DIY Desk Top

My work was getting rid of so old IKEA office furniture. There were at least, a half a dozen sets of draws. Although I had no idea what I used them for, I had to take a few home with me. FREE STUFF! For a while, they just hung out in my storage unit, but once I bought a house, I knew exactly how to put them to good use.  I now had an office, which was in dire need of a desk. So, I made one and this is how I did it!


  • 2 Ikea drawer sets (free)
  • 1 5’x 2’ sheet of compressed pine wood
  • Stain
  • Varnish
  • Staining Rag
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 – 4-grade Sandpaper
  • 4 L brakes
  • 8 Screws
  • Screw Driver

How To:

First, I started by selecting my wood for the table top. I went to my local lumber yard and got a sheet that was (dimensions) of compressed pine. I then had it cut it down to the size I wanted. Wood plus labor came out to $55. This might seem high, but it was actually pretty affordable considering I could have spent triple that, if I got the wood I really wanted. Compromise is key if you want to save a few bucks.

Once I got the wood home, I got started on staining process. To do this, I sanded down my wood and luckily had an electric sander to do it. Although this is not required, it sure came in handy. I easily sanded both sides of the sheet in no time.

To ensure that there were no remnants, I brushed the wood down as well as took a dry cloth too it.  After that, I got started with the stain. As I planned to use this as a desktop, I wanted to make sure it was water resistant, just in case a beverage was left on it or anything like that. That is why I went with Cabot, semi-solid.

Although you can apply stain with a brush, I preferred a rag. Simply dip and rub. After the stain was all on, is when I took another rag and dragged it across the wood in the direction of the grain. This way there would be no clumps of dried stain, ensure a smooth surface. After applying the stain to both sides of the sheet, I waited 8 hours for the stain to set.

Once the stain was set, I then applied to varnish. Keep in mind, varnish is very pungent. Make sure you are in a very well ventilated area if you plan to do this indoors. For this step, I quickly learned that I should have gently stirred varnish instead of shaking it. I made this mistake, as I did not have a pint stirrer, and figured it would be the best alternative. WRONG! When you do not stir, the vanish will create bubbles, which in turn will transfer over to your project. From there,  using a brush I add 2 thin layers of varnish in the direction of the grain. Once completed, I went over it again one more time to get rid of any uneven spots.

I then let the varnish sit for 8 hours, and got to work on sanding. Usually, you would be used 2-grade sandpaper when to finish, but due to the bubbles that were created on my table top, I had to bump it up to 4 grade to get the blemishes to smooth out. Once done, I took another dry cloth and whipped down the wood, getting rid of any unwanted saw dust.

Now, I was ready to mount my table top! To do this, I simply laid the table op on top of the drawers, ensuring all sides were flush. From there, I just screwed in my L brackets. I personally wanted a very seamless look; therefore, I chose to screw in the L brackets under the desk. This way no hardware could be been seen.

And, there you have it! Few easy steps along with a few hiccups on the way and I had my desk!

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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