Monday, January 16, 2012

My First DIY Project

My first DIY furniture makeover was a desk for my daughter. I knew that she would need a desk to do her homework on and we really didn't have a good spot for her to do that. I had been reading blogs for a while and seeing all these amazing transformations of ugly, dingy furniture that had a Cinderella-like transformation and I thought to myself, "Hey, I can do that, too!"

So here's what I started with:

These are the photos from the Craigslist posting, so excuse the size/quality. It was $15 and the woman who was selling it included the chair also. It didn't match the desk, but I knew that with a little paint, I could make that less obvious.

After a deep sanding job - check out the scratches on the surface! - and a coat of primer, it was starting the look a little better. I admit that the curvy detailings of the desk legs were a bit of a challenge for a first timer (I think I would use spray paint in the future) but it was all a learning process! Two coats of white paint later, the desk and chair looked as good as new!

I got a pull from Anthropologie to replace the plain wooden one and that really glammed it up. For the chair, I had to be a little more creative. There was no cushion or fabric that I could just recover and I didn't want my princess to have to sit on a hard chair. So I went to JoAnn and got a piece of foam, batting, and some cute polka-dot fabric.

Sorry I don't have any in-progress shots, but I did this before I even considered having my own blog. I unscrewed the seat from the chair and put it upside down over the foam. I then traced around it and cut off the excess foam. If the seat would have been flat, I could have laid them both over the batting, but as you can see, there is quite a bit of a curve so I had to glue the foam to the seat so it wouldn't keep popping off. Once that was dry, I laid the batting on the floor and put the upside-down seat on top. I kept about a 1 1/2" border and cut off the extra batting. Then I stapled the batting to the underside of the seat, pulling fairly tight, but not too tight that the curve of the seat would disappear.

I did that some process with the fabric - laying it upside down, cutting off excess around seat, leaving a small border and then stapling it on the under side of the chair. I did the corners like you would do the corners of a present, and then cut off any bulky sections where the screws needed to go. The final step of the chair was screwing it back on to the frame and voila!

The inside of the drawer was pretty nasty so I wanted to do something about that. I couldn't believe it when I walked into Target and found polka-dotted wrapping paper that matched the chair fabric perfectly! It was a bit difficult to work with because it is thinner than scrapbook paper so I had to use very thin layers of modge podge, but I (and my daughter) think it came out great!

My husband and I decided that we should invest in a glass top to protect the surface and it was a great idea. The rounded corners added a bit to the price, but it was definitely worth it. My husband's friend works in the glass business, so he came out to the house and made a template so the size was perfect. Now my daughter is able to slip her favorite drawings underneath the glass and switch them out when she wants to. We also picked out some storage boxes for some of her "treasures."

First DIY project = success! What do you think?

Linking up here:

Our Fifth House


  1. The desk looks beautiful. Love the polka dots :)

  2. What a wonderful transformation! You picked a great desk to begin with...all that pretty detailing on the legs is lovely. All your accents are perfect. Nice to see a new face in DIY blogland. :-) Welcome...and you should attend the Haven Conference in June!