before & after: funky desk makeover

I appreciate a workspace with a little bit of silliness, and this desk makeover from Kata proves that you can add whimsy to a piece of furniture without sacrificing a clean, modern look. I particularly like the dinosaur doorknobs and patterned top — super cute. Great job, Kata! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read more about Kata’s desk redesign after the jump!

Time: 2 hours

Cost: $45

Basic Steps:
1. I sanded the lacquered surface.
2. I painted one coat of primer paint and two coats of the color.
3. After, I changed the knobs. I used my kids’ dinosaur toys as knobs!
4. Finally, I decoupaged animal print wallpaper on the top.

My advice is to sand the lacquered surface well and always use primer paint! Bold color and funny knobs can change the entire look of the furniture. — Kata

  1. What is that cool toy storage board above the desk? Did Kata make that? What did you use for the circular storage objects?

  2. I love this! A nice mix of bright colors and whimsy. The drawer pulls are so clever! Xo, Katie

  3. how creative/stinkin’ cute are those knobs?!

  4. kineret says:

    more pictures pleeease…

  5. Great idea with the knobs. I was just perusing Anthropolgie’s collection because I’m desperate for the “after” on my “before” bedroom furniture. I also love the decoupaged animal print wallpaper on the top.

  6. Katie says:

    I agree with pretty much everyone on how awesome this is! I’d love to see some more detail of the top and how it was applied. The knobs are super adorable!

    The chair in the after picture is super cool too! Really adds to the funky vibe.

  7. Alix says:

    Two HOURS? Are you kidding? I’d need two weeks. Adorable.

  8. whislerpotpie says:

    Close up of dinos, please! Fabulous!

  9. Rachel Tatem says:

    I love the cans on the walls too!

  10. Totally cute! I just did my own little make over on a $10 desk. I had one hell of a time getting paint to stick to the laminate… but I did :)

  11. JM says:

    No close up photos of the knobs & print on the top?

  12. Kristan says:

    This makeover goes well beyond the desk. The whole work space is cleverly put together — I love the bulletin board with cubbies, the dinosaur container, the shelves, the knobs, everything! Great job, and thank you for sharing!

  13. Cheryl says:

    So cute! I love the knobs! The whole space is pretty awesome too!

  14. jociandi says:

    Gratulálok! :)

  15. jasmine says:

    Those knobs cracked me up!! I LOVE THEM! I am unbelievably inspired to change up my drawer! :D

  16. I’m loving that textured finish. Very cool. Oh, and that animal wallpapered top… so cool!

  17. I Love the way the stationery is up on the wall ! really original .. or atleast ive never seen it before.. superb idea for space saving too .. ! Thanks for sharing

  18. MuddHutt says:

    Love this, so nice to see old furniture being given a new lease of life!

  19. Helena says:

    Would love to know more about that stationary storage rack thing she has there… it’s awesome, I want one!

    Love the colours and how fun this is :) That chair is nice too

  20. Last Minute Lynn says:

    Please tell us how you made the knobs. That are great!

  21. Hi,

    The dinosauruses head was scooped, so I had to stuff them with this product:
    The heads becomes solid, so I could fix the screw, as you normally fix a knob screw. Only problem is, that you will never unscrew it again.

  22. lily says:

    For those who want to see more photos and details on the stationery holder, I used google translate to end up on this site:

    Direct link:

  23. Karen says:

    That is so fun! I am loving those knobs, what a great original piece, love to see funky desks.

  24. Your work is incredible! Love it!!!

  25. Zernike says:

    Okay, so now I’m off to find toy animals to cut in half, LOL… never would have thought of that! Super cute ideas.

  26. June says:

    Great job – so cute. But I especially love that chair! Is that something I could find in the US or is it a vintage piece?

  27. It’s a Stokke chair, you can find it in the US.

  28. Heldine says:

    Awesome! I want to do this too!

  29. So fun and playful, I love it!

  30. “Chemical anchor”? Oh the possibilities!!
    Thanks for sharing such a fun re-d0–love it!

  31. Camille says:

    Hi, What type of paint did you use on the laminate surface?


  32. Kim says:

    Totally cute, awesome ideas. I’m very curious about the chair… did you make, remake, or buy? Looks like it could double as a step ladder.

  33. Rebecca says:

    I love it. I’m amazed and inspired that this only took 2 hrs. I feel like I could actually do this too. Thank you for the post. It’s adorable!!


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