From Student Desk to Sleek Modern Console

I can’t begin to tell y’all how much I enjoy cruising the isles of my local Target. (Gotta love that Target Red Card discount!) If I’m not in a big hurry with my grocery shopping, I make sure I cover all the end caps, because y’all know that’s where they hide all the good clearance items, right?

I always approach the clearance section with an open mind. As great as their home decor items are, and most often at a great price, you might find a way to shake up what you see.

So when I saw this desk, I remembered that I have been tossing around ideas for this little landing area between the upstairs bedrooms. While it’s not a large space, I thought it could use a small console table.

As soon as the little lightbulb went off in my head, I snatched up the desk and shoved it in the bottom of the cart as fast as I could.  (Not to worry, there were still some left at my Super Target even just a few days ago and there were black ones too.)

I could clearly see the potential.

I can’t begin to tell you how giddy I was when the whole vignette ended up looking like this.  Just like I had pictured in my mind.  (Do you get pictures in your head too?)

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To make your own glamorous console table you will need:

• Small Student Desk from Target  UPDATE 2017 You can purchase what appears to be the exact table here.

• Marble Contact Paper, DC Fix 346-0306 Adhesive Film, Grey Marble

• Gold Spray paint, I used Design Masters

• Caulk

• Wood filler

• Putty Knife/Plastic scrapper

• Primer

• Scissors/Exacto Knife

• Bone folder or popsicle stick

There are a few steps to insure that your table no longer looks like a desk, but each is super easy.

The first thing you’ll want to do is order your marble contact paper.

Not to worry, if you are like me it will arrive before you ever finish the next few steps.

Thankfully, unlike Ikea hacks, this Target table requires no assembly!  Just open the box, pull out the desk, flip up the top, pull out the legs and snap them into place.

Now you are ready to spray paint your table.

My two favorite gold spray paints are both by Design Master. Available at Michael’s. I started with Brilliant Gold and finished with Gold Medal.  I only did so because I ran out of Brilliant Gold.  The difference? Gold Medal is a bit brighter.  Both are great in my opinion, just depends on the look you want.

While that dries you will want to work on hiding the seam at the back of the desk, which will become the front of your console table.  I had guessed correctly that if I had applied the contact paper directly over the seam it would have been visible. The contact paper is forgiving because of the pattern, but upon super-up-close inspection, you can see imperfections.

To hide the seam, first I caulked it.  While caulk filled the gap, I  felt like there was a bit of an indention, even after scraping it with an edge.

So I used some wood filler, removing the excess with a putty knife/scrapper.

After it was completely dry, I sanded it nice and smooth and cleaned the dust well.

As a final step in the prep of the top, I sprayed the portion that had been filled with spray primer.  I was concerned the chalkiness of the wood filler would interfere with the adhesion of the contact paper.

The marble contact paper is just short of the 18″ dept of the table. I wanted the front to appear to be a slab of marble, so I decided to let the seam fall at the back of the table and wrap the contact paper over the front edge. Mine came with a small sticker on it holding the roll together, just use some Goo Gone or other type cleaner to remove the residue.  If you cut that portion off, you will not have enough length to cover the table twice. (Once for the large piece and once for the small piece seamed in piece.)

Even taking great care, I didn’t get the paper on the table perfectly straight.  Just go nice and slow, and smooth as you go. You must avoid any bubbles. If you get a bubble, just carefully peel back a little and smooth it out. The excess hanging over was easily trimmed with an Exacto knife.

For the corners, I just made a cut a little on the front side of the flap that could wrap around to the front. Then I wrapped the front flap around to the side. Again smoothing the edge with my fingers and then with a bone folder.

For the seam in the back, I cut about two inches off the rest of the roll and dry fit it on the table to see how the pattern would line up.  Be sure to use the straight, factory edge of the paper on top of the table.

I repeated the steps of smoothing the contact paper and wrapping the corners.

I should mention, as a precaution, I decided to apply the contact paper to the table fairly close to the final location.   I didn’t want to chance jostling the seam while moving the table up and down the stairs.

The gold spray paint on the front edge did get scratched and slightly marred by the adhesive on the contact paper. To avoid moving it back outside, I sprayed the gold paint into a plastic container and used a small brush to touch up the spots along the front edge.

I was happy to see, that once the table was flipped around and the accessories added you can hardly see the seam.

To finish off the vignette, I scored a blue ginger jar lamp at Home Goods on clearance.  It pays to be patient. I’ve had my eye on the whole collection of these lamps for a while.

I recycled an antique mirror leftover from Emily’s bathroom remodel. The previous owners obviously had good taste in fine antiques.   But I must admit, I almost ditched it because it was covered in a hideous coat of goldish, green paint. Seriously a quick strip of paint, wash with mineral spirits and a little gel wipe on poly and it was good to go.

So what are you doing still sitting here? Don’t you want to run out to your nearest Target?

But first, you better Pin this, so you don’t lose the directions. Wink, Wink.

I have a “desk length” of marble contact paper left and the possibilities are endless!

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  • Ashley Zarubi
    October 5, 2014 at 12:47 am

    WOW this is awesome. I am definitely going to try this out, I recently bought marble contact paper to re do my desk/vanity!! I am hoping I can make it look as great as this. Was the contact paper easy to work with??<br />Glad I found you today on the Serenity Now Link Up<br /><br />xoxo<br />Ashley<br />

  • Leslie Davis
    October 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Ashley,<br />Thank you for your comment! I was pleasantly surprised how easy the marble contact paper was to use. It was much more forgiving than I had expected.<br /><br />Good luck with your project! I&#39;d love to see it when you are done!<br />Leslie

  • Karisa | Petite Modern Life
    October 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Wow! I LOVE LOVE THIS!! Thanks for sharing on Think &amp; Make Thursdays! Check back next Thur on my blog, I want to feature your project 🙂 (and then go and make one for myself!) I absolutely love Target end of the aisle sales. It&#39;s dangerous. But this project got me thinking that I could probably make something like this on my own too… Thanks for sharing!<br />

  • Bee
    October 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Girl! I just read your post and was like- holy cow- we almost did the exact same project! Great minds think alike- and great minds shop the clearance isles of Target:) Your&#39;s looks awesome! B

  • Take Two: Desk to Console Table -
    February 4, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    […] In its first reincarnation, I topped the desk with marble contact paper and painted the legs gold.  Super fancy.  And if you want the tutorial and sources, check out this post. […]


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