One Room Challenge Part 2: DIY Desk


When you can't find a desk that meets all your requirements, you make one one! We are after all, NorCalDIYers. 😏 We wanted a long sturdy desktop with plenty of storage and tabletop space. We went back and forth with an Ikea hack desk but with the COVID timing, Ikea orders were $50 to deliver and at least a month out. But it worked out for the best, we were able to design a custom piece. Plus we built it so that one of the side cabinets fit the computer tower. Since Rob's profession allows us access to digital sketching, we were able to sketch it on paper and on the PC to make sure our dimensions would be sufficient. 

Supplies for the DIY Desk:
Tools Needed:
  • Drill and Screws
  • Brad Nailer- To attach trim unless using the plywood edging) 
  • Brad Nails (And Wood Putty to cover the brad nail holes)
  • Table Saw (To cut plywood to size; Have Home Depot or Lowes cut for FREE if you don't have a table saw) 
  • Paint
  • Paint Brushes
Our first step was to create the cabinets on each side of the desk.  They are essentially the storage space and support. We cut the plywood to size and created to boxes. Then we created shelves that sit inside each box. You can buy adjustable shelf pins but since we may build drawers for the cabinets at a later time, we made the shelves fixed in place. You can accomplish this two ways. One way is to screw into the sides of the cabinet into the shelf  to hold it in place or by adding a scrap piece of wood as a small ledger to support the shelf. Since we used plywood that only had one side sanded, and put the sanded side inwards, we decided to glue a 1/4 sanded plywood sheet we had on hand to the side of the cabinet box to hide the screws and to avoid having to sand the side of the cabinet. Genius, or lazy?! A little of both I guess! 😂


After the shelves were installed We primed the bases and then painted them. We used a smooth finish small roller. They are my-go to brushes and I always keep lots in stock for projects. 

After the cabinets are primed and painted and dried we attached the metal legs. What I love about the legs we got from Amazon is they support a lot of weight, and they are sleek, simple and modern. You can't beat the price too. It came with screws so we screwed them into place on each corner of the cabinet. 

The next step was to stain the butcher block top. The thing I love about using the butcher block top is that it is super sturdy, gorgeous, it came in stock at 8 ft and we didn't have to make it! Sometimes its just easier to buy it and for $157, we couldn't pass it up! I mixed a custom Minwax stain with weathered gray and early american. It really made the wood grain pop! We attached the butcher block from the top of the inside of each of the cabinets. We used a heck of a lot of screws to make sure it was a solid piece. An that concludes our DIY butcher block desk build! Be sure to follow us on Instagram @NorCalDIYers to see our highlight bubble which shows our step-by-step process.