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Vintage Writing Desk Makeover

Oh snap, y’all. The very first piece of furniture for the guest bedroom is IN!!!

She’s a cute and slightly sophisticated little thing, but she didn’t start out that way.

Vintage Writing Desk

And she showed up for a whopping $25 on Craigslist just in time for this month’s Trash to Treasure Transformation Tuesday. (You can see the rest of this month’s thrifty makeovers at the end of this post.)

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

You know those cheesy 90s high school movies where the main storyline is about the nerdy girl with glasses and suddenly there’s a makeover montage ending in the perfect little black dress, the glasses are removed, and voila she’s the supermodel popular girl? (What happened to those?)

This desk reminds me of that.

If you’ve been following along on our planning phase of the guest bedroom, we had the style identity crisis, the furniture layout conundrum, and the mood board brain splatter before finally making things happen in here.

One thing we definitely needed though was a really small desk with just enough room for my mother-in-law since she sometimes works from our house on random days.

It took two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black, a quick makeshift replacement shelf with a 1×6, a new pair of aged brass knobs, and she was a whole new desk.

I found this vintage rattan chair for $17 at Goodwill the other day too.

Vintage writing desk makeover in a guest bedroom

Vintage writing desk makeover in a guest bedroom

We got around to painting the walls and gray trim (be still my heart) this week too, and it’s already like a brand new room in here!

And Robert hung up these green velvet curtains that are even better in person than I thought they’d be. Ahhh! So good! I still have to hem them and hang up the others, but I’m a FAN!

Vintage writing desk makeover in a guest bedroom

This corner is just a little snack of what’s to come. I finally found a secondhand cane headboard last week too, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

You can see the rest of this month’s Trash to Treasure makeovers from my T2T blogger friends here:

Clockwise from top left:

Artsy Chicks Rule | Prodigal Pieces | Girl in the Garage | Confessions of a Serial DIYer

And if you want more furniture makeover ideas you can see them all here along with tips for painting furniture here.

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  1. Love the black on the desk. I would not hiem the green velvet drapes. I just lift them up a little, and let them fall naturally. Green looked pretty with black.

  2. I didn’t comment last time re the grey painted woodwork. What a beautiful inspiration. We painted our entire house a light grey two years ago when we built. So many people suggested a different colored wall here or there (which I personally do not like for multiple reasons, but most especially because it makes a room look smaller,) but we went for a single color. White trim. Which there was absolutely no logical place to stop and use a different color without a jarring effect. We did greatly downsize.

    I just love your Ideas. I really love the little desk. Perfect. That and the painted trim really caught my attention. The desk is painted the same color as our front door. It took a couple tries. Even taking paint chips out into the bright sun fooled me. We drove by after it had been painted and I was shocked it looked like a country blue. (So common place and last decade.) But when I approached the painter guy….very shyly…saying I was having a problem with the color of the door, he said: “it’s purple. (flat out just exclaimed) IT’S PURPLE” Yes, twice. HA.

    I hesitate to say this, but I went to the above link to the DIY-er for the floral tray. She did a great job. Very creative. But it really killed me to see that beautiful antique tray, which many people collect just for those old floral designs and make it look like something easily achieved with a cheap tray from a craft store painted up the way she did. I know. Once you buy it it’s yours to do with. And some might resent the way you painted over a natural wood finished desk. I think the difference is scarcity and the blank slate the desk was…good lines but not a work of art. I would’ve been a completely new visiter on her site, so I didn’t comment there. But I do follow your lovely work, love your emails and posts and ideas, even though I don’t comment very often. What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi, Michelle. Thank you so much for your kind words and following along on this journey. If your front door is (to you) a house ornament that you enjoy and you are not enjoying the color, maybe you should change it. Or, you could keep it through a month and see if it changes on you or grows on you. Maybe you can put some accent pieces with it to change the hue. Front doors are tricky. That is a tough one.

      1. Oh thank you Lauren. I don’t think I actually finished that thought above, did I? No. I had it painted again, in the dark grey I wanted. I gulped because any ‘special painting’ went above and beyond what was included in the house building package. And we had already made so many upgrades already….that were all way more important than the color of the front door. But my husband said ‘get what you want.’ In the end, they didn’t charge extra. Whew. I also had the master bedroom ceiling painted a different color, which was extra. Again, not as important as the other upgrades. But my hubby informed me his painting days were over. πŸ˜€ We’re both retired, the eyes and the joints and everything are just not up to that kind of thing anymore.

        So you see, you have no idea how many people you effect, and in what way. Some of us create vicariously through you. πŸ™‚

  3. Everything is coming together beautifully in this challenging space! I knew you could do it πŸ˜‰. Love the black!

  4. Hi Lauren
    The desk looks amazing. I love the black and grey tou have used, it’s such a trend colour and so very versatile. Thank you for the fab tips, re: the paint you have used, esp. The way it doesn’t leave brush stroke marks.
    Truly inspiring.
    Best regards,
    Mandie 😊