Do you remember this type of desk when you were a child, or have you seen them looking more like the before picture at garage sales or thrift stores? Don't pass them up, there are so many possibilities to revamp them.
As you can see this was in pretty bad shape to start. It was rusted, scratched up, and still had tape and crayon marks all over it, but I had an idea. You see I am more of a "girls just want to have fun" grandmother then thinking my granddaughters should be "sugar & spice and everything nice" (Boring)!
So anyhow I just dug in and got a scotch guard pad, some stainless wool and some soapy water and went to work. After I was done cleaning my husband put some type of rust inhibitor on it (sorry, I don't remember what it was). I took the top off and really sanded it down. Some of the gouges were pretty deep and didn't want to come out of the Formica, yep Formica not wood. I taped off the stainless little feet on the bottom (about the only metal that wasn't rusted) and primed the heck out of all of it. Then I got some rattle cans of hammered black and bright pink paint and went to town. If you do one, make sure to paint the underside of the Formica top also, it can show. I taped off the underside of the top and then painted the top of the desk a satin black, after all the hammered paint might be a little tough to write or draw on. I am not artistic at all, but I can manage a few simple flowers, so I added those on one corner. I sprayed a good coat of poly on the top and the desk was done. My sister found the chair a little later so I pretty much did all of the same to it. The worst thing on the chair is that the seat & back are riveted on so they can't be removed to paint. I painted those first, then taped and wrapped them up with paper before painting the black. Could you imagine this with bright green instead of the pink and a dinosaur in the corner? Or maybe something sweeter and softer is more your special little person's style. There are quite a few of these out there, so go get one and tap into your inner child.