DIY: Trash to Treasure Desk Renovation

DIY Desk Renovation with Stain Painted Top and Emerald Chalk Paint

I am a master at creating work for myself.

I could have ordered a compact desk for sixty dollars and spent an hour putting it together, but that would have been too easy.

Instead, I spotted an old teacher’s desk put to the curb.  It was dismantled and in several states of disrepair.  I knew it would be perfect for me.

That’s the twisted way my mind works.

My husband helped me haul it home and it sat in my dining room for a month while I decided what I wanted to do with it.

My inspiration came from Beth at Sawdust and Embryos.  She created a gorgeous piece using stain to actually paint a picture.

Now, I’m not a painter by any stretch of the imagination, so I royally screwed up this projected; however, my friends on facebook cheered me on and convinced me to finish.  I am so glad they did.

Here’s what I used to complete this project – all supplies were purchased at Lowe’s, and sadly Lowe’s isn’t paying me to write this post.

(Unfortunately I forgot to photograph the stain.  I simply bought a small can of the darkest stain I could find.  The color was ebony.  I also put about 7 or 8 coats of Polycrylic on top to finish it.)

DIY desk renovation

My laptop is masquerading as an MAC.  That’s an apple sticker covering the Compaq symbol.  No offense to Compaq.

Yes, I am a dork.

A complete tutorial for creating the flower pattern desk top can found at Sawdust & Embryos HERE.

DIY Stain Painted Desktop Renovation

Here’s my desktop.  I sketched out a flower pattern and then used stain to paint it in.  I spread the stain with a rag to make it shaded.

I complete screwed up the process which you’ll be able to see when you follow the link and look at the original, but as Nester says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

DIY Chalk Painted Desk Renovation - Trash to Treasure

For the desk, I used Pantone’s color of the year – Emerald.  I love this color!

I mixed a chalk paint, using this recipe from The Happy Housie.  I mixed, one of the sample bottles of paint with 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris and 1/2 cup water.  Then I painted like normal.  After the paint dried, I waxed it.

This chalk paint has a very different texture.  It really is chalky and it is suppose to stick very well to old furniture and eliminate the need for sanding.  It worked great for my project.

DIY Chalk Paint Desk Renovation

As you can see, I still need a knob for that middle drawer.  All the other hardware is from the original desk.

DIY:  Pantone's Color of the Year - Emerald chalk painted desk

I’m pretty much in love with my desk and I’m so glad I took the time to complete this project.  In total, I think it cost me around $40 to complete, because I already had a half can of Polycrylic left over from another project.

Do you create work for yourself too?

What is the last DIY project you completed?


If you’ve enjoyed this post, I’m going to ask you to please share it by using the “share” buttons below.  Thanks a bunch!


Linking to the following blog parties:

DIY by Design, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Green Willow Pond, The Koenigs, Domesblissity, 733 Blog, Start at Home, Thrifty Thursday Link-up, Jennifer Rizzo’s Fabulously Creative Friday, WOW us Wednesdays, Grace at Home, DIY Show-Off, Mercy Ink,

new signature


  1. says

    Oh I just LOVE this…absolutely gorgeous! The teal green looks amazing with the browns,,,two of my favorite color combos. You should be proud of yourself!!

  2. says

    I love, love, love finding things in the trash and therefore create a lot of work for myself…and for my poor husband. That new compact desk you were talking about would have been more expensive, had less character, been more poorly made, and could never be even half as gorgeous as this beauty you created. Kudos to you for such a great job. You have inspired me!

  3. says

    Hey! Just stopped by from Thrifty Thursday at This desk is gorgeous and actually looks really similar to one I’ve been in love with at Great post!

  4. says

    HOLY AWESOME, BATMAN! I checked out the one you were inspired by and don’t know what you are talking about, yours looks just as good as hers! Gorgeous!! Props to you!

  5. Sandy says

    I’m really impressed with your stain painting skillz! And yes, I totally make more work for myself all.the.time.

  6. Lois says

    girl you are amazing!!!!! I am so jealous – wish I was there to see it :) the paint you painted the desk with was chalk paint? and the top is only stain – I am going to those sights to check this out – wish I was that creative :)

Please Leave A Comment