The Story Of The Vintage Craigslist Desks

Am I the only one who gets super wigged out when I see things from my childhood listed on Craigslist and ebay as “vintage”? ha. Seriously!!

I probably need to start from the beginning here…telling you why I needed “vintage” desks to begin with. It really all started with lovely “art” found all over my furniture and walls. You know, the kind that pops up while you’re in the shower or cooking dinner? Right, that kind.  I started to lose patience for said art when I found drawings all over my newly painted dining room table {that’s another story for another time}. It was at that point I realized I needed some sort of desk for the kids where they could practice this budding skill in a more…*ahem*…confined place.

The only problem was, I don’t have a ton of space in this house for a little school desk area. And I wanted something that was moveable…something that wasn’t cumbersome or planted in one place. It was then I remembered the desks I had in high school. You know what I mean…the wooden ones with the arm that is the desk? Surely those couldn’t be too hard find, right?

At first I had no idea what to type in the craigslist search bar and I finally decided on “school desk”. As usually is the case with craigslist, all kinds of things popped up. I’m pretty sure I saw every desk I ever sat in as student…from kinder to high school! ha. It was fun! But despite the fact I saw many desks, the high school ones I was looking for were no where! Finally, after a couple weeks of searching, I found this one:

It was listed in San Francisco, somewhat close to my friend Joy, who lives there. Thankfully, she loves me enough to go and get it, right Joy? :) It was $40….Joy and I met up later in the week and I brought it home. It was in excellent condition, and to be honest, the stain was really pretty. But I had a vision of painted desks for the kids…so painted it must be. However, I still needed to find a second one.

After some searching, and about a month later, I found a second desk. Unfortunately I accidentally erased it from my phone, but it wasn’t in super great condition, although pretty close to the same idea as the first one. It was a bit shorter and was older, so the hardware was a bit worn, and the desk had a very, very small hairline fracture in it. But overall, it was ok. At $50 the pricetag wasn’t exactly what I wanted to pay, and it was listed in San Jose {East Bay}, which was about two hours from me. Thankfully, my friend Monica lives there and ended up getting the desk for me and then my friend Heidi, who’s parents live close to there, brought it back home for me. Overall, I had been looking so long that I felt comfortable paying $10 more than I felt I should.

Once home, they sat in our family room for a while, and then in the dining room. They came in super handy over thanksgiving when we had a full table…the kids ate at the desks, and it was so easy for them! In the end, decided the desks needed to stay in the family room area, where we have our video monitor. It would be perfect for them color and draw while watching a video…or even serve as a form of TV trays, so they could eat while viewing a movie. Finally, after Christmas, and during my kids school break, we started organizing and I had my nieces start painting….

We first painted them pure white from Annie Sloan. I ADORE this paint in general and the pure white is probably the best color for my house ever…it really is a pure white. My plan was to have the first layer white and the second layer Paris Grey. Have you ever used paris Grey? It’s so lovely!! But unfortunately, when I put them in the family room, they looked REALLY washed out. I didn’t take any pictures of them, sorry! I decided they had to be green to match the rest of the room….

And because I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so much and because it requires NO PREP…I jumped on her site and chose the only green that really would match, Antibes Green. When I got the paint home from our local stockiest, I was SHOCKED at how green it was. YIKES!

Oh and FYI, this picture was actually taken AFTER I painted…that is ALL the paint I used. Annie Sloan is AMAZING.

So after a little research I found that if I mixed it half and half with ASCP Old White, the color would possibly be really close to all the Pottery Barn Kids green colors I have in the house. So I mixed and painted over the pure white and the paris grey.

Are you getting bored with this story yet? ha

After my niece painted the green I realized it was STILL not right. Oh boy. And Yes, I have no picture, but just trust me when I say, the green was very vibrant and just did not have the vintage-y look I was on the hunt for. So I did what I normally do when worried about something, set it aside and think, think, think, and research a bunch too, and then think some more {Brandon hates this process of mine. I’m pretty sure his words are “obsessive compulsive” ha}. Finally, I realized what it needed. A coat of Dark Wax. So I applied a light coat….and let me say, THEY WERE PERFECT!!!

The dark wax just gave it the depth they needed. I cannot tell you how much I love these! The first chair I bought is Jake’s…

The second one I got I gave to Evy, as it was a bit easier for her to get into. 

If you look closely, you see where we distressed the edges and the white and paris grey is peeking thorough. So great.

On Jake’s chair, the girls accidentally dripped some paint on the chair, but I adore how it gives the chair a older look!

I added these letters from {HERE}…I love these letters. I had already bought Evelyn from them for Evy’s room, so I knew I would like them on the chairs.

I forgot to purchase the ribbon to hang the letters, so I had this fun velvet ribbon I got on sale at Joann’s over a year ago. It was a bit wide so I cut it in half and tied the letters on. I love the way it’s fraying.

The light in this picture is really making it stand out, but Jake’s chair is a bit more light than Evy’s. I kinda got carried away with the dark wax. ha. But the difference doesn’t bother me, kinda like the way it’s off a bit.

PS…thinking about getting some new pillows for the entry way there. Just now noticing that the pink and blue may be off a bit. :( 

One final look, from the entry way. 

And that, my dear friends, is the tale of the craigslist desks! :)

This week I am hoping to show you some other things about my house, and go over our house goals from last year…telling you all what I have completed and what I haven’t. Ha. Not sure why saying that makes me laugh… probably has something to do with the fact that NOT MUCH HAS BEEN DONE. haha.

love you all. Happy Saturday! xoxo

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4 thoughts on “The Story Of The Vintage Craigslist Desks

  1. 1
    Marilyn Kok says:

    Beautiful finishing and my favourite colour. Did you have to sand the desks (220 sandpaper) first, then prime before painting?

    • 1.1
      evystree says:

      Hey Marilyn! No, I didn’t! That’s the beauty of ASCP, you don’t have to do any of that. Just make sure the surface is clean and paint right over everything! :)

  2. 2
    Nicole says:

    I love those desks! I can’t wait to start my own Annie Sloan paint project!!! I have like a zillion things that need painting!!!!!

  3. 3

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