Thursday, July 10, 2008


Over the July 4 weekend, I freecycled two old school desks for the kids and set about rehabilitating them into something a little less institutional.

Here's how they looked before I started painting. Mustard yellow plastic chairs, wood-grain laminate desks.

We had to scuff up the coated laminate as much as we could before priming with latex. Even then, it took three coats of primer.

Then I used this spray-on chalkboard paint. The advantage of spray paint is that you can do coats in quick succession, and you get a very even surface.

My painting was interrupted by a few days of rain, but today I took advantage of some afternoon sun and some pent-up frustration from work to paint the plastic chairs. I used the Rustoleum version of that Krylon Fusion paint that came out a few years ago.

Check out those bright colors! Really brings that harvest gold into the twenty-first century, doesn't it?

The red one is for Archer ...

and the blue one is for Cady Gray. They picked out the colors themselves on a trip to Home Depot. The selection of colors of plastic paint there wasn't extensive (I thought for a while Cady Gray would have to settle for forest green until we found blue on an endcap). The Krylon might come in more colors, but they don't carry it at the Depot.

I still have to paint the bottoms of the plastic chairs. I'm trying to keep the black metal legs and frame as paint-free as I can, but they're darn hard to mask. Instead I'm just keeping a rag soaked with mineral spirits handy to wipe off the metal after I've put a coat of paint on the plastic.

I'll reveal the finished products as soon as I get another sunny day in the forecast!


doafy said...

It's this sort of hands-on, get-something-done-for-a-purpose thing that makes me feel most like a real adult.

Good job on them! They look good! What I wouldn't have given for a real school desk at home to make me feel "official."

Timothy said...

how cute!

Missy said...

The chalkboard paint is a brilliant touch. How fun!

Miriam said...

Those look great! I'm going to have to adapt that to what we have here, but i'm stealing that chalkboard paint idea!

(I was looking for info on painting school desks and tweeted about it. Got your link from @ADAllen.)