Vintage Gray {Desk Makeover}

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Yay! The desk is finally done! Well it has been done for about a month now… I was just waiting for those dang pulls to go on sale at Hobby Lobby. Then when they finally went on sale they only had SIX in stock! So yes I blame in on HL for not having this post up sooner. ;)

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I {heart}  my vintage typewriter.

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Remember the before… I was lucky enough to receive this desk for FREE!! My sister n’ law had asked my husband if we wanted this desk… and just as he was about to say no, I said YES! Okay so maybe we didn’t have anywhere to put it at the time… but with a little re-arranging I made it work. I will never pass up a piece of furniture. And you know what I am REALLY loving? Having this extra desk near the kitchen… my counter are no longer flooded with papers… well for now at least. And I can roll down the top so the mess is hidden away (and those little hands).

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Once we got this baby we went straight to work. There’s my little handy man helping us out.

An electric sander is a must!

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We pulled out the mail organizer and all the pulls.

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After it was sanded and cleaned the desk and  gave it a good coat of primer.

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Then I painted it with gravity, but it turned out too light. So I decided it would look good with the 2-tone look and taped off the areas I wanted to stay the lighter gray. THEN I re-painted the rest with vintage gray (from Lowes).  I am so glad I ended up doing the 2-tone look… it gives it great charm!

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After a few days went by I decided I wanted to glaze the desk a little. I went at picked up some glazing medium from Michaels and mixed black, silver and white to create the perfect color I was looking for. I simply painted it on and wiped it off with a wet paper towel. In spots it didn’t take, I just added a little more.

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Finally, I added the new pulls. I think they are quite lovely! :)

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And she is finished! YAY! I was going to stencil the roll top…but I think I’ve decided I’m going to paint the wall and do a stencil across the entire wall.

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I’m thinking maybe a white or light gray base color… with a red quatrefoil stencil. Thoughts??? What would you do?

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 And because I love a good before and after shot… Winking smile

Here it is with the blue stenciled wall finished

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So do you LOVE it as much as I do?!

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Jamielyn Nye

Lifestyle expert, Pinterest tastemaker and blogger at iheartnaptime.com. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her two little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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Comments

  1. Jennifer posted on August 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm (#
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    I think the stencil on the wall will look fabulous. I love red-on-white (as opposed to white-on-red, which is also good and all but I prefer it red as the accent). The desk turned out really good. I think the two-toned paint added a good bit of interest to it in an unexpected way (much the same as a stencil on the roll-top would have). I especially love two-toned paint jobs when the paint is the same color and different shades (as opposed to say, a green desk with yellow inserts). Seeing a zoomed out picture was nice, it gave us a nice feel of how the desk fits in with everything else. Great redo! Those roll-tops can be tricky to update.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks Jennifer! I agree red on white looks a lot better! Can’t wait to get it done. Have a great weekend. xoxo

      Reply

  2. Stacy posted on August 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm (#
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    I LOVE IT!!! Amazing! I can’t wait to see your wall done too. I love me a good stenciled wall :)

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Stacy!! I know you are the queen of stenciling! I might be calling you for some tips. ;)

      Reply

  3. Katie {Sweet Rose Studio} posted on August 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm (#
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    I think she turned out gorgeous and I love that you ended up going with a two-tone effect! The details really pop now!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks Katie! I know, I’m so glad I did it with the two colors as well. Can’t wait to see you Monday!

      Reply

  4. Tiffany posted on August 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm (#
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    Love it! We’ve wanted a roll top for a while, but I hate the wood grain oak look and I thought trying to refinish it would be entirely too much work. Maybe I just need to invite you over! It looks great!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      haha I’ll come over anytime! It really wasn’t to bad… just had to do lots of thin coats. I use a sprayer as well which helped save a ton of time!

