Dedicated workspaces and good organization are rather helpful if not necessary for keeping your sanity, in my opinion. For myself, the time to set up a school space in our home, came this fall.
I’d found a table by the curb side a few years ago and decided to finally fix and use it. As per usual, it didn’t look like much but I was sure it would be nice with a little love.
It’s top was metal and its base, wood. The drawer pull was entirely rusted but still felt solid. When I found it, it’s legs were in a pile next to the table- I only saw the whole thing assembled once finished (but I already knew I’d like it- each individual piece was so promising….)
As I wanted to keep from damaging the table top enamel that covered the metal as much as possible, I patiently chipped away at the thick brown paint it had been covered with. I used a plaster spatula, as it could get under the edges of the paint yet was dull enough to keep from scratching the top.
Eventually, I uncovered the whole surface, finding that the table top was cream with a nice green edge and that there were a few spots where the enamel had been completely worn off. I liked the colours but preferred to replace the cream by white (I needed to refinish the top anyway, to cover two large worn spots)
I sanded the surface lightly and wiped it clean with rubbing alcohol so that the metal paint would adhere properly. I painted it with a primer after taping off the green edge (where the few worn spots would not be covered, to preserve some of the character). I painted several coats of pure white tremclad metal paint, following the instructions on the can. Overall I’d say I sprayed about five coats. In between, once a coat had dried, I checked for any rough or bumpy patches, which I sanded down with ultra fine sand paper for car body repairs.
Once finished, I sanded the drawer pull and was happy to find a solid silver coloured pull. Since it will not be in contact with water or humidity, I didn’t cover it with a protective coat. It should not rust over.
I then assembled the table and was happy with the shape and size. Although I didn’t want to refinish the legs, (for character), I wanted them a little darker for a better contrast with the table top so I applied two coats of dark brown stain without sanding.
In order to complete the space, I put up a chalkboard and a 1950s classroom poster. I added a second hand pedestal globe I had bought a year or two ago, along with an old oak chair I also had (from a church sale years ago).
I decided to use a chest from a previous blog post to store schoolbooks, placing it right next to the desk.
To finish off the space, I added a few second hand wooden folk art birds along with a few other interesting pieces for the table top. Even though the pieces were bought at different times, with no specific purpose in mind, they coordinate nicely- staying within a colour palet you enjoy, as well as similar tones (muted colours, pastels or bright vibrant colours), helps things coordinate.
The white piece that’s sitting on the table is the last piece remaining to be fixed. It is a second hand lamp I found but since I have no electrical box to wire it into the ceiling, I plan to buy the pieces I need and change the wire so that I can plug it into the wall. It will hang on a hook in the ceiling, which I’ll center right over the table.
Now, to instil good study habits! 🙂