DIY: From Old Desk to Marbled Nightstand

Any piece of furniture is good enough to be saved when you have the will to do it (and you are more willing to save and craft anything when you have to #StayHome to #StaySafe). Even an outdated desk is suitable for a new start, using a painting technique that I’m going to show you below.

Briefly, you can acquire a marbled look with the help of a few colors of paint and a sprinkle of water. You can’t go wrong with marbling, because the paint is doing all the job. Mix it with an old desk, and what you get is a brand new piece of furniture.

Here’s how to do it!

What You Need for This Project

The old piece of furniture that was asking for an update was this old desk from my kid’s room. He’s already too tall to use it, so I had to take it off and build a more appropriate desk for his current needs and height. The old one had to be discarded, but I could not let it go unless I tried an upcycling project.

It only took a bit of paint in different colors – light blue (actually a greyish shade of blue), white, deep blue and a bit of red, in order to develop a technique that I’ve never used before to create a marble effect on the drawers. Additionally, a water spray would be needed and also a few small recipients to dilute the paint. Since this project is a bit messy, a plastic foil might help to protect the surface you are working on.

Also, don’t forget the usual tools for any furniture updating project, according to your needs – brush, hammer and nails or wood screws and a screwdriver, sand paper, rubber alcohol.

Steps to Follow

First of all, I had to dismount the desk and set apart the drawers. Cleaning and sanding lightly the frame of the desk was mandatory since my kid made use of it heavily for a few years. I kept the unit and put the rest of the pieces apart, including the top (which is needed for a different project). So I bought a piece of plywood, cut it to the size of the unit, and crafted a new top.

As for the paint, I chose one that was fit for wood and laminate equally. It’s called Luxens, and you might know it unless you have a Leroy Merlin store close by, whose brand this paint is.

Painting the frame and the drawers was the easiest thing to do before going further and craft the marbled look. Crafting the marble effect wasn’t hard, but required a bit of attention and it was fun. Despite using the same technique, the effect was slightly different from one drawer to another. As I have said before, the paint is working by itself.

Let’s see how to do it yourself! First, prepare the colors in small recipients and add a bit of water till they have the same consistency as a syrup. Sprinkle a bit of water on the surface you want to paint, then pour the paints here and there, then shake the drawer in your hands to make the paint bleed. Go further with the next color and repeat the operation. You don’t need to cover the surface entirely, the paint will do it. Shake after each paint addition so the paint would easily spread and bleed. You can help them bleed by sprinkling water then shake again. Actually, help yourself with water anytime you need to dilute the paint or make it bleed easier.

I’ve shown this technique before during a live on my Facebook Page. It’s in Romanian, but if you scroll to minute 11:07 and focus on the visual, you will get exactly what you need to know.

When you got the desired look, let the drawer dry on a perfectly horizontal surface. Keep an eye on them to prevent the paint drops from drying in while pouring on the sides. Wipe them gently with a brush or a clean cloth.

Depending on the paint, it may take a few hours or even a day to dry completely. Now you can add the hardware and mount them into the frame. Or at least that;s what I was supposed to do with my project.

Now look at this pic and tell me what do you see: a deep blue sky with puffy clouds or the Mediterranean Sea that bring up old good memories from a Greek holiday? I’m still looking for the answer…

I don’t know about you, but I’m completely in love with this technique. I hope you liked it, and I hope you will choose to share it with your friends.

Wish you well and plenty of inspiration!

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