Being in a new space this year has inspired countless crafty projects.  My sewing machine is easily accessible, cans of spray paint have a special place in the garage, and don’t stand in between me and Ikea assembly instructions.  Don’t do it.  Even decorating for the holidays has lit a fire in me.  But first, I must share this desk project.  A couple months ago we were given this desk for free.


Straight out of the 80’s.  But it had potential.  I knew I would paint it white.  It was going to go in our master bedroom.  But was baffled at what I could do to the top.  Then I saw this: DIY Colorful Epoxy Topped Desk.

Yes please!

My dear friend (with whom I am basically the same age) Julia, graduate of SCAD, wedding dress designer and pie maker, agreed to help me.  For design advice, and extra set of hands, and comic relief.  (and her dad’s tools).

First we sanded, primed and painted.


Then glued balsa wood down to make a geometric pattern to fill with epoxy and paint.

This was my inspiration.  Source:


We followed the tutorial from A Beautiful Mess pretty closely.  And ate a lot of my kids Halloween candy.  Related:  they do not know about this blog.  Now that 1-1/2 of them can read I might need to delete it from the internet.



We used painters tape to create a tray of sorts to pour the epoxy/paint mixture into.  Because apparently neither Julia or I are terribly patient, we didn’t totally let the balsa wood glue dry before starting to pour the epoxy.  Nor did we rest anything on top of the wood while it was drying to make a perfect seal.  Either of those things would have prevented the leaking under the wood, but the mixture was so opaque that it didn’t end up mattering.   Impatient people rejoice!  Also it was very important for the desk to be level for this part because the epoxy was self leveling.  We spread it around with spatulas but as it dried it totally evened out.  It should be noted that I used random stacks of paper and books to level the desk.  Including one of my kids school library books.  Which was obviously missing for the month duration of this project.  Opps.

Once the epoxy was poured and dry.  I used a gold paint pen to cover the wood.  Action shot.  And oh my gosh those colors make me so happy.


We are narrowing in on it folks.  I added drawer pulls.  In a trial and error fashion.  But none the less.  Here is the finished desk.  Minus the top drawer pull….error still needing to be fixed.  Happy in my bedroom!


And one more close up:


And there you have it.  My ambitious FREE desk makeover.  (That was not free…but rather cost about $200 in materials).  I love the colors we used and plan to epoxy all surfaces in my house.