      Reply

      • linda replied on September 17th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

        Hi
        I just discovered your blog…love it. Found it when googling how to make chalk paint:)
        Did you use chalk paint on this gray desk? Wondering b/c you mentioned using a sprayer
        and would like to know if a sprayer can be used w/ chalk paint.
        Thanks! Linda

  5. Jo-Anna posted on August 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm (#
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    It looks gorgeous! I love love the colour! And love the idea of the quatrefoil stencil!!
    Jo-Anna

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Jo-Anna! I can’t wait to get the whole wall done, I think it will look cool. Hope you have a great weekend. xoxo

      Reply

  6. Mandy @ sugar bee crafts posted on August 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm (#
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    Small world I was just painting with gravity earlier today!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Isn’t it an awesome color?! SO glad I found it!

      Reply

  7. Lindsay posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm (#
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    Wow, this is such a stand out piece of furniture! I love the colors you chose. What a fantastic addition to your room!

    I would love to have you link this up to my first link party–

    http://southernlovely.blogspot.com/2011/08/show-share-1.html

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Lindsay! Have a great weekend. :)

      Reply

  8. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm (#
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    What a beauty! We have a very boring dark pine rolltop desk. Maybe it just needs a little paint!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Sharon! Definitely! It’s amazing what a little paint can do to an old piece. xo

      Reply

  9. Mallory posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm (#
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    This is gorgeous!!! I LOVE IT! and I LOOOOVEEE the typewriter! :)

    Reply

  10. Melissa posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm (#
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    I am in love with this desk!! It turned out so good.

    Reply

  11. Tanya Phillips posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm (#
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    wow, is this gorgeous or what! It doesn’t even look like the same desk. The two tone was a fabulous idea. Would love to see the wall when it’s done too.

    Reply

  12. Crystalyn posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm (#
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    It looks fantastic! This post makes me so excited that we are looking to buy a house soon, I can’t wait to do fun things like this! The “wall of clocks” sounds intriguing, can’t wait to see it when it’s all done.

    Reply

  13. Kristen W posted on August 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm (#
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    I love the colors! It looks awesome!

    Reply

  14. Heidi@thecraftmonkey posted on August 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm (#
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    Oooh it looks SO pretty! I’m loving the two toned grey! And I really like that the grey will look good so many different ways!

    Reply

  15. Kara posted on August 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm (#
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    I love the after! The colors and the hardware are perfect :) I also LOVE your vintage type writer!!!

    Reply

  16. Heather posted on August 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm (#
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    Very cute. I’m loving the grey.

    Reply

  17. shana posted on August 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm (#
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    it’s absolutely beautiful . . . good work!
    blessings,
    shana

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks Shana! Have a great weekend! Hugs!

      Reply

  18. Lindsay posted on August 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm (#
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    Wow, I love it! That is one seriously cool transformation. It hardly looks like the same desk! Excellent choices on the colors.
    Lindsay

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Lindsay! Isn’t it amazing what a new color can do to a piece?! Love it! xoxo

      Reply

  19. VeridicalAngel posted on August 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm (#
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    I was going to hate you for painting that desk. But I love it!! Great color!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      lol… so glad you like it!! thanks for commenting, have a great weekend! xo

      Reply

  20. Ashley posted on August 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm (#
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    LOVE this!!! The two tone looks great! Ever thought about doing the same look to your TV stand??

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Ashley! I was just thinking the same thing… I think it needs a makeover now! lol. :) Have a great weekend. xoxo

      Reply

  21. Kami posted on August 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm (#
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    Looks so great Jamie! I love the grey!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Kami! I know, I’m in love with grey right now! I better hide the paint.. so I don’t get carried away! lol

      Reply

  22. Sumo posted on August 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm (#
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    Fantastic! I can’t believe the transformation! I wish I were more brave with stuff like that. I can’t wait to see it against your stenciled wall; that is going to be stunning!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks Sumo! You could totally do it… just do it to a piece you aren’t that attached to. It’s so fun seeing the transformation!

      Reply

  23. Christi posted on August 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm (#
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    I love it! I just inherited a desk that looks just like it, and I was trying to figure out how to paint the roll top thing without the wet paint sticking to itself. How did you do that?

