After searching for weeks to find a reasonably priced desk, I finally decided to build my own. I was looking for used desks, new desks; I didn't really care. I knew that either way I would put my own spin on it. I did not come across any under $100. So I decided to make my dream desk and it only cost $60!!!!
Not only can this style be used for a desk, but is also how I intend to design my future table for my dining room on a larger scale. I was so excited I decided to created a DIY post and show you how I did it! Note that I did have some of these materials at home.. such as screws, material for cloth and the finishing wax.. but these things will still only add on maybe $15 more all together...
Disposable paint brushes (optional)
lint-free cloth. (A LOT OF THEM) You could even use an old towel or just any material you don't care to ruin but have a lot of.
Sanding blocks (or small electric sander depending on your wood)
Two 2x6's measuring 8ft long
2 Trestles (IKEA)
Min-Wax Gel Stain in Hickory (recommendation)
Min-Wax Paste: finishing wax (recommendation)
Then any essential building materials (drill, nails, screws, wood filler, saw, reinforcements, etc)
So I got just about everything I needed at The Home Depot. While I was there I had them cut both of my 2x6s. Which was free because the first 2 cuts are of no charge. Anything after is $1.
So all together I had 4 pieces of wood. I bought the trestles online from IKEA and they were only $10 a piece. They're super sturdy and I love the slate gray color I picked out.
I also purchased the stain and paint brushes from Home Depot. This was my firs time working with Gel-Stain so I was unsure of how that would turn out. But I loved it. I Highly recommend any Min-Wax product.
1. Get your area for staining ready. I had to do this inside because it was so cold. I went with the Gel Stain because they're would be way less dripping and splashing involved that way. (Paid off) I used an old shower curtain, trash bags, and old box, and extra Christmas wrapping paper to secure my area.
2. Prepare your wood. If you buy lumber from Home Depot or any other home improvement store.. there will almost always be snags, or rough patches. You're going to want to smooth these over as best as you can. Also make sure that the surface is clean.
3. Begin staining. If you go with the Gel-Stain, which I suggest you do.. make sure you are prepared with material to wipe off the excess. The stain goes on thick like paint after you stir it. Then you wait a few minutes and then wipe it off. You can control the color and intensity this way which is a huge benefit. I barely used a quarter of my can and only had to do one coat. Make sure you leave an allotted amount of time before turning the boards over and staining the alternate side.
4. Wait. If you do this early in the morning, then you should be fine to put the desk together same day.. but if you do not have 8 hours to wait, I'd make this a two day project. You don't want to get any smudges in your newly stained piece of furniture.
5. Assemble the IKEA trestles. (or any other form of legs you purchase) The instructions and hardware came in the packaging.
6. Optional step: Add reinforcements. This will help if you choose a heavy duty table top like I did here. The top of my desk is quite sturdy.. so it required a little more help from some longer pieces of wood over top of the trestles. If you go with just one piece of flat wood cut to size.. you may not need this step.
7. Combine the two! (Attached your desk to the trestles; "legs") My dads friend also helped out with this part! He measured the thickness of the table top and the trestles.. and chose screws long enough to impact both pieces and fuse them together.. but not long enough to come through the top. He screwed through the bottom and secured each plank roughly 2 times on either side.
8. Seal it up! (Wax) My go to is wax when it comes to furniture. If you're more comfortable with a polyurethane than be my guest. Some stains actually include this if you find the right kind. Either way, a coat of clear sealing impacts the lively hood and everyday use of your desk or table tremendously. I used the MinWax Paste Finishing Wax. Pictured below.
This stuff works great. If you have never used it.. I suggest watching some videos online and studying a technique that best suits your needs.
I chose the color Hickory.. it had such a rustic look to it. I loved how it turned out.
Before and after
Okay, so on top of the trestles my dads friend helped me by making them more sturdy with these thinner pieces of wood. Which did help when adding the large planks. Depending on how wide, or long you make your desk.. you may want to consider some reinforcements. This is just an option if you decide to go with the metal trestles.
This is what it looked like before it was assembled, and the legs were in place. I still had a few touches to finish as you can see..
Okay, well that is how I did my DIY desk for $60!! I hope you enjoyed this post and if you plan to try it I would love to see some pictures! Stay tuned for a room tour and how I designed my small space for cheap with style!