H ave you ever worked on a project that was so simple you wondered why you hadn't done it sooner?  Well, that's how I feel about this desk organizer which was the focus of a recent makeover project.

The transformation was super simple and it only required one small supply which packed a pretty big punch.

Desk caddy in window

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this easy-peasy project, allow me to share the inspiration behind it.  You may recall, I recently conducted a mini-makeover in my music room

The effort included transforming this ratty looking, wooden bird cage.

wooden bird cage

The wooden cage was transformed into a pretty accent piece and all I did was use a can of spray paint.

Almost immediately after spray painting this cage,  I started looking around my house for other small things that could use a little pick-me-up with ivory paint.

painted bird cage

So, that's how this desk organizer came to my attention. 

With all the compartments it's quite useful, but I've never cared for the dark color (it used to belong to my husband, Boris). 

It definitely needs a lighter more feminine presentation and it's a perfect fit for my new penchant for lovely, ivory spray paint.

desk caddy

I didn't care much for the plain silver knobs either.

These must be replaced.

silver knobs

I picked up this satin paint from Home Depot for about $5 a can.  The color is called Heirloom White and it's the perfect vintage shade.

You should only need one can for a desk organizer project.  (I used the other can for the bird cage project).

heirloom white spray paint

Rather than setting the organizer and drawers up outside on the ground, I elevated them on TV tables for better painting access.

Use a drop cloth to protect the tables and surrounding area.

wood drawers

This particular paint brand provides excellent coverage.

I didn't need to prime any of the pieces before applying the spray paint. 

painted desk caddy
I applied three coats of spray paint to each one of the pieces.

Make sure you allow the paint to dry completely between coats.

pained drawers
The original desk organizer had three extra wooden dividers which narrowed the slots to near-envelope size.

I needed larger slots so I decided not to use the dividers.

ivory desk caddy

As you can see, a little paint goes a long way.

I absolutely love this new organizer and the new color is so soft and feminine. 

It definitely suits my personality much better than the old shade. 

finished desk caddy painted

Take a look at how much better these glass knobs look compared to the original silver ones.

This is a grand improvement that nicely compliments the new ivory color.

painted desk caddy drawers

I reserved the largest slot for favorite magazines that are still on my "to-read" and "finish reading" list.

Hope I can get to these sooner rather than later.

magazine slots

The top drawer now houses assorted scissors and other small embellishments. 

Nothing in the bottom drawer yet but give me time.

button and scissor drawer

File folders, papers and hand-covered composition books occupy another slot.

I'll share a tutorial on how to cover and decorate these composition books later in an upcoming post.  

assorted papers and journals

If you're looking for an afternoon makeover project this is the one to tackle.

For the cost of a $5 can of spray paint and less than two hours of your time you can turn something dark and old into something light, pretty and looking brand new all over again.  

filled desk caddy

So, what have you spray painted lately? 

Are you working on any makeover projects using paint?


Ice cream scoops with cherry




Cool off with this sweet treat.

Coming up this Friday (6/29) look for the latest edition of my delicious new, bi-weekly column, THE FRIDAY FOODIE.

I'll share more about this yummy dish of Vanilla Bean ice cream, talk waffle cones and share a few favorite books devoted to ice cream and other frozen treats.

Hope you pop by this blog again later this week for THE FRIDAY FOODIE. ā™„


  • Nanette Butler

    Hi Lisa where oh where did you get the wood desk organizer that you spray painted ivory? I have tried several times to find one just like it. PLMK thanks Nanette

  • amy l

    really enjoyin gyour blog. you have fabulous taste. was just wondering the name of the paint used on the walls beside the fireplace….is that lenox tan also? very beautiful!

  • Anonymous

    Your post is very interesting. I’ve read your blog for few days now and I truly enjoy your blog. Thank you for your great work!

  • Anonymous

    Your work has always been a great source of inspiration for me. I refer you blog to many of my friends as well.

  • Heidi Woodruff

    I agree with Adrienne (above) … you ARE creative! I love the “new” organizer!

  • Airees

    Hi Lisa! I’m still catching up with BYW2.0 and haven’t explored all of our classmates’ blogs! But I’d like to say that you have a very nice blog here.
    Love, love the projects and the photos – stunning! I already bookmarked yours on my Blog Lovin’ folder. šŸ™‚ See you in class!

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    These came out great! I always wanted to try something like this but I’m a chicken!

  • Thimbleanna

    LOVE that organizer — I’d love to find one just like that for our computer room (although, since it’s a manly decor, it would have to be painted in black). Can’t wait for your ice cream post — your post about waffle cones a year or two ago made me go out and buy a waffle cone maker and I love it!

  • adrienne

    you are THE most creative person I know lol

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