I told you in the Desk Roundup Post that I've had desks on the brain lately. Here's the first project I wanted to show you. The basement in our new house is half finished space, half storage - which means the kids have claimed this as their official playroom. Translation: it's a dumping ground and always a complete disaster. This room still needs a lot of work - but one thing my kids requested was a big desk. We have this back wall that was just a big open space, and I thought the perfect space for a built-in desk. One for play-dough and crafts now, and a homework station as they get older.
The only problem with a wall this size (about 14' long) is that supplies for a desk this large are expensive!! Then I remembered our local recycle/home supply store had hollow core doors for just $5 each, and I thought I could probably work with them!
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Supplies for a DIY Built-In Desk
- Hollow Core Door (look for these at a recycled hardware store in your area - I got mine for about $5)
- Small Filing Cabinets (same as above, also yard sales, thrift stores, etc. - I got mine for about $20)
- Circular Saw
- 1x3 pine for trim
- Purdy XL Cub
- Screws (these are the kind I use whenever I build furniture)
- Wood Glue
- Espresso Water Based Wood Stain
- High Performance Top Coat in Flat finish
- Paint - Lamp Black Milk Paint
The first thing you'll do is space out your cabinets evenly along the wall. Measure the space between the cabinets and cut the doors. I made these the depth of the filing cabinets.
I wanted the seams of the doors to be resting on top of the cabinets so it would have proper support. I didn't feel the need to screw the top down to the bases, but you certainly could at this point if necessary.
Here the seam is very visible, however once everything is stained, I didn't notice the seams at all. You could also place a small piece of wood trim here as a desk divider.
A couple of my cabinets were a bit shorter than others, so I added a scrap piece of wood underneath the desk top on the shorter cabinets.
At this point, I also trimmed out the cabinets to make them look less like a filing cabinet. I glued and nailed (with my brad nailer) trim pieces right to the metal. I was also able to attach my new hardware directly to the wood pieces.
Once the desk is all built, it's time to make it pretty!! I chose to use General Finishes Espresso Wood Stain - I love the dark wood top, and this dark stain makes everything look fancier than it actually is! I applied it with a sponge.
Once the stain is dry, I applied 3 coats of High Performance Top Coat in the Flat finish. I used a Purdy XL Cub to apply it, and it goes on nice and smooth.
The bases were painted all black (General Finishes Milk Paint sticks to wood AND metal), and the end is in sight!
Each kid gets their own cork board to decorate/hang art as they please. I still need to find 3 matching chairs, but for now they use chairs we already had. They love the space!! And let me tell you, it will never be this clean again.
The supplies and pieces for this build came in right under $75! To cover a 14' space - that's not a bad price at all!!
There you have it - a BIG desk perfect for kids for under $75. That's a DIY project success!!
Until next time,