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Christi! I was able to keep it barely cracked from touching the desk. I also used a spray so that it didn’t get to thick in the crevices. It worked like a charm!

      Reply

  24. Trina posted on August 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm (#
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    This is beautiful. I really regret telling my mom I did not want a desk just like this. Amazing redo.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Trina! Oh no… I hate when that happens. Now I just say yes to everything and get rid of it later if I can’t find a use for it. lol

      Reply

  25. Julia @ 551 East Design posted on August 19, 2011 at 12:01 am (#
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    I really love the 2 tone look. It’s SO elegant. Love it!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Julia! I’m loving the elegant look to. Brings great charm to my living room. Hope you have a great weekend! xo

      Reply

  26. Caren posted on August 19, 2011 at 12:23 am (#
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    YES! I super duper LOVE this makeover! Makes me want to redo some of my stuff. It’ll have to wait ’til mine are out of diapers. On second thought, it might have to wait until they are mature enough to resist the urge to find and use Sharpies…. (yes, I speak from experience – you have to use some SERIOUS primer to cover Sharpies!!!).

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      Ah thanks Caren! You’re so sweet! lol and I know what you mean.. my 2 year old colors on everything! From now on I only buy the DOUBLE washable markers… and I have to hide them. lol

      Reply

  27. Heldy posted on August 19, 2011 at 5:58 am (#
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    Great transformation! Love that the piece looks like it could tell a story.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Heldy for commenting! Have a great weekend. xo

      Reply

  28. Shona posted on August 19, 2011 at 6:26 am (#
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    wow! Gorgeous! Love those colors! and that typewriter…….stop it!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Ah thanks Shona! I know seriously.. I cannot get over the typewriter on the desk… Such a great find!

      Reply

  29. aleyta posted on August 19, 2011 at 9:24 am (#
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    Wow. Amazing.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Aleyta! xo

      Reply

  30. Jacki posted on August 19, 2011 at 10:50 am (#
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    Love it. GREAT work! (been waiting to see what came of this!) You ROCK!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks Jacki! It’s been a long time coming, lol! Have a great weekend! xo

      Reply

  31. west furniture revival posted on August 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm (#
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    I LOVE THE DESK! you made it beautiful….. i saw one of these at an estate sale they wanted 2000. for it and it wasnt even restored. id love to feature it on my next revival monday if thats ok with you please let me know

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      Ah thanks so much!! Holy cow $2000! That’s crazy! I’d love for you to feature it .Thank you!

      Reply

  32. Mauri posted on August 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm (#
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    Super cute! That turned out awesome! I definitely like the 2 shades of grey and the pulls. And that vintage typewrite is to die for! Where did you find it? I want to find one for my guest book table at my wedding. Most I’ve seen cost an arm & leg-but knowing you, you got that thing for a steal! I think for the stencil wall it would look good painted a really light grey (grey not gray right? hehe) enough to show a difference from your white trim. That is one of my favorite stencils that I want to do when I have a house one of these days. Can’t wait to see that whole wall finished!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      Ah thanks Mauri! You can totally borrow it for your wedding!! It’s such a great piece… it would add a ton of character!

      Reply

      • Mauri replied on August 25th, 2011 at 11:35 am

        I forgot I didn't respond to this but that would so awesome and sooo nice of you if I could borrow it for my wedding. I'll just ask when it gets closer. I think on the sign in table is where I would want to put it. I have another place I think it would be super cute too! Trying to find all this kind of stuff is where I'm having the most trouble. borrowing is more appealing than purchasing because I won't have a place for all it after (until we get our house)!  Plus I have zero time to go thrifting lol.

  33. Celeste posted on August 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm (#
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    Ooooooooh, fantastic!!!! Love love love what you did! I have this exact desk from 1982 sitting in my garage….my childhood desk. I keep contemplating selling it or painting it and you have made my decision for me. Guess what that is???!!!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      haha YAY! So glad you’re going to paint it! You HAVE to show it to me when you finish it!

