.  I used Anne Sloane Dark Wax for this final step.Eight steps to transform a study desk

2020 Update:

I’m happy to report that our kids’ school desk is still being used 6 years after this project was completed.  It has weathered another boy who loves to draw and write on all surfaces.  I think my favorite part is still the letters at the top of the desk.  It really has been useful for references but it also looks cool.

I hope you enjoy making memories where function and creativity collide,


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