March 13, 2018
desk top

A place to get work done

Since we moved into our house, I’ve worked on my computer at the kitchen counter or my kitchen table.  Meanwhile, the home office in the front of our house sat empty. While it was a good place to stretch, play with the dogs or just look out the window, Josh really wanted my ‘stuff’ out of the kitchen.

Josh’s request combined with my need for a nice computer for my blogging, meant it was time to plan the home office. Before I could decide on furniture, I had to decide on my computer set up. I wanted to make sure I had enough space for my monitors, my desktop and anything else I would need. Fortunately for me, computers are what my younger brother is especially good at. I also found out he’s really good at doubling my computer budget. Ultimately, I ended up with a custom computer and two 26″ monitors. Overkill, you ask? Yep. Totally worth it? Yep.

My temporary set up

While I had a fancy new computer and monitors, I had to come up with an idea for a desk. As a temporary solution, I pulled out an old IKEA table, chair and ottoman and a console table from the living room. Funny enough, I didn’t even sit in the chair. I sat on the ottoman while the dogs would sit behind me in the chair. It worked, but was a little embarrassing.

Temporary desk setup

Where it all started! Needless to say, I had to find a more permanent solution.

Deciding on the desk and style

It was time to make a real desk. Something big enough for my computer monitors and enough space to spread out. I knew exactly what I wanted. Enough so that I had my finishes picked out before we even had material for the desk. I knew this was a job for General Finishes. If you aren’t familiar with the brand, you are missing out. I believe they are the highest quality finishes available.

For this project, I used:

Meanwhile, Josh wasn’t sold on my vision for the desk. Several arguments, Google searches and post-it illustrations later, he likely gave up and just decided to make me what he thought I wanted. What’s so hard to understand about a rustic tabletop that is kind of flat, but not like so flat, with boards that touch, but don’t really touch?! Poor guy.

The top

We built the top out of construction lumber that was trimmed to length, sanded, stained and sealed. I love construction lumber for the knots, chips and grain pattern. You can usually find some of the premium quality to be pretty flat which means you won’t have to deal with a whole lot of cupping. I also think they look awesome stained in Ebony.

Close-up of boards

Ebony stain on construction lumber.

desk top

Minwax stain in Ebony and General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Satin on construction lumber. My preference for soft white lighting makes everything look SO yellow!


The frame

The frame is made of douglas fir. A nice, sturdy wood with chips, knots and character that came in the 4×4 dimension I wanted for the legs. I couldn’t justify spending a considerable amount more on red oak only to beat it up and cover it in paint.

Bare frame

Frame before paint.


Painted frame

Frame with General Finishes Lamp Black.


Finished frame

The entire frame is painted in General Finishes Lamp Black and finished with High Performance Topcoat in satin.

My desk

Surprise! It’s not a desk. It’s a table. A 3′ wide x 6′ long standing height (3′ 3″) table. Much like anyone that works a desk job, I am super sedentary. They say sitting is the new smoking and I actually like to stand and work. We also were strageic enough with the height that we can sit at the table with a stool, if we want.

Finished table

Ta-da! It’s a table. The far right board has a slight cup that worsened with finishing and installation. We did account for that when we placed the board during installation.

The finished product

While we finalize some other pieces for the den and I work on my photo skills, this is all you get to see. I have a couple more ideas for this table, but that will largely depend on how a few other pieces for the room turn out. Stay tuned!

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