A Silver Desk Before & After

by Katy on February 25, 2013 · 12 comments

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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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla February 25, 2013 at 10:10 am

Haha!! Good to hear your son was in awe with gratitude over your amazing ‘redo’! 😉 lol! I think you did a great job, looks awesome!


Laura February 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

Nice! I would so prefer one of those nice metal set of drawers to the plastic ones (which we have and I can’t wait to get rid of!).

Also, I love you son’s Doraemon! We’re long-time fans here.


Katy February 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

If it’s Japanese, it’s likely that it’s in my son’s room!



Cheapchick February 25, 2013 at 10:34 am

Well done. I really like that rolling metal storage container you found – I hate plastic too. He probably appreciates it far more than he says.


Katy February 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I don’t know about that. He’s very accustomed to coming home to find new/refurbished stuff in his room. To him, it’s as exciting as being served dinner.

My younger son is totally different though. He loooves his bedroom upgrades.



NMPatricia February 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

He just doesn’t realize how much he appreciates it. Flash back 15 years, and I would have heard the same thing. Just heard from him and not only was he excited (yes, excited) about receiving sheets for his birthday, he has a whole new appreciation of Mom based on he got to have the 24 hour stomach flu by himself.

Your efforts and successes with redoing furniture absolutely awes me.


Katy February 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Aww, thank you. I have fun with the furniture, and always have another project around the corner.



Crystaal February 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm

The metal drawers are awesome! I agree that the plastic ones are total junk.


Yvette February 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I envy you your metal drawers! Ha! The desk looks great too. Love the shelf brackets.
A suggestion for the plug-in strip. The husband finally got frustrated with the short strips for all the electronic stuff and came home one day with a four foot long metal plug-in strip from the hardware store. Set it on the floor behind the desk and now we have well spaced plug-ins all along the wall. I use the child proof plug covers on any plug-ins that aren’t used to keep the dust and crud out.


Carolyn February 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm

From an organizer’s stand point, the metal drawers are great! No fussy lids AND somewhat see through! Great work!


Katy February 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I knew it was coming home with me. I would have busted out some ju jitsu moves to protect the purchase if necessary.



John February 26, 2013 at 7:53 am

What? You didn’t paint the metal drawers, too? Seems like that would have been an easy fix, too.

Otherwise, AWESOME! Make your own shelves are easy AND the best way to go since you never know what kids will put on them!


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