A Glitter-y Vintage School Desk Makeover

Schooldesk makeover, before

Against all my expectations, my daughter Ayla is a princess-loving, pink-obssessed, necklace-wearing girly girl. She's two, and yet she often demands wardrobe changes several times per day. Honestly, I don't know how this happened; I always kind of thought I end up with a tomboy, but no, her favorite games are 'jewly' (jewelry) and and dressing up her 'babies.'

It's cool, though. I can adapt. And here's proof: this fall I was driving by an antique shop when I spotted an old school desk sitting on the front sidewalk. Since I knew my wife Alicia was planning a 'big-girl bedroom' makeover for Ayla when she turns three, I pulled over immediately and checked it out.

The school desk

They wanted $45 for it; I offered $30 and they accepted, and pretty soon I was tetris-ing it into the back seat of my Civic, with Ayla sitting next to it in her carseat and asking lots (and lots) of questions.

"Daddy what's that?"

"A desk."


"For your big girl room."


"When you get bigger."


"By, um... growing bigger."


"Because, um, that's what people do, they grow up."

And so on (you get the idea).

Later, when KRYLON mentioned they had a new amazing and very sparkly Glitterblast line (we did some awesome sponsored projects using their spray paints this summer), I knew it would be a great fit. I know Ayla likes pink, and I know she likes glittery things, so it was kind of a no- brainer.

Krylon Glitterblast

First, I took the desk apart (carefully, since finding replacement parts would be a pain), and cleaned and sanded it up.

Taking the desk apart

Then I primed all the metal surfaces with a coat of black KRYLON DUAL spray paint I had left over. Later, I realized it would have been better to use a light color (or something like red or pink).


primed in black

Meanwhile, I sanded the wood parts down, cleaned them, and added a coat of clear polyurethane.

Sanding and coating the desktop

After reading the Glitterblast directions (oops, should've done that first!), I realized I need to have a coat of pink down underneath the glitter coat (the Glitterblast doesn't add color, just colored glitter). So I painted over the black with pink.

Finally, it was time for glitter! I found our you can't really go overboard with this stuff; the more you add, the better it looks (in this case, at least).

Spraying the seat with 'diamond dust' Glitterblast paint

First coat of glitter is done.


Here's the finished project (I photographed it out in the yard because we're not going to show Ayla or put it in her room until the rest of the big girl room makeover is ready):

The finished desk

All done with the desk

The inside of the desk

I think it looks pretty great (although the glittery-ness doesn't photograph that well; it's much glittery-er in person), and I'll update you with shots of it in her room (and her reaction) later this year.

Thanks to Krylon for sponsoring this project! 
Krylon Logo

Got your own awesome DIY project using spray paint? 

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tammy on Sep 28, 2014:

I have a 1930's desk with a swivel chair that I am looking to sell.  Not sure if anyone on this thread would be interested.

Contact me if interested and I will send pics.

kenya on Jul 12, 2014:

OMG I love it please tell me what tools u used to take the desk apart. Also do u know if u can raise the desk higher our? Our thrift store has 8 desk for $10 and I must have them please respond

Janice on Jun 01, 2014:

Oh, I forgot to ask.  What tools did you use to take the desk apart?

Janice on Jun 01, 2014:

I found a desk just like that one and only paid $20 for it from an antique store and that's because the seller is moving to another location.  I wish I knew how old this desk was and was looking for ways to amp it up and maybe sell it or give it to a family member.

Donna on Jun 10, 2012:

I just found a wood and metal old desk. It had not been treated very well. I will have to find a place who sells desks parts. The wood seat and the wood back are in very bad shape. No one would be able to set on it without getting a hand, or butt full of splinters! Does anyone know where I could find these parts. This cute little desk was only 10.00, so can afford to spend a little to fix it up. Thank you in advance.


joe on May 19, 2012:

Hi, That piece of furniture looks very interesting I would like to get hold of one. Do you happen to know the manufacturer? or the name of this particular desk combo? or what decade it is from? Any help would be greatly appreciated

bruno on Jan 23, 2012:

Thanks guys! Glad you found some inspiration!

Anonymous on Jan 21, 2012:

Thank you!  I, too, just picked up a metal and wood vintage desk at Goodwill and needed ideas for how to paint it for my girly-girl.  Perfect!  Thank you! 

Dave C on Nov 11, 2011:


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