Schooling The Union Jack.....

A few weeks ago I went on my weekly pilgrimage to the local Goodwill.  When I walked in, the first thing I saw were 3 old school desks.  I suddenly felt nostalgic for school and taking tests.  Go figure, huh?!  I knew I had to have one, even though I thought it was a bit on the pricey side...$45.  I knew I'd have to paint it, but what would I do with it?  I bought one of the desks and when I brought it home, the look on my Hubby's face said it all, "WHAT NOW!?"  I  really didn't have a plan or even an inkling of an idea, but I pretended to have it all figured out.

I immediately began to look for inspiration and found a picture of a desk like mine done on Pinterest.  It was striped and the colors were exactly what I was looking for.  Then while looking at one of my favorite blogs I figured out what I wanted to do!  If you haven't visited her blog, please do!  She has a ton of talent and her furniture transformations are incredible!  I saw this picture of her Union Jack dresser and knew I had to do this to the desk.

I have to apologize once again for not getting a better 'before' picture.  I'm getting better, but I get so focused on getting the project started I forget to take pictures.  These are pictures of the desk after I gave it a bit of a sand with the orbital sander.  It had quite a shiny varnish on it so I wanted to rough it up and make sure the paint had something to adhere too.

I know I normally use Annie Sloan chalk paint, but this time I decided to use something different.  At Lowes they sell sample pots that can be tinted to any of their colors for $2.94.  I knew I needed three colors so I figured this would be the most economical way to get the paint.  I certainly didn't need a quart of each to do paint this desk so these little pots were perfect and they only come in satin which was what I needed.

I taped up the wood parts of the desk so I could spray paint the metal parts flat black.  I didn't want the metal to be shiny and take away from the flag I was going to paint.

This is how the desk looked after a coat of spray paint...yes only one coat!  If you haven't tried Rustoleoms extra coverage spray paint then you need to!  It went on so nicely and I couldn't believe the coverage!  Well worth the $3.94 at Home Depot!  At this point I also put 2 coats of Valspar Navy paint on the wood parts of the desk.  I wasn't sure how I would like the paint, but these coats went on pretty well.  This is also when I started taping out my flag.  I knew I needed to do the white parts of the flag first so I got my yard stick out so I could find my center.  

I got all the white parts of the flag taped out.  Then you can see I painted the navy blue paint over the tape so there wouldn't be any seepage.  This was a tip I got from watching way too much HGTV....but it worked!

 At this point it's a good thing I'm not recording this....This Valspar paint....argh.  The white paint went on really globby (yes I made up another new word!) and uneven.  I shook the paint and made sure it was stirred, etc.  After my first coat I had to go back and sand the white parts.  Then I tried the Valspar paint again and guess what?!  Same thing happened.  Que the cursing!!  This is when I said forget the Valspar and get your Annie Sloan paint.  2 coats of the chalk paint and it was a cakewalk!  The chalk paint dries really quickly too which helped out a lot.  It was especially helpful because when my Son, Hunter, saw the desk he told me he really needed to do his homework on the desk when he got home from school that day :-)  I now had a deadline!  

After I pulled the tape off I touched up a few spots where the paint came off in the tape.  Again...not loving the Valspar paint at all!

Next was the red parts of the flag.  The hardest part was taping the flag off correctly.  I didn't realize before I started this project that the diagonal stripes are not symmetrical.  I wanted it to be as realistic as possible so I studied pictures of the flag to get it right.  The red paint is Annie Sloan chalk paint in Emperor's Silk.  It went on like butter!!  And the color was perfect.  Can you tell how much I like this paint?  I know, I know.....enough about the chalk paint, but really it is the bomb :-)

Then I took off  the tape and I had an actual Union Jack flag!  I knew I wanted it to look a bit aged looking so I wasn't done yet.  I put on a coat of clear wax, then sanded it down a bit with a piece of 150 grade sand paper.  Then I rubbed on some dark wax with a soft cloth, making sure to rub it in really well.  Then finished it all off with a final coat of clear wax.  I did this to everything that was painted, including the seat, but not the metal. 

This is how it turned out!  Now of course I really liked it, but the best part was Hunter's reaction.  He said, "WOW that's so cool!"  That's all I needed to hear :-)  Knowing I had done something for him that he appreciated meant the world to me.

Here, you can see the diagonal stripes are off set from each other.  
I really like how the dark wax gives it that aged look.

After Hubby carried the desk upstairs, we put the desk in it's new home.  Hunter decided to sit in it and read his Diary of a Wimpy kid book.  Love that leg cross...and no I didn't tell him to do that...nor did I tell him to wear a red shirt and red shoes for the picture.  This is all coincidence...I promise!

Fits in nicely with his red, white and blue theme I think.  

Anytime I can do something for my Son that makes him happy and makes him feel special it's a good day in my book.  I'm thrilled that I could make something just for him.  I'm truly blessed to have such an incredible gift and I hope that every time he sits in the desk he'll feel the love that went into each and every paint stroke :-)


  1. holy hotness, that is one awesome desk!!

  2. This is my favorite comment...ever! Holy Hotness! Love it!! :-)

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