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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DIY Wooden Desk Top

Hello there.

I think we've gotten to know each other well enough that I can share my first big DIY project with you in the new place.

In our old rental, I had a separate room with a door for my crafts and office stuff.  I would leave the door open when I was working on things from time to time, and the cats would come in, explore, and leave me in peace.

As you will see from these pictures from the original listing, in the new place, the layout is a little  The office is between the bathroom and the front bedroom.  The rest of the house was beautifully decorated by the previous owners, but the office space felt a little too modern for me.
Photography credit: Jaime Gervasi & Associates of Long & Foster Real Estate
Photography credit: Jaime Gervasi & Associates of Long & Foster Real Estate
Photography credit: Jaime Gervasi & Associates of Long & Foster Real Estate

So now that the cats can enter my office space at any time, furniture that is a little more "cat-proof" is needed.  I already got an all seasons cover for the white ottoman. It is ugly but it keeps the cat hair and cat vomit away.

I then started working on a desk.  I really wanted a custom wooden desk top for the space that would stretch across the entire back wall.  Boy, was that expensive.  But they were so pretty - see this one from Etsy.  So I decided to make my own.

Pinterest to the rescue!

I followed directions from Lindsey Stephenson's blog for the wooden desk top and used materials from IKEA as suggested by Bryn Alexandra (love the inspiration picture!).

Quick trip to IKEA for the cabinets and Home Depot for wooden boards for the desktop.  I had HD cut three 10 inch width by 10 feet long boards in half (approximately $15 apiece).  The boards were already sanded and planed.  We decided to make two desktops for the entire space for easier building, transport, and future removal purposes.

Here are the original boards:

They were still a little uneven even though we had them cut at the store.  Instead of having them cut in half, we should have had them cut them to 60 inches.  Anyway, I sanded the boards down.  I only sanded the corners since the boyfriend wisely suggested that I might want the boards to fit together flush and sanding the edges may have caused a slight gap between the boards.
                                                          Before:                     After:

Next, I stained them using Miniwax Dark Walnut stain.  I used a brush but in the future I will definitely wipe the stain on.  I put on too much in places and did not wipe it off in time.  It took forever to dry, especally on the edges.  Lesson learned.  Still looks great though.  I like the variations in color.

I put together the IKEA cabinets and put them into place in the office.

Then I brought up the stained boards.  We bought some additional wood that I tested the stain on and used that to screw the boards together.  I did need a little extra boyfriend elbow grease to hold the boards together as the screws needed to be as tight as possible to stop any movement.  We did a dry fit and then screwed everything into place.

We lined up the "cleats" with the drawers so that the board would not move size to side.  The boards were also flush with the wall so they are pretty stable in that way.  If it's too mobile, I will do as the other blogs suggested and screw the boards to the cabinets.  It's good for right now though.  I also added some Miniwax Low Gloss Finishing Stain.  It didn't change the color or gloss at all, but it made the surface feel smoother and was easy to apply and quick drying.

Here is the finished product!

And the boards up close and personal:

Catproofed! Now all of my office supplies are behind closed doors.  I am still working on styling the desk, the bookcases, and a few other projects in there.  Very excited to share the finished space.  

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