Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY Desk

Hi! I'm Ashley from Bigger than the Three of Us. When Megan asked me to guest post, I have to admit I was shocked. I've been been blogging about our home and all the DIY that has been going on for about a year, but mainly just for ourselves and for family/friends. I'm very much still finding my home decor style, learning to live with "rooms in progress" (like all the rooms in my house), and trying to be a DIY'er (without making too many mistakes).

 Today, I want to show you a simple desk that I made for my office. Pre-warning: this is a very simple desk and I'm sure I didn't do things the way you are "supposed" to do them. It worked for me and I love the outcome. 

 I wasn't at all opposed to buying a desk, I just couldn't find anything I loved in the price range that I could afford. Does anyone else have this problem? Seriously, it seems to be the story of my life. =)

Basically, I wanted a dark wood top with a mid-century feel. I actually have a mid-century desk that my Dad gave to me, but it is way too narrow to have a computer monitor and keyboard on it. So, another thing for the desk is that it needed to be at least 26 inches deep.

I liked the feel of both of these:

$999 (actually a kitchen table) CB2

$449 West Elm

I've refinished a table top before (with assistance), but I am definitely very new to the whole process. 

Here is what mine turned out like:

Definitely not perfect (nor was the process), but for a fraction of the cost....I love it.

This is what I did:

I picked up the hairpin legs at Hairpin Legs for Less. I got the 1/2 raw steel 28'' legs. Once they shipped to me, I had to wash all the grime off. I ended up using just hot water and a towel.

I went to the hardware store for the wood. I wanted a thick single piece of wood (cut to size and inexpensive). You would think that would be easy to find, but it's not! I ended up getting pine coated plywood in 3/4 inch. I did have them cut it to size at 28Wx50L. The thickness was not ideal, so I decided to stack two pieces on top of each other.

Note: The hardware store did have pine in 1 inch depth, but the width of the table wouldn't have been big enough. I would have had to fasten two pieces together (and had a seam) to get the width right. I decided to go with the plywood instead.

I applied wood glue to one of the pieces and then laid the other piece on top.

Then, I put clamps on all four sides (making sure to place extra pieces of wood between the clamp and the top - so to not have any indentions).

I added a few screws on the sides for extra sturdiness. Then, I let the glue dry.

I applied Minwax stain in Expresso with a foam brush (going with the grain). I only applied one coat. I let it dry and then added a light coat of polyurethane. I let the polyurethane dry and then sanded it. <BIG MISTAKE>
I used a orbital sander with a rough grit. I don't know what I was thinking, other than I just wasn't thinking. I could totally see where I sanded through the stain. I don't have any pictures at this point, because I totally freaked out. 

I decided to try to reapply the stain in some of the areas where it was definitely light. Luckily, the stain took again to those areas. After waiting for the dry time, I reapplied the polyurethane. Waited again for the dry time and then manually used a very fine grit to sand the top. I then applied the polyurethane once more.

Cost Breakdown: 

Wood $33
Hairpin Legs $88
Stain and Polyurethane $18
Decor $17

Total $156

*I will be sharing the source list for the decor and printables on Friday over at my blog, Bigger than the Three of Us

Megan - Thanks for having me guest post!


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