Garage Sale Vintage Wooden Lap Desk Upcycle

March 20, 2018

A few days ago I was in my shed looking for something to fix up. 

I came across this garage sale lap desk that I purchased this back in 2016, and blogged about here.

I washed it up with weak dish soap and water.

It looks like it might be made from maple.

After wiping the lap desk down, I brushed on two coats of Dutch Boy Chalky Finish Paint in True Black, both inside and out.

I purchased The Dutch Boy Chalky Finish Paint at our local Menards.  I love this color but I'm not in love with the way this paint distresses.  I prefer Rustoleum Chalked as an Annie Sloan knock off chalk paint but Rustoleum does not offer a true black.

After the two coats of black paint dried, I distressed the lap desk with 220 grit sandpaper, heavier on the desk edges and lighter on the center.

Next I pulled out my Deco Art French Inn Stencil and pounced it on the desk top with Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint in White and Dreamweaver Stencil Brush.

Then I sealed the chalky paint and stencil with Varathane Clear Matte Water Based Polyurethane.  

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil
I love this stencil!

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil
My wreath is a  Sullivans Artificial Spring Wreath.  (I got mine locally at a floral and gift shop, and it may be a bit smaller.)

The faux leaves appear to be just popping out!

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil
I've always thought these lap desks were neat even though hardly anyone sits and writes out letters and cards anymore.

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil
Guess what?  I stenciled inside the lap desk too!

I used this Hobby Lobby stencil inside, again pouncing it with white paint.

I added an eye hook and wire from an old picture frame to the lid of the desk.  The other end of the picture wire is looped to slip over a screw added in the side of the desk bottom.

This holds the desk lid open so I can use it as a display piece.

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil
The inside of the desk lid was more heavily distressed than the outside of the lid.

I tucked a faux primrose in a zinc pot, a glass button jar with white buttons, a wood spool, and thee Hardy Boys mysteries in the the interior lap desk space.

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil
Container vignettes are my favorite!

Upcycled & Repurposed Vintage Lap Desk #garagesalefind #stencil

Other projects using these stencils!
Upcycled Mid Century End Table

Firkin Repurposed as a Side Table
Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. Carlene, this little lap desk turned out marvelous! I am not a fan of painting things black and I adore this makeover. So warm and wonderful. The vignette you arranged is so homey. Thank you!!
    ~ Christina in SW FL

  2. Crazy-I have a lap desk I've been moving around my bedroom from corner to corner collecting dust because I don't know what I want to do with it. Someone painted strawberries on it and I knew those had to go. You've inspired me once again!!!!


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