      Reply

  34. Barefeet In The Kitchen posted on August 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm (#
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    I’m in awe of your desk! I would never in a million years have thought to do something like that. I absolutely love it.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 20th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Ah thanks so much!! I’m loving the transformation. Have a great weekend. Hugs!

      Reply

  35. Emily @ mirrors metaphors and kaleidoscopes posted on August 20, 2011 at 6:21 am (#
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    I LOVE it! What an inspirational before and after! Amazing what some paint and elbow grease can accomplish! Thanks for sharing!

    Emily

    http://www.mirrorsmetaphorsandkaleidoscopes.blogspot.com

    Reply

  36. Valentina@baby quilts posted on August 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm (#
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    What a great transformation – the gravity gray gave it a face lift and adding the vintage gray gave it a character. Excellent choice!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 22nd, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m definitely glad I did the two tones as well. Adds character! Have a great Monday!

      Reply

  37. Lilli posted on August 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm (#
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    Hey Jamielyn! I LOVE your new desk makeover it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I’ve been following you for a while I LOVE your blog it’s very pretty and I totally LOVE Naptime tooo!! I saw your link over a Tatertots and Jello, I’m so glad I saw it!!

    You can find me here, I would love for you to visit me at:
    http://onestopbabygifts.blogspot.com

    XOXOXO,
    Lilli

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 22nd, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks for your sweet comment! I’ll definitely come by and check it out! Xoxo

      Reply

  38. Sarah posted on August 21, 2011 at 10:34 am (#
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    Okay, I’ve been trying to convince my husband to paint our rolltop desk to eventually put it in our little girls room. He’s wondering how it rolls now that it’s been painted? He’s concerned painting it will ruin it. :) Any thoughts? Tips?

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 22nd, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      thanks!! I was worried too, but it’s held up great so far! I used a paint sprayer which always helps and also two coats of poly to seal the paint. Good luck! Email me if you have any questions! Xoxo

      Reply

  39. Vivienne @ The V Spot posted on August 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm (#
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    So dang cute! I love it!

    Reply

  40. Pamela posted on August 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm (#
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    I LOVE it!!!!! A friend of mine wants a roll top desk so bad so I've been keeping my eyes peeled to find one and re do it for her… Was yours in fairly good condition or did you have to do repairs on it?  Any tips on dealing with that type of wood?  Would love to hear any tips! :)
     
    Pamela @ pbjstories.blogspot.com

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 25th, 2011 at 12:13 am

      Thanks Pamela!! It was in pretty good condition. I did have to fill one spot with wood putty, but that was about it. I would suggest using a paint sprayer. It made the project super fas, and made it possible to get into all the crevices. And definitely make sure to give it a good sand job. We probably sanded for over an hour! Then make sure to prime and seal. Good luck!!

      Reply

  41. Brooke @ The Crafting Chicks posted on August 25, 2011 at 8:05 am (#
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    I am in LOVE with this!!!! Well done, it's a fantastic piece.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 25th, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Brooke! xoxo

      Reply

  42. Michelle posted on August 25, 2011 at 9:07 am (#
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    Gorgeous and what I wouldn't do for a typewriter like that!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on August 25th, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Michelle! xoxo

      Reply

  43. Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17 posted on August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm (#
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    Whoah!  What a glorious transformation!  I'm totally coveting your vintage typewriter too!  I collect them, and yours is a real gem!
    Jenn

    Reply

  44. linda @ craftaholics anonymous posted on August 25, 2011 at 7:07 pm (#
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    way to go!! looks fab! great transformation, for sure!
    happy crafting,
    Linda

    Reply

  45. Sarah posted on September 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm (#
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    Oh my gosh this looks so good! My mom has a desk just like this one. I wonder if I can convince her to let me paint it… hum… :) Nice work!

    Reply

  46. ChrisE posted on September 23, 2011 at 4:07 am (#
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    OMG – I have that exact same desk!!! You did a beautiful job painting it. I’m not crazy about mine anymore, but I don’t think I’m brave enough to paint it!!!

