Fun Find: Taking an Old School Approach to a New Desk

I was out at St. Vincent DePaul last weekend looking for a chest for my neighbor’s new nursery and stumbled upon this beauty…

 I had the exact same type of desk in Catholic grade school! Nostalgia set in, and I had to buy it. I know you can probably find these anywhere, but this desk was in excellent shape and only $5!  DONE DEAL.

Look at the natural distressing on this desk! I’m torn if I want to paint it or not. There’s just something in the back of my head saying leave it as is! Not everything has to be painted. Hmmm…

Here’s some more pictures of my dreamy desk in detail.

OK, now if I DID decide to paint this beauty, I could paint it like this adorable little school desk from Johnny in a Dress. I love the transformation with the light blue paint against the black chalkboard desk top!

Or this stunning striped school desk transformation from Bee Interiors. It’s a amazing what some paint and a little blue tape can do!

I know I’ll put this desk in my {someday} craft room so my little lady can hang out with me. This is my color scheme inspiration board…

I found this while visiting Home Stories A2Z. Beth wrote a wonderful post on how to find color palette inspiration. The color palette with the cute chihuahua is from Design Seeds, a color palette website guide for use when redecorating rooms or starting a new design project.

See how the middle turquoise tone and the earthy brown are already beaming from this desk? OH, what’s a girl to do? I could use some input…

What do YOU think I should do? Please leave a comment with suggestions!


  1. says

    I think that the desk is already in your inspirational colours. Perhaps just a fresh coat of a pale blue paint with a little distressing and a clear varnish on the wood. I know it has all that already, so you could also just leave as is. Alternatively you could paint the whole thing a solid colour like yellow or red to add that pop of colour to your dreamy relaxing colour scheme. Looking forward to what you decide!

  2. says

    I LOVE it! I don’t think you need to paint it at all – people paint things to try to achieve the look your desk already has, naturally! The colors are perfect. You could always just paint the top in chalkboard paint and leave the rest as is. Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

  3. says

    Hi Erin, Leave it as-is! It looks lovely. What a great score. And I love your color inspiration. The couch and ottoman in one picture is amazing! I want it. : )

  4. Carol says

    Hi Erin, I think I saw that desk the other day when I was at St. Vincent’s. Your blog caught my attention the other day when I saw St. Louis and St. Vincent’s mentioned. I am sure I shop at the same store. Great place isn’t it? I like your blog for it’s simplicity and thriftiness. I would say leave the desk the way it is – it will go well with your future craft room palette.

    • howtonestforless says

      That’s too funny! Yes, I LOVE that place! Yeah, I think I’m going to keep the desk as is for now. I can always paint it in the future, but I can never go back to its current condition! Thanks for visiting :)

  5. says

    I love it, I would not paint it! It is perfect. If anything, maybe paint the table part, but leave the seat as is:)!! Great find!

  6. says

    Noooo paint – it’s so perfect. If you really feel like you need to do something then I would enhance the wood with some Howard’s Restor-A-Finish (sp???) – wipe on and wipe down…and done!

  7. says

    I have this same paint or not dilemma regularly. In this case I would say defnitely no paint needed. It looks fabulous as is and the distressing is perfect – because it is authentic! I think new paint would make it look fresh but it would definitely lose something in the process.

  8. says

    Wow! I love the current shade of blue. I would not touch the paint! You can replicate years and years of natural distressing like that! If anything I would only paint the horizontal desk surface only.
    What a great find. Enjoy!

  9. says

    I love the desk as it is. I have the same desk that my daughter gave me. She had used it for her daycare. But it is painted an awful blue. I am going to take off the paint. I hope I can get it to look like yours.

  10. says

    I would definitely leave the metal part as it is — it’s just too perfect to mess with. I would however do something with the wood parts. For the seat, I’d fill that in with wood putty, sand and then stain the wood parts or paint them.

  11. says

    Love the color- it is absolutely sweet!! I think it’s perfect the way it is! Your inspiration board is so pretty too~ would love for you to come share your treasure at Feathered Nest Friday sometime! :)

  12. says

    Hi Erin! I found your blog through the Shabby Nest! I am your newest follower and I love this desk. I would not paint it! Also, I see you are in the STL. I am across the river in Alton :) Love your blog!

  13. says

    Found you from Miss Mustard Seed. This desk is adorable, and I think you should leave the blue part alone, but maybe darken the wood (dark walnut).

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