Sunday, June 8, 2014

A desk for 3


I have been so busy with life and other projects that I haven't had time to share any of them.  A few months ago, I decided that it was time I build a desk for my 3 boys.  They have overtaken my husband's office to which he has been kicked out on numerous occasions when they invite their friends over.  Therefore, I kicked it into high gear during spring break.  My goal was to build a desk in 7 days or less.

Day 1:   Clearing out the space.  

This is our game room.  No one ever goes in there anymore.  When we have little kids come to our house, the market and kitchen gets some use, but my boys have given me the a-okay to get rid of it all.

So, I did.  The majority was given away and a few larger items were placed on craigslist.


 Drawing up Plans

If you knew me, you'd know that I am a carpenter's daughter so everything is drawn out to scale with dimensions.  I was so excited because I thought this project would be super easy.  I would go into the store, buy some prefab cabinets, add a top and voila, be done.  Was that the case?  It never is.

Most pre-made cabinets are for the kitchen with the height of 36 inches.  At most a desk should be no more than 30 inches.  Therefore, pre-made cabinets were not an option for me.  Believe me, I went back to the store to double check to see if I could saw off the base and call it a day.  That was a no-go so day 1 ended in sadness.

Day 2:  Shopping.

My goal was to find 4 cabinets of the same height.  After measuring all the desks in my house, the over all average height was 28 - 29 inches.  Therefore, if I have a 2 inch top, I would need cabinets that were 26 -27 inches.

Store 1: Salvation Army - SCORE! - sort of.  I found 1 cabinet that was 26.5 inches.  Did I buy it?  No.  I needed at least 2.

We left empty handed.  I made a list of all the thrift stores in the area for tomorrow's adventure.

Day 2:  More shopping.

We went around town and had no luck until the very last pit stop.  Habitat Restore had the same cabinet as the Salvation Army.  I couldn't believe it.  I decided I would buy it and then head on over to the Salvation Army, keeping my fingers crossed that it was still there.

The verdict???

It was!

Habitat Restore actually had 2 of them, but they wouldn't sell me the second one.  I was a bit bummed at that, but I had 2 so I was still doing a little happy dance.  That meant, I had to build 2 from scratch.

That night, I primed the cabinets ready for painting.

Day 3:  Paint!

I decided to paint the hardware on the cabinets so I removed them, sanded it down a bit and sprayed it with an oil rubbed bronze spray paint. 

After a couple of coats of paint, my cabinets became this:

 I LOVE LOVE LOVED how they turned out.  I ended up adding a piece of molding to the bottom so that it would match my base molding to the house.

Wood Shopping

I decided to use 2x10 inches of wood for my top.  I knew that I would not be able to carry up a single big piece of wood that would have to be 12 inches in length so I decided to leave it in three pieces and install it once it was in the room.


At the end of Day 3, I had 1 coat of stain on my top.  I was too tired to do anything else.

Day 4: Building.

I was not looking forward to this.  Don't get me wrong, I love building, but I was in the mindset that this would be an easy project....which it turns out that it wasn't all that easy.  I had to go back to the store to get pieces that I can use to replicate the other two cabinets.  After all, I wanted them to look similar.  However, at the same time, my cabinets would need to store computer CPU's or laptops so they will have shelves.  Here's the shell of the cabinet.  After this, I added a bottom and shelves.  I primed and painted.  Most of which was done late at night so I could spend time with my kiddos during the day.  Therefore, I was just too exhausted  to take nice pretty pics.

Day 5: More Building and Painting.

I don't have any pics for this day.  I spent the day finishing my cabinets and painting.  I added a coat of polyurethane to the desk top, sanded it down and repeated the process three times.  I wanted it to withstand heavy duty wear and tear from my kiddos.

Day 6: Bringing it into the room.

My cabinets were not entirely done, but I decided to drag them into the room to see if I needed to make any final adjustments.  I tested the height out and it was PERFECT!  A few finishing touches and I would be done.  This is when I decided I wanted to add a piece of molding to the base and I wanted drawers on my cabinets.


Day 7: Building drawers and final final touch-ups.

Okay, I did not make my dead line because I "had" to have drawers.  The problem?  I had no earthly idea how to make drawers.  I googled, I called my dad and finally, I decided to wing it.  They turned out pretty good if I say so myself.  Especially since it was my first drawer to make ever.  


I was beyond ecstatic to bring the desk into the space.  I found matching hardware for my drawers, I had matching molding for the base and I even mirrored the top trim to match the existing bought cabinets.  I was a happy camper.


I ABSOLUTELY LOVE how they turned out.  I must pat myself on the back for making my desk in record time (I usually take forever).  I didn't make my 7 day goal, but that one extra day wasn't too bad.

What's next?  Three monitors, 3 computers, 3 chairs...and a whole lot of other furniture.  That room is slowly coming together.  I have another project going on in there, so this isn't the latest to the room, but you will just have to wait and see.

Final Run-Down:
1 cabinet from Salvation Army - $25
1 cabinet from Habitat Restore - $35
3 pieces of 2x10's - $36.81
Hardware for cabinet - $5.60
1 quart of primer - $5.97
2 sets of drawer slides - $11.94
Total of - $120.33

I built my cabinets using scrap wood and scrap molding pieces.  The paint was left over from another project.  In the end, the bought cabinet prices were a little steep in my book, but it was worth the splurge.  I'd have to say, $120 is a little more than I wanted to spend, but I am oober happy with the way it turned out.  What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Your desk for 3 is amazing! It looks very professional and you definitely couldn't buy anything like that for anywhere near $120. Great Job!


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