Wednesday, July 18, 2012

{Desking- A Guest Post By Wendel}

Happy Wednesday! I'm so excited to be sharing this little blog with my husband this evening! He will be sharing all of the details about our beautiful little Young House Love inspired desk in our newly updated office! I will warn you, we were TERRIBLE at taking pictures of this process, so don't hate us please! I did add some pictures at the end for Wendel of the details of the desk! Enough of the wife-ing...

Take it away Wendel! 


Hello BlogWorld!

Welcome to my first blog post ever! I am going to attempt to tell you how I made this brilliant and professional looking desk that my lovely wife keeps talking about.  

Warning: I am very new to the DIY business and have no idea what I’m doing most of the time, so this is more of an explanation of what I have learned in this undertaking. Now I’m gonna go all IKEA on you; first, the tools and hardware required!

You will need:

- Wood.  This will depend on your room and your preference of desk width.  I bought three 2x10x8s to make a desk 8 feet long and 30 inches deep.

- Cabinets.  We found a good deal on kitchen cabinets at home depot.
Sanding tools of your choice.  I used an electric orbital sander and sanding blocks with various grits.

- Wood Separator (Circular Saw)

- Wood Stain

- Polyurethane

- Old T-shirts (rags)

- Mending and Corner Braces

- Most important ingredient…Beer (no I’m not an alcoholic and I am not condoning intoxicated use of power tools by minors…)

How I did it (that sounded naughty):

Well since I am terrible at taking pictures as I go through projects I will refer you to this terrific website that you can use to find a picture of wood for your starting point:

So the first step is to measure your room or the wall you are putting the desk in.  Remember, measure twice cut once, or in my case, measure 8 times, cut once (I may be a bit paranoid, but it pays off).  I erred on the side of caution and left about 1/8th of an inch on each board because you can always take more off but you can’t put it back.  This came in handy as I ended up sanding about this much off the ends.

I then used the orbital sander to smooth out the surface of the boards.  When I first started I thought this was a little ridiculous because the boards were pretty smooth already, but afterwards it was amazing how big of an effect this had.  Once I had evened out the surface with the rough grit on the electric sander I used a much finer sandpaper block the smooth everything out.  This part of the process took the most time (and sweat) but was definitely worth it!  Don’t skimp on this part, it really does make a huge difference.

Next comes the stain.  This part took the most finesse.  I found it to be a tricky thing to get the boards stained evenly.  I referred to the almightly Googlator for this part.  The tricks for staining (that I used) were to go with the grain, apply liberally, and use a rag (or old t-shirt in my case) to remove excess between coats.  I ended up applying three coats of the stain to cover it thoroughly.  Again, this was a first for me so I am no authority on the subject, but I suppose the best way to learn it is to try it!
After the stain was finished I did two coats of polyurethane, using a very fine sandpaper block to smooth it out between coats.  After this the boards were ready to come inside.

Now comes one of the luckiest moments of my DIY experience.  I brought the boards inside one by one and set them on top of the cabinets (which had already been placed where we wanted them) and they fit closer than I could have possibly hoped.  I can just barely fit a piece of paper between them and the wall on both sides. Like I said, measure eight times and cut once.

I had pretty long debate in my head (a very scary place) about how the secure the boards together and to the cabinets.  In the end I decided to go with mending braces to bring the boards together and corner braces to fasten them to the cabinets.  This actually worked out a good bit better than I expected as well because it leveled the boards (in relation to each other) and pulled them more perpendicular to the cabinets. 

So after a good bit of sweat, cursing, a few minor injuries and a good amount of Guinness, I had a pretty flippin sweet desk.

I hope you enjoyed my rambling and my parentheses (you’re just lucky I didn’t start nesting them (as my family is used to seeing in my emails (those can get confusing)))


Isn't he cute? I'm kind of fond of him! for the pictures! 

Look at how pretty that surface is! 

 These are the brackets and such...boring but important to visualize...and keep the desk together!

He mentioned how close it fits to the wall...he wasn't kidding! 

And a top shot to see how close the boards are! 

And one more to ohh and ahh over! 

Thanks for stopping by! I'm taking tomorrow off because I have something new and special for get excited!! 

So tell me...any fun DIY projects you and your spouse have worked on together? Pretty fun right? 


  1. This looks amazing! I wish my husband and I were more crafty...maybe once we buy a house.

    1. Haha yeah we are growing more crafty the older we get! We have to be because things are just too darn expensive!

  2. Thanks for the info Wendel! Once my husband gets going on a project, there is usually beer and curse words involved, so I find it best to just step out of the way :)

    1. Haha yeah it's the man way I guess :)