Classroom Desk Makeover

It often comes with the territory of working in the school setting, but often the furniture and storage options we "inherit" may be a little worse for the wear.  When I moved to my current position three years ago, I inherited this desk.  Sure, it's perfectly serviceable, but it definitely needed a little love!

I know some of you may be moved from building to building or room to room without much notice, but I am the only SLP in my small district, and had been in my room for two years before I decided it was time to do something about it.

First on the to-do list was a paint job.  It's amazing what a difference this alone made!  (I wasn't sure what type of paint to use, so I went to Home Depot and bought what they recommended.  This took a coat of primer and two coats of black paint designed for metal surfaces.)

I had it like this for the past year, but the chipped edges really were bothering me.  I also saw this fabulous desktop makeover from Maureen at The Speech Bubble SLP, and decided I wanted to do something similar!  The following picture shows what my desk top looked like originally.

I purchased white contact paper and a vinyl inspirational quote from Etsy for this project.  (The great part about working with contact paper and vinyl is that it is easily removeable should I ever need to take it off!)

First, I thoroughly cleaned off my desk and waited for it to dry.  Then, I cut contact paper to cover the top of my desk.

I knew contact paper would be tricky to work with, so I made sure to have plenty just in case!  I definitely learned the hard way that you DO NOT want to use a straight edge that is smaller in width than your contact paper!  I ended up with tons of bubbles that I couldn't fix when I started out this way.  I had to take those pieces off, and started again with a yardstick.  It was SO much easier!  I still ended up with a few small bubbles, but they are not very noticeable.

Next, I lined up the quote decal where I wanted it in the center of the desk, and carefully peeled off the backing, according to the seller's instructions.

I chose this particular quote as a positive reminder for myself, and I love how it turned out!

I overlapped some of the contact paper over the edges of the desk, which did help cover up some of the worst chipped areas.  I then cut some cute bulletin board border from Schoolgirl Style and attached it with sticky tack.  (I may use velcro strips at a later point in time if this doesn't hold up well.)  

And here's the finished project!  Tell me, what do you think?


  1. I love this! Found some cute designs at the dollar store and am going to decorate my desk next school year.

  2. I'd love to see how it turns out! :)

  3. Does the decal make it hard to write on the desk? (Is it raised?)

  4. awesome before and after! I can't wait to try this! :) Thanks! :)

  5. Did you find that the quote decal came off easily during the year? Did overlapping edges of the Contact paper bother you - was it noticeable?

    1. I didn't have any trouble with the quote decal peeling off, but I did get a plastic desk cover so I wouldn't spill my drinks on it accidentally! With the white contact paper, the overlapping edges are visible but not prominent, and it doesn't bother me.


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