Our New Desk

Jennifer —  September 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

I posted on Wednesday that we decided to change our desk arangement from two desks to one long desk.  The goal was to be modern, white and not bulky.  We wanted two work stations with storage in between.  Here is what it looked like before.  I explained here why this wasn’t working.  In short, it was cute but not a workable system.

Here is the space cleared out.  We wanted the desk to go on the left-hand wall. (Please excuse the mess.  Scary things come out when you move furniture)

We were willing to spend enough for it to be done right, but we also didn’t want to spend a ton, so we of course I headed to Mountian Country Homes of Hope and got this sliding closet door for $5.

I chose an old sliding closet door for two reasons.

1.)  It didn’t have a huge hole where a door knob one was.  A hole from a knob could be useful for cords but we knew we were purchasing a glass top so it would be pointless.

2.)  There were not cut outs for where the hinges once were located.  The hinges are on the opposite side of the door from the door knob side.  We were trying to avoid breaking out the table saw.  A sliding door attaches to a track system so the only holes were the screw holes at the top which were easily puttied and sanded down.

Here is how we made this desk happen.

1.)  I used Valspar Bonding Primer to prime the door.  I did two coats on all sides.  Bonding Primer is a little trick I have in my back pocket.  You have to work fast in using it, but here is why bonding primer is my new best friend.  You don’t have to sand.  Did you hear me?  You don’t have to sand.

2.)  I waited 24 Hours to paint it.

3.)  I painted the door with three coats of High Gloss Paint leftover from this crazy paint project.

4.)  I let the paint dry for three days.  In the mean time….

5.)  I found this file cabinet for $9 at a thrift store.  I pulled out the drawers and primed it with metal primer.  I did two coats.  Of course, let the last coat dry for 24 hours.

6.)  I painted the file cabinet with two coats of Gloss Protective Enamel Rustoluem Spray Paint.

7.)   I attached the legs from the old table and had the basic bones of my desk.  The door is hollow core but the edges are solid wood.  I positioned the leg on the corners of the door so that most of the screws were screwed into the solid wood.  The legs are these legs from Ikea if you are trying to recreate this project.

8.)  I encountered a problem, I wanted the legs white.  Why do I do this?  I flipped over the desk onto a saw horse and used painters plastic to cover the desk and I primed and spray painted the legs.  Yes, I was lazy.

9.)  I bought this file cabinet caddy from Target.  It was the cheapest way to raise the file cabinet up to support the desk’s middle.  (There is nowhere to screw legs into this file cabinet.)

10.)  I used these caster cups from Lowes to level out the back of the file cabinet because our floor is sloped.  It used to be the garage so I always have to deal with a sloped floor.  It was super helpful to keep the file cabinet from rolling forward when we opened it as well.  I love “twofers” and these caster stoppers had two purposes!  I loved that they were clear too!

Source: Lowes

11.)  The Hubs attached the desk to the wall with small L-Brackets behind the file cabinet.  You probably don’t need to do this, but our sloped floor caused the desk to be wobbly.  This eliminated the wobble.

12.)  We went to our local glass store and ordered a piece of glass cut to the size of the desk.  If you do this, make sure they finish the edges for you.  No cut finders in out home!  The glass was $60 but it was worth it for the longevity of the desk.  We draw, write, drink coffee and sometimes eat on this surface.  Its so much easier to wipe down.

Here is our finished desk:

There was one little problem.  When we placed the glass on the top of the desk there were certain points of the desk where it looked like the paint was coming up.

I was so confused, How was the paint already coming up?  We lifted it back up and found that the paint was just fine.  We called the glass company and they told us that sometimes certain pressure points under the glass counter can cause distortion.  So, the Hubs went to Lowes and bought a few clear spacers.

It alleviated the pressure and it made the paint job look seemless again!  We hung our massive Bulletin board made out of drywall and burlap up behind the desk.  We are now figuring out what needs to go on the other side.

Here is the cost break down of our new desk

  • Legs – Free ( we re-purpsed them from the desk we removed)  You can buy them at Ikea.
  • Door – $5 from MCHH (ReStore)
  • Paint – Free (all the paint was free.  I had primer and spray paint too.
  • Primer – $17 from Lowes (Valspar Bonding Primer)
  • File cabinet – $9.00 from Frisco Furniture in Hollister Mo
  • L-Brakets – Free.  We used what we had.
  • Glass – $60 from Binswanger Glass in my hometown.
  • Caster frame – $10 Target
  • Spacers – Lowes $2
  • Caster Cups – Lowes $2

We sold our big desk in a garage sale for $30.  So the grand total for this desk rehab was $74.00.  That is not bad for a custom desk to fit your space!  We love it.

Thanks for reading,


Check out how the new desk looks in our finished Laundry Room here.

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