Girls Vanity Desk DIY Makeover
Learn to create a simple DIY girls vanity and desk. This is an inspirational easy to follow tutorial using a garage sale find transformed into something beautiful and girly. It is perfect for a girls room and vanity. With new paint, decoupage, and new hardware this vanity is a beauty.
A short while back my friend asked me to help her find a desk or vanity that we could makeover for her daughter’s room. Her daughter is a 10-year-old girl who has just started having an interest in applying makeup. So we wanted a piece of furniture that could act mainly as a desk for homework and studying but also be styled and created as such to be a makeup vanity table for those few times of putting on makeup.
We went off on a journey one Saturday morning looking to find a piece that we could makeover and DIY. We hit up a few neighborhoods nearby and right of the bat we were able to find an old hairdressers mirror. It was originally an old antique gold color but the frame was really nice.
Finding the perfect Garage Sale Find
A few pit stops later we found the main piece and desk. It was actually pretty lucky because the house we stopped at didn’t originally have the desk out in the driveway. As we drove by I rolled down the window of my husband old truck I was driving and shouted out to the owner of the house… ” Do you have any desks?”
To which she replied, “Actually I do in the garage if you want to take a look”.
So we piled out of the truck (always go in numbers) and went to have a look.
It was perfect!
At least shape and bones wise! It had an awful white paint job on it that was now dirty. One side of the desk had a million stickers on it and there was some gunk here and there. But the piece itself was in great shape.
In my head, I was looking to spend about $40 dollars on it, and was completely shocked when she said she would sell it to me for $15!! Score!
I have never had such a good deal or offer made at a garage sale before! We paid her and hauled it away fast before she changed her mind.
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Tools & Supplies to for your Girls Vanity Makeover
SandPaper for hand sander – Sanding sheets Use a 320 grit.
Hand Sander – easy to use and hold in your hand to get small edges.
Tack Cloths – little tacky cheesecloths that have a residue on them to clean away any bits of dust and debris.
Electric Sander – speeds the sanding job up.
Electric Sander sandpaper – to use with the electric sander
Paint Sprayer – True Coat 360 – a must for creating a perfect finish on your cabinets. I cannot recommend this enough.
Paint Brushes – Purdy Brand – angled. I recommend at least two sizes, 1 inch and 2.5 inch.
Paint Cups – these go with the paint sprayer. However, if you more than likely will need more if you are spending more than a day to spray all the doors and drawers.
Gloves – this just keeps the mess at bay. Get odor free.
Paint – I recommend Sherwin Williams in a color of your choice.
Plastic drop cloths – get a few packages these keep the paint from splattering everywhere.
Floral Wallpaper or drawer liner.
Once we got the desk and mirror home and after I gathered up my materials and supplies I set a date to get to work. This is a before picture of the vanity. I started working on removing the old finish before I got a picture of the side with stickers!
First up was removing the entire finish. I started by using two different paint strippers. I used the Spray stripper on the inside bases of the drawer units and the gel stripper with a scraper on the top of the desktop.
Stripping Off Old Paint
You do not have to use both, you can use one or the other, but I just found for me, depending on the position of the piece I am stripping, I like using different kinds for each section of the job.
Stripping the desk definitely took more than one once-over. I had to strip it at least twice to get a majority of the paint off.
After the paint was pretty much stripped off as best as I could get it, I let it dry. And after it was dry, I started removing more of the paint finish with my electric sander.
Sanding the desk
I love sanding pieces like this because I love to see the natural wood revealed. I used to not like bare natural wood, but after stripping and sanding several pieces of furniture and cabinets, it has become a color of wood I tend to appreciate.
Funny how things work out like that in life. Here’s a look of the piece completely stripped before its new coat of paint.
Since my friends’ daughters room consisted of mostly pottery barn white furniture we decided to paint the desk the same shade of white. We took on of the drawers off her dresser to our local Sherwin Williams paint store and had them match the paint of her existing furniture.
If you are unfamiliar with Pottery Barn white, just know that it is not a true white or a whitest white type of paint. It is more of a cream or ivory shade of white. Painting the desk a bright white would’ve looked funny in her room with every other piece being the cream shade of white.
How To DIY A Vanity Desk
To paint the desk, I decided to go with using my paint sprayer that we used for the cabinets versus painting it by hand. I just really like how the sprayer gives a smoother finish. I strongly suggest investing in one if you are painting your kitchen cabinets or like to do DIY projects. This is the only sprayer I recommend. I have tried several and this one just seems to do the job the best.
The paint we used is a cabinet grade paint as well, that has self-leveling properties in it to also help it go on smoother without clumps or bumps.
I applied two coats with the sprayer, then once dryer applied a furniture wax to the tabletop and drawer fronts to give it an even smoother finish. I love using the wax because it gives it a more satin finished look over a high gloss or semi-gloss. I also like this versus using a clear coat to avoid any yellowing. It also makes for a nice smooth to the touch feel.
Adding Finishing Touches
After the wax was dry and cured for a few days, I added new hardware we found at Hobby Lobby. These glass knobs gave the piece the perfect girly touch! There is a slight tint of pink within the glass. You can find similar ones here if you do not have a Hobby Lobby near you.
To give this a little extra something special I added a pretty wallpaper to line the inside of the desk drawers. It was some wallpaper I had leftover from a project I did for my daughter’s room makeover. You can read the post here, however, I realize now that I didn’t do a project specific to the wall art I did for her room.
To apply the wallpaper down into the drawers I cut them to size and glued them in used wallpaper glue. However, if you do not have any wallpaper glue you can use mod podge.
The floral wallpaper gives it a nice hidden surprise. It is super girly and unique. I had planned on sealing the wallpaper with mod podge on top, but because the flowers had a golden like foiling on them I decided not to use it.
I really love the way this DIY Vanity Desk turned out. Judging by the smile on her face she loves it too. I wouldn’t mind having a piece like this for myself. It turned out really well with her bedroom furniture and decor.
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