Alphabet Desk Makeover

If you’ve been following along lately, you know there’s BIG NEWS in the Artsy Family. This fall, we will be traveling to China to bring home a sweet 10 year old boy who is joining our family via adoption. We are hoping to travel in mid-October, which means we’ve been busy working on his bedroom! I can’t wait to share with you all the fun things we’re doing to get it ready for him. Today, I want to show you the fun little homework/art desk I created. Take a look…

Luckily, we’ve been able to get several pieces of furniture for free. My parents had a dresser and a chair they weren’t using, and this cute corner desk was actually a roadside freebie! A few months ago, a friend messaged me asking if I was interested in a desk someone had abandoned on their street. As soon as I saw the photo, I told my friend to run out and grab it for me, because I knew it had some great potential! I mean, what an adorable piece, right? All it needed was some lovin’. Here’s how to give something like this a fun makeover…

You’ll need:

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FolkArt Outdoor Paint: Zinc and Cotton
Mod Podge Furniture Gloss or Satin
FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Wide Brush
Mod Podge Brush 4″
Assorted FolkArt Alphabet Stencils, various sizes and fonts
FolkArt Stencil Brushes
Painters’ Tape

Painting Your Piece

I used the wide brush to give all the surfaces of the desk a base coat of Zinc paint. After letting it dry completely, I gave it a second coat. I love the 4″ brush because it covers a large surface like this so quickly! Two coats gave me the coverage I wanted, but if you are using a lighter color or your original wood is darker, you may want a third coat of paint.

Stenciling Your Piece

This was the most fun part! Little Crafter helped me with the letter placement and stenciling, and we had a great time. We didn’t want to stress out about sticking to a certain pattern, so we decided to be completely random. We used five different alphabet stencil sets and worked our way through the alphabet. We’d choose a stencil for each letter, then place it at a random angle somewhere on the desktop and stencil it with Cotton white paint. When all 26 letters were accounted for, we filled in the extra spaces with random letters from smaller alphabet sets.

As always, we used a stencil brush, taped our stencils in place, and used an up and down tapping motion when stenciling. Less is always more when it comes to paint on a stencil brush, so we offloaded our brush until it was almost dry before applying it to the desktop. For more details on how to get a crisp, clean stenciled image, check out this paint & stencil tips post.

Once the letters were all in place, I touched up our mistake spots with the Zinc paint.

Sealing Your Piece

I chose to use Mod Podge Furniture Gloss as my sealer, but you can also use the FolkArt Outdoor Sealer or any other furniture sealer you prefer. I applied it with the 4″ brush, which made the process go quickly again. Mod Podge Furniture sealer also comes in a Matte and a Satin formula so you can get whatever type of finish you prefer. I chose not to distress this piece at all, but if you’d like a distressed look, you can sand off a bit of the paint before sealing.

Alphabet Corner Desk

I was able to finish this project in two days, and I absolutely love the way it looks in our son’s room! We still have lots more work to do, like painting the walls, painting the dresser, and more, but it’s something, right?

Alphabet Corner Desk

Here’s a side by side look at the desk before and after the makeover! A little bit of paint sure makes a big difference, doesn’t it? One 4 oz bottle of each color was enough for this project, and I had enough white left over to paint a coordinating chair, which I’ll be showing you in another post.

Alphabet Corner Desk

Even if the piece of furniture you have isn’t a corner desk, you can still easily recreate the same basic look whether it’s a table, a rectangular desk, or anything else you have on hand. What do you think? Is this something your kids would enjoy? I sure hope “Scout” has as much fun using it as I had transforming it for him.

Alphabet Corner Desk

I’d love to see your furniture makeover projects or anything you create that’s inspired by this post! Hop on over to the One Artsy Mama & Friends Facebook group and share with us what you’re working on this week. See you there!

Alphabet Corner Desk Makover: Painted Furniture with Stencils

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  1. That corner desk is awesome. I can see why you told your friend to grab it. You did an awesome job on the make over.

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