The Makeover of a $5.00 Thrifted Kid’s Desk

Sometimes finding stuff at the thrift store is like a furniture famine. Everyone is afraid that they won’t find something good, so when they spot it, they snap it up so quickly.

That’s what I did with this kid’s chair. I was walking down the aisle and nearly the same time that someone else stopped in front of this chair, I said, “Wow, this is so cute! And it’s only $5.00!” Some woman was like “OMG, yeah!” as if she were about to buy it if I didn’t.

Ummm……Rule #1 at the thrift store–never let someone grab something before you. 🙂
So I quickly loaded it in my car, with a cat-eating grin on my face. I knew I had scored something great!


It was cute, but with all that natural wood, a bit “BLAH…”

Kids Chair_BEFORE


But after slathering on Annie Sloan chalk paint in Aubusson blue, with white accents, and a chalkboard on top, this piece was AH-mazing! 

The blue was so crisp against the white. It looks expensive, doesn’t it?! Little does anyone know it was only $5.00 :).

Kids chair after
I really wanted a place where my boys could sit and learn their ABCs and practice on the chalkboard. I used a sheet of stickers and cute places them along the edge, then sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax so they didn’t come off.
Thrift Kids Chair Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue_3119

The drawer on the side was perfect for chalk! And I wanted to draw attention to the drawer so I created a white square around the edge. Love that!





There’s tons of storage for my smaller boys to keep all their chalk!


Thrift Kids Chair Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue_3117

How to Create This Look

Adding a chalkboard to the top is pretty simple. You just need some chalkboard paint or the Rust-Oleum chalkboard spray paint.

I prefer the spray-on kind, but in this case, it was easier for me to use the brush on chalkboard paint since I didn’t want the whole top to be covered in spray-on chalkboard paint.


Thrift Kids Chair Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue_3121



You’re also going to need some sheets of alphabet stickers. If you’ve got a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine (I love mine!), you can cut out vinyl letters. But not everyone wants (or can afford!) to drop a few hundreds on a Silhouette and accessories. Cheap letter stickers work well, too! :). After I placed the alphabet stickers, I used Annie Sloan Soft Clear Wax over them to seal them in.


Annie Sloan Soft Clear Wax



And be sure that you prime your chalkboard first. {{{{Insert face slap here…}}}}}. LOL

I was a dum-dum and forgot to prime the chalkboard before it was used! To prime a chalkboard, just rub the side of chalk over the entire chalkboard and then wipe off. Then your chalkboard will work nicely :). If you don’t prime, writing this this from your kids will totally stain in. {{{{LESSON LEARNED}}}}}

Thrift Kids Chair Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue_3127

Thrift Kids Chair Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue_3128
Thrift Kids Chair Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue_3122


Thrifted Kids Chair from the Thrift Store Gets a Makeover with Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue!

So what do you think?! Even though I’m sure you won’t find this unique little chair at your favorite thrift store, you can still use the idea for lining alphabet stickers along the edges, so your little one can practice 🙂

Have you refinished any desks for kids? What kind of designs/styles did you go for?



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About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 38-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. BEFORE and AFTER: Makeover of a Wooden Play Kitchen! - | | March 16, 2013
  2. Top DIY Projects in 2012 | | January 6, 2013
  3. Cheap Gift Ideas! | | November 28, 2012
  1. Refurbishing kid’s desks is a good option to rejuvenate the decor of your little one’s room. And the refurbishing options showcased in this blog by Serena Appiah is actually amazing and fit for every household and any given theme for your kid’s room.

  2. Emily says:

    My baby isn’t even born yet and I would have snatched that up!!! Such a great deal! And you did an awesome job on it!

  3. Gwen says:

    I absolutely love this. Can I say this looks like it is straight out of pottery barn kids??? I’d have never thought of this cute make over. I do like this color of ascp

  4. Deb says:

    That Looks Awesome!

  5. pamela says:

    High 5 on that one! You did an awesome job!

  6. Debbie E says:

    I love this! Every child would want to have this cool chair!

  7. Karen F. says:

    that is the cutest little thing! love your little guy’s tan lines on his cute little feet!!

  8. Kim says:

    Love, love, love this! The blue and white are striking, and I love the chalkboard and chalk storage!

  9. JUDI says:

    WOW! What an amazing job you did. LOVE the idea of adding the alphabet and numbers for subliminal learning.

  10. Laurali Manieri says:

    Love your blog Serena, It’s so real…ie hey, I could do that! I think you should keep on doing just what your doing – showing real life working/moming/wifeing women that we can still get creative things done.

  11. Nancy says:

    The chair is adorable and so is the little boy! I’d like one of each, please.

  12. Marilynn says:

    LOVE WHAT YOU DID WITH THAT CHAIR! It is so seriously cute. Doll and teddy bear collectors could also use it as a prop for display.

  13. Your projects are always super adorable! Your vision for this stuff is really amazing. I LOVE that blue colour, too.

  14. Carole says:

    Oh, this is just too cute.

  15. Nancy says:

    This is AWESOME! I so want one just like this but in a grown up size! 😉

  16. Alys Milner says:

    Delightful makeover. Your son sent a smile spreading across my face. So cute.

  17. I love the color you used on this desk makeover. The addition of the letters and numbers adds the perfect touch to the top. Thanks so much for sharing with this week’s Throwback Thursday party.

  18. How darn cute! I love the colors you used as well. Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.


  19. Dee says:

    I loved what you did with your son’s desk. That was awesome. My whole life has involved thrifting and it’s nice to find others that share the same interest. I first saw you today on Utube where you redid your fireplace. That came out beautifully. I too, am in the process of redoing my brick/metal fireplace. I’ve painted the bottom of the fireplace gray, which is the brick portion,,but I’m trying to decide what to do with upper portion,which is metal. I want it to pop. I’m thinking of either covering it with cracked glass or tile. I’m leaning more towards a pretty tile. The room is gray, charcoal, black and white.

    Thanks again for this site.


  20. Cindy says:

    It’s so beautiful.
    I just bought the same used desk chair and would like paint it as well. Would you please share the paint color?

    Thank you.

  21. This is awesome! I love the shape of it. I came to your blog via a comment you made to Centsational Girl regarding your blog name. I’ll defintely do more looking around and plan to add you to my bloglist. If you wish to not be added, please let me know.

  22. Serena says:

    Thanks, everyone!!

    Welcome, Jen!! I appreciate the new follow!!

  23. Jen Lossing says:

    This looks awesome! Great job. I am your newest follower!

  24. Wendy says:

    You have serious talent… The desk looks amazing!

  25. Shannon says:

    5.00?!! You did wonderfully! Love it!

  26. Serena says:

    Thanks for all the comments, you guys!!!

  27. Kristen says:


  28. Kristen says:


  29. Scott K says:

    This rocks at the highest order. Don’t be surprised if Pottery Barn starts selling their own version of this.

  30. RBSarah says:

    This is awesome! You need to share this with

    she will love it and post it for sure! love your blog! Sarah

  31. Very very cool! Your kids are so lucky!

  32. KimLevin says:

    This is my favorite project of yours so far. It’s awesome! (p.s. your re-covered chair is close behind, though. Love the fabric you chose!)

  33. Deny says:

    So pretty! And your son is the cutest! And btw, I love your tagline, it is awesome!

  34. Ayana says:

    You are the most AWESOMEST mom ever!

    • Joanne says:

      Great job! I have a Silhouette and just used it to cut out letters, too and it worked out great. Just wished I knew about using the AS wax to help set the letters. Thanks for the tip.

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