Submitted by kaileelev on Mon, 12/01/2014 - 12:33

My husband is finishing up his last year of graduate school and needed a big desk for all of his engineering homework. 

We changed the plans a bit by making the shelving unit a bit narrower (just wide enough to fit our printer), adding a second shelving unit (which then made the whole desk longer) and making the desk deeper so it would be easier to fit more stuff on top. We also added a sliding shelf so we could pull out our printer. 

It ended up being about 72" long, 24" deep, and each shelving unit was about 20" wide. 

This desk ended up driving up crazy. Drawers are SO difficult to get exactly square and perfectly lined up. The left one turned out a little bit crooked but we gave up on it and left it like that. This is the major reason I ranked this project as intermediate. In my opinion paint is more difficult than stain, because it filled in some of the gaps between the wood pieces but not all of them. 

Our maple plywood for the desk top took our stain kind of funny so I spent a lot of time trying to sand out the messy parts. The polyurethane also went on funny, but when I finally had the third coat perfect and ready to go, someone left a paint can on top of the desktop before the poly was completely dry. I had to sand out the mark and start all over again with the poly. Argh. 

Even with all the frustrations, we ended up very happy with this desk. If you look super close you can see the little mistakes, but from a normal distance the desk looks great! My husband can spread out with all of his homework!

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
About $115 with all of the paint, stain, poly, etc.
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Pine for the desk and maple plywood for the desktop.
Finish Used
I used an off white colored oil based paint for the base of the desk. For the desk top I used MinWax Prestain and then two layers of Minwax Provincial stain. I ended up doing a total of four layers of Polyurethane on the desk top because of a mistake I made partway through.
Recommended Skill Level


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