DIY Desk

Last time I checked-in with you guys regarding our office updates & DIY Desk, this was the tentative plan:

How the DIY desk plan began.

Thankfully, I’m back to report that the “plan” has rolled out into a successful desk reality! If you missed the previous post, allow me to give you the SparkNotes version of the story.
We found these two simple cabinets at Goodwill.

  • Magically found these cabinets at Goodwill for $6.99 each… sold!
  • Planned to lay a piece of wood across the cabinets to create a desk
  • Wanted to paint the top of the desk white

Fast forward about 2 weeks, and this is the picture book version of the story:
DIY desk in progress with two cabinets.

Not bad, right? My favorite part of this project so far is that the whopping total of this desk came to right around $36, and that’s including the $15 I spent on the two cabinets. Here is the exact cost breakdown:

Cabinets – 6.99 each
72”x18” Wood Board – $21.34 (cut to size – FREE!)
White Paint/Primer – Left over from a previous project (FREE)
Paintbrush/Roller – Leftover from a previous project (FREE)
Sander/Sandpaper – Leftover, (FREE)

: $35.32 + tax

So here’s what we did to make this happen.

Using wood for the top of this DIY desk.

Wooden top to this DIY desk. The piece alone was a little plain, but exactly what I had envisioned. Part of the process that I didn’t foresee was the extra 2 inch piece of scrap wood that was sawed off the side of the desk top to make it fit perfectly on top of the cabinets. Creating a small lip on this DIY desk. Instead of wasting that scrap, I added it to the back of the desk to create a “lip”, or a more finished backsplash look. (Totally unnecessary but ended out working out in my situation).
New DIY desk with a small back-splash. So with the new backsplash laid on there, this was the exact “plan”. All I had to do was glue on the backsplash using some wood glue and clamps, paint the sucker, and then get to work on my new desk!

Using clamps to glue the top on to this DIY desk. Wooden clamps hold this DIY desk as it's drying.

Using wood clamps to hold the desk as it dries. For this step all you need is some wood glue and some clamps to hold the wood in place for about 24 hours. The hardest part was finding someone who had wood clamps I could borrow.

Using a Dewalt drill to make holes in the desk for cords. I also wanted to drill a hole on the top of the desk to feed my computer cords through later on.  You can read the step-by-step tutorial on that process here. (In only took 3 steps!)

Drilling a small hole for cords. I sanded, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted my white desk top. It took one coat of primer and 3 coats of paint and I made sure to sand the grain down lightly in between each coat.

Priming, sanding and prepping the top of this DIY desk. After all the coats were dry, we were done and so excited with our new DIY desk. For under $40 for my new desk that fits perfectly in this space, I could not be more excited to get to work!


Update: We revealed the office makeover & finalized DIY desk and can’t wait for you to check it out. Read all about it here.

DIY office desk with gallery wall.






The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.