I was excited to be asked to refinish an old school desk that was an original desk used at my daughters high school. It was auctioned off at the annual dinner auction held to raise money for the school.  At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I considered making the top a chalkboard, but I know that chalk dust gets kinda messy.  Eventually decided to do something that was gender neutral but cute enough to put in a play room or even a child’s room.

A little milk paint took this old school desk from a beaten up eyesore to an adorable polka dot desk ready for any childs room or homeschool desk! See the transformation on The Designest blog.


This old school desk was worse for wear, but a little paint fixed it right up. See the transformation on The Designest Blog.

When it came to me it wasn’t in that great of condition – completely understandable due to the fact that it is decades old and well used!

The Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (Flow Blue color) was my go to for the paint and because there were areas of the desk and chair that needed a good sanding, I went ahead and gave the whole shebang a roughing up. The inside of the desk had some great kids graffiti & I didn’t want to lose that bit of character so I left it alone.

Turning an old school desk into something that will be kept in the family for years to come. Check out the finished #painted #furniture project on The Designest Blog

(This is what I use to mix the milk paint. It’s an old ninja blender & it does a great job, plus I can put a lid on the paint and come back to it for a second coat.)

How to mix milk paint! If you've ever tried mixing milk paint with a paint stirrer, you know it can be kinda weird. I like to use an old ninja blender to get a really good mix.


If you’ve never used this milk paint before, you might be surprised the first time you put it on. I know I was. It’s a watery kind of paint, but does transfer a lot of color.

Come see another painted furniture project from The Designest. This time it was a vintage school desk that got a good makeover!

You can see in these pictures that although the paint is rather thin, it does cover well. Depending on the amount of coverage you are looking for, you might want to put a second coat on, I did for this project.

DIY Project - Using Milk Paint to give a vintage school desk a new look. See the whole process on The Designest Blog.

I had pinned a picture of an adorable desk done in blue & white polka dots from a blog & I used that as my inspiration for this old school desk.

This was an old school desk that looked like it had been used for decades - because it had! And now it will be used for even more decades to come as an adorable heirloom perfect for any kids playroom or homeschool desk. See the whole transformation on The Designest blog.

For the polka dots I used the Simply White chalk paint. Then I distressed it quite a bit using a foam block sander and then the wet sanding method.

Wet Sanding Method: Simply use a wet rag in a sanding back and forth type of motion over dried chalk or milk paint.

To finish it, I used the clear wax from CeCe Caldwell. (my favorite finishing wax for chalk paint projects)

I was happy to volunteer my time & services for this fun project! I wish I had more time to stage it and take a great pinterest photo for you guys, but I had to get it back to the school in time for the auction. I’m sure it’s looking good in someone else’s home though! 😉

The vintage blue polka dot desk. Took an old school desk and made it into an adorable desk that will be used for many more decades.





Hi, I'm Robin, founder of The Designest, the place for tutorials, printables, and ideas to inspire you to create. A wife, mother, entrepreneur, and a true maker at heart. Most days you will find me in my studio listening to Spotify & making products for The Designest Shop.

Latest posts by Robin (see all)


  1. I have 3 school desks for grandchildren,but it is kind with chair attached, top I believe is made of something like plastic not sure but not wood! Any ideas? Also has metal to attach the top and bottom (to put books in) also metal !!


thread art online quilting class at

This site uses affiliate links which simply means that if you click on them, it could lead to compensation. Please see our full disclosure page for more details.