    Reply

  47. ChrisE posted on September 23, 2011 at 4:13 am (#
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    OMG, I have this exact same desk!! Yours turned out great. I don’t think I’m brave enough to paint mine yet!!!

    Reply

    • ChrisE replied on September 23rd, 2011 at 4:14 am

      yikes… sorry for the double post. Was getting a kid out the door for the school bus and thought it didn’t go the first time for some reason. Feel free to delete!

      Reply

  48. Suki L posted on October 7, 2011 at 10:52 am (#
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    I saw this on Centsational Girl and gasped outloud. This is EXACTLY what I was thinking for my desk which is almost exactly identical and also free to me. Now I truly have a visual for how it will turn out!

    Reply

  49. deZeal posted on October 9, 2011 at 3:07 am (#
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    O my!!!! This is just lovely:) I really love it. And thanks for the tutorial – I am planning to redo a little bureou soon, and I will surely use your tips:)
    PS. Found your blog through Sarah’s Thrifty Decor Chic and I am deffo adding you to my favourites:)
    Hope you have a great day!!!

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on October 12th, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      Ah thank you! I love meeting new friends!! {{hugs}}

      Reply

  50. sarah posted on February 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm (#
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    HI! I recently found an adorable roll top desk at a thrift store. I am anxious to paint it. Do you have any suggestions on how to paint the roll top? was it difficult?

    http://lalalandhusser.blogspot.com/2012/01/thrift-store-find.html

    Reply

  51. Jennifer posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm (#
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    This is beautiful! My dad just informed me that I could have our old roll top so I was perusing looking for ideas! I think I will try this. What kind of paint did you use? Oil based?

    Reply

  52. rose posted on July 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm (#
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    I like what you did to the desk,but if you move it how would the wall look then/ I past on the stencil.And why did you not use the chalk paint?

    Reply

  53. Josmar Trent posted on July 17, 2012 at 11:26 am (#
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    Wow, it looks so beautiful! I would have said YES to this desk too.

    Reply

  54. Kris posted on July 30, 2012 at 6:11 am (#
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    Hi! Just found your blog and love it!
    On the roll part of the roll top desk…did you use a paint sprayer or spray paint from a can? Thanks!

    Reply

  55. Jessica posted on January 9, 2013 at 11:08 am (#
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    Hi! I love your desk, I have been wanting a roll top forever but the room that I would put it in has a lot of painted furniture. I was hesitant to tackle painting the roll top… do you have some advice? I am assuming that that is the part that you sprayed? Did you use chalk paint in a sprayer or regular spray paint? I apologize if someone already asked this but I didn’t see it in your other comments. Thanks for your help!
    Jessica

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on January 9th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Hey Jessica! Chalk paint is too thick for a sprayer, so I just used latex paint and it worked great. I believe I did 2-3 thin coats to get into all the small cracks. Hope that helps! Good luck!

      Reply

  56. Pat posted on September 1, 2014 at 7:39 am (#
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    )

    Hi, the desk is fabulous. Why didn’t you use chalk paint on it? Or did you.

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on September 22nd, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks Pat! I hadn’t come up with my chalk paint recipe yet when I painted this desk. I would probably use it now if I did it over again! :)

      Reply

  57. Alicia Slone posted on October 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm (#
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    I absolutely love this desk. I’ve always been partial to grey. Also love black and white like you did on your dining table. I look forward to seeing the walls done. Think it will really pull the whole room together. For walls, I would think going with a very light pale grey. Whatever you decide I know it will be awesome. 

    Reply

    • Jamielyn replied on October 2nd, 2014 at 12:47 am

      Thanks so much for your comment Alicia. Made my day! :)

      Reply

  58. Amy posted on October 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm (#
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    I am in the process of painting the same exact roll top that was my grandfathers. After a coat of primer I feel like the wood is swelling causing the roll too to stick. Any advice ??

    Reply