A Silver Desk Before & After

by Katy on June 30, 2016 · 8 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

One project that’s been limping along at my house is the reorganization of my 17-year-old son’s room. It happens in fits and spurts and is motivated more by me than my son.

By a lot.

Of course I want his room to look good, but my main goal is to help him be able to find his stuff and to have the room be functional. (Can’t use a desk that’s completely piled with stuff!)

I recently came across a $4.99 set of wheeled metal drawers at Goodwill, which was exactly what his desk needed. (I find the plastic ones all the time, but they’re so easily broken and destined to become unfixable trash. So yeah, not my thang.)

See? Perfect way to stash all the extra notebooks, school supplies and miscellaneous doo-dads that normally gather on my son’s desk.

Getting all the crap off my son’s desk allowed me to give the top surface a fresh coat of paint. (Plus polyurethane.) Here’s what it looked like before I got all crafty with it:

Purple desk

The desk in my son’s room is a hand me down that was last painted circa 1982 by yours truly. The top was purple and the bottom was black. I got the idea to freshen it up with a can of silver spray paint, and had been glued to the weather forecast for ages, waiting for a non-rainy, warmish day that would allow this project to commence. (No indoor spray painting for me, as I enjoy my functional brain cells!)

And here’s the desk, all freshly painted and looking all groovy and space-agey. (I later replaced the purple knob with a black one.)

Silver desk

I also had a $1 solid wooden shelf from the Ikea As-Is section and a set of Goodwill $1.99 shelving brackets to pull together a nice sturdy shelf so my son can display his stuff without cluttering the desk.

I like creating my own shelves, as the brackets can be designed to be the same width apart as the studs in the wall. (Seriously, an elephant could stand on this shelf and it wouldn’t budge.)

Remember the skateboard shelves from my younger son’s room?

Silver shelf

So what does my son think of his new desk and shelf?

“Uh . . . thanks, mom.”

Good thing I have my readership for feedback.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

JD June 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm

I remember this post! And I remember thinking, gee that’s the kind of feedback I get, too!
Well, I like the desk and shelf. I like painted wood furniture but my husband hates it, so we have exactly three pieces of painted wood furniture in the whole house, all in the kids’ old bedrooms. I have a cunning plan (Blackadder, anyone?) though, to paint a piece soon, then another, and he’ll never realize it until I’m done– maybe.
I have the same problem as Katy, though — finding a dry day!


Jennifer June 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm

I am captivated by the almost octogon shaped design in the hard wood floors. I’m curious, is that a unique design pattern or a repair? I spent a whole weekend to completely redo my, at the time, teenage daughter’s room and I got a similar response. Great job, Katy!


tonya parham June 30, 2016 at 6:57 pm

I love a nice desk! And that’s a nice desk.

I need to make me some shelving like that but with 7 cats, I fear anything I put on a shelf like that is going to end up in the floor. Still, I like it very much!


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 1, 2016 at 5:15 am

Way to go for repurposing furniture in new ways. 🙂 It looks great! We’re trying to buy a home right now, so we’re anxious about furniture solutions.


JD July 1, 2016 at 6:17 am

Mrs. Picky, when we built a house, everyone assured us we would have to buy a house full of furniture, because we were going from a single-wide trailer to a nearly 1600 sq. ft. home. In one of my few moments of sensible-ness, I didn’t run out and buy it. I bought one arm chair and an entertainment center, both of which I still own almost 20 years later. Some things you may have to buy, true, but resist doing so until you get moved and see what you really need. It’s taken us those 20 years since then to actually finish re-furnishing the place, and much of what we replaced was only because our kids moved out and we let them take their bedroom furniture with them. Most of what we bought was used, some new. With all the worries of getting a house, let furnishing it be the least of them — you will have enough on your plate as it is. Good luck!


tonya parham July 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

I know what you mean! I just moved to a larger house (went from renting to owning) and this place is much bigger. Part of me wants to run out and buy a new bedroom set (we DO need a new bedframe, we DON’T need a dresser or chest!) and a new couch and chairs (we could use the chairs our couch is fine) and we even went so far as to go price both bed and living room stuff.

Calmer heads have prevailed though just by leaving the store before making a purchase– saying “I’ll come back tomorrow.” We decided to shop around for a couch and bought a bed at an antique store for $175. It’s a gorgeous sleigh bed, too. A little banged up, but still great. So, there’s something to be said for just remaining calm and remembering that even though you WANT something it’s okay to WAIT a day and see if you still REALLY want it. This is something sort of new for me. I have the money for the new things, but I find the new things never gave me that much pleasure so I might as well take pleasure in the finding of things that make this place home. It’s a journey, not a destination!


LisaC July 2, 2016 at 5:29 am

Sometimes an uh…thanks mom is the most we get out of teenagers. 🙂
Good idea painting it silver! I love repurposing furniture, I have a dresser in my closet that’s my favorite color now, and cup hooks hold my necklaces. It makes me smile when I go into my closet, that it’s not hodge podge looking, but I did it for pretty cheap.


Katy July 2, 2016 at 11:18 am

Outer order leads to inner calm.


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