DIY Vintage School Desk Makeover

How to makeover an old school desk with vinyl #vinyldecor #vinylcrafts

DIY Desk Makeover

Introducing my DIY desk makeover! It’s so tempting to take home furniture in need of a little TLC from my frequent trips to the Goodwill, but I often resist the temptation because I know I don’t have the patience for full-on furniture makeovers and the pieces end up sitting in a closet. Well, with this vintage school desk I couldn’t resist! Luckily I came up with a makeover that you can do in less than an hour and under $15 if you have a similar desk at home.

DIY School Desk Makeover

I love the look of these old school desks with a little compartment to store your books and pencils. It brings back grade school memories, doesn’t it? This one looks shiny and new after a coat of metallic copper spray paint.

vintage school desk makeover

Since the top was in good condition, I chose to keep the wood laminate as is rather than paint it, and instead give it a modern touch with a few strips of colorful vinyl leftover from these colorful vinyl covered notebooks I had made.

vintage school desk makoever

I had initially thought about painting on stripes, but the vinyl is such an easier option because it takes minutes to apply and it’s removable so I can always peel it off if I want to change up the look!

vintage school desk makeover

This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure.

Supplies for DIY School Desk Makeover

Modern makeover for a vintage school desk!


Here was the treasure trove of desks at the Goodwill. They had just gotten in a bunch from a local school and were looking to get rid of them so had marked them down from $7 to $4 each. What a steal! I looked for one with the fewest dings, and I loved the legs of this particular desk.

vintage school desks

Steps for School Desk Makeover

Step 1: Clean desk

Clean off the desk with a damp cloth with soap and water. I also used Goo Gone to remove some sticky tape residue from the top of the desk.

vintage school desk

Step 2: Prep for spray paint

Tape off the areas you don’t want to spray paint. The top of the desk was in good condition so I decided to keep it the wood tone. I covered it with a plastic garbage bag and taped around the top with painter’s tape.  I then covered the base and legs of the desk with a few even coats of spray paint, allowing to dry a few minutes between coats.

vintage school desk

Step 3: Measure and cut vinyl

Cut strips of vinyl in various widths. I used the grid on the vinyl backing as a guide when cutting my strips carefully with scissors. Then peel off the backing and smooth down on the table. I used a ruler to help make sure I laid my initial piece down straight. Smooth out any air bubbles and repeat with the other vinyl strips.

vintage school desk

vintage school desk

This was such an easy-peasy project that you can do in an hour (plus drying time) and the results are so fun!

Check out how I used this desk for my DIY Homework Station!

How to make a school workstation at home

This post is written in support of the Goodwill San Antonio. All content and opinions are my own.

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