Throwback Thursday: Ikea Desk Tutorial

This is one of the most viewed posts on my blog ever, and I’m not gonna lie, I can tell why! This desk is legit. Onto #ThrowbackThursday…

I’ve been wanting a new desk for a while. Our previous desk we purchased a few years ago from a big chain office store and it was made of particle board.

It looked something like this. But no hutch on top and drawers on both sides. It had been falling apart pretty much since we got it. The decision was made to replace it when the drawers couldn’t be opened and the top started pulling off.

I’ve also been wanting a different desk setup. The lack of leg space would drive me crazy. I felt scrunched. And I wanted the drawers to be more organized and efficient.

So I looked and looked. I knew what I wanted. Something like this.

We had actually talked about a sawhorse desk before buying the current desk, and I was still interested. We weren’t big DIY-ers at the time though. A lot has changed.

I wanted a big work space. Open legs. And no drawers. For me, drawers = junk. I would rather organize and store. In a pretty way. Or out of sight. Is that better? Yes, it is.

I looked on Craiglist and didn’t have any luck. Too much of what I already had. But then we took a trip to Ikea, and there it was. I remember seeing this desk before, and loving the options.

LINNMON/FINNVARD Table IKEA You can choose a flat or tilted table top, which is good for writing, painting or drawing, by adjusting the trestle.

So we moved on it. I was sick of broken drawers that led to disorganization. Sick of black particle board. I wanted clean lines and function.

We bought the white sawhorse legs at Ikea (the legs are Finnvard) for $30 each. And the huge pine butcher block top (different from the one pictured above obviously) was $60 at Ikea on sale. Got that? $120. Bam. Note: The most similar top currently sold at Ikea is the Gerta which is beech and $80 regularly priced.

So the hubs assembled the legs and I headed to the garage to work on the top. I’m not a fan of light wood, and knew that a lovely dark stain would look great paired with the white legs.

photo 4 (17)photo 2 (16)I used a heavy grit (80) sanding block to remove all the seal on the butcher block and then went over it with a 220 grit sponge to make it smooth like butta. I used wood conditioner first to help the stain go on evenly since pine is a soft wood.

photo 5 (15)After this I applied one good coat of the walnut stain with a chip brush. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and wiped off with a paper towel. I always get a little nervous at first, and as soon as I take that first swipe I am so pleased with the gorgeous wood I am looking at. Sigh. photo 4 (15) photo 4 (16)I used two coats of a wipe-on polyurethane (“poly”) the next day. It was my first time using this and I. Loved. It. I learned about poly. This may seem obvious, but polyurethane is good to seal wood because it gives an additional amber look to the wood. Which is why you DON’T use it over paint- hence the use of PolyCrylic. When I don’t use furniture wax, I use PolyCrylic over painted pieces and I have also over wood, but loved the poly. It goes on so smooth and rich.

Since I painted the office this past week while I was in Arkansas, I was finally able to clean up the room and assemble the desk!

Here it is!photo 1 (36)See those pegs? They allow you to adjust the height of the desk, you can even tilt it like a drafting table! Awesome, right?!

photo 4 (32)Like I said, I love this desk because it is so simple. So I wanted to keep the stuff on top to a minimum. We have my Anatomy Katie human body model (a gift from my hubs when we were just friends), a jar with event tickets, our pencil box, and of course, a photo of us. Aw. photo 3 (33) I love the dark wood and clean white lines. What a beautiful contrast. The shelves on the legs allow for (minimal) storage. Like a clean file 4 (31)It makes me sing. She neeeeeds wide open spaceeeees. photo 5 (29)I got my task lamp from Ikea too. They lowered the price- it was $30 I believe? Remember here I said I wanted one?photo 1 (35)If you follow me on Instagram (check out the sidebar), you’ve seen the paint color of the office. What do you think? I plan to do a post about the paint soon. It was an adventure. Of course. photo 2 (34)So what do you think of my desk? I. Love. It. Seriously. Do you see all that open space?

Update: We still love this! I studied like crazy at it for weeks for my boards and loved how expansive it is! I was able to spread out so much. The best (and worst) part? No storage.


2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Ikea Desk Tutorial

  1. I am loving that desk! You are so creative and did such a great job :) My hubs and I just bought our first house, so I was happy to find your blog so full of good tips and DIY projects! Thanks!

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