Thursday, March 9, 2017

Building A Desk - Part 3

Okay Part 1 covered the table top, Part 2 covered building of the legs and now with this final blog post I'm going to go over putting everything together. This last stage took me about a week to complete - lots of waiting for things to dry!

What you'll need

Paint of choice, roller (or paintbrush) and sealer (and brown paper) + a drop sheet and dust mask.

Cross-brace (Ikea's OBSERVATÖR)


So this is pretty straight forward as you just need to paint your legs and table top the colour of your choice but I did learn some things along the way that I thought worthy of sharing

/Drop sheet is a must, no matter how neat you think your painting style is, you will most likely still get paint on the floor.  As you can see above I just used a couple of old bed sheets.

/Foam rollers work great! I initially used a brush which left noticeable brush marks before switching over to the roller

/ Work away from dust/debris – I firstly set up outside but since we just had our lawn mowed, tiny bits of grass kept flying onto my workspace so I moved inside and opened windows (plus wore a face mask!)

/Do many thin coats, not one thick coat! It's tempting to just slop it all on at once but you'll end up with a nicer finish if you paint and let it dry (boring!) and repeat until the desired opacity is achieved. I ended up doing around four coats.

/Cans are great for holding your pieces up off the floor and being able to do the sides!

I let my pieces dry over 48 hours before putting a sealer on.  I used a satin varnish as I didn't want my desk too glossy just protected for everyday use. So the back of your varnish tin will usually tell you to sand between coats and I normally do this without questioning but because I was getting over this desk and ready for it to be done, I decided to google if I could get away with not sanding!  I ended up learning a few things and spoiler alert I did sand between coats :P

So, what I learnt was when you apply a coat sometimes little bits of dust get embedded or maybe even the varnish itself might clump together, so when you run your hand over your finish piece it won't be perfectly smooth.  As you add more layers these imperfections get amplified!  Now when I previously thought about sanding, I pictured rough sand paper but I stumbled across a forum that advocated some brown paper wrapped around a sanding block (or anything firm with a flat edge).  This was a total game changer for me, not only did it make sense it left a really nice finish.  I always wondered, the point of using rough sandpaper as it would seem to just wear away the previous coat :P  I now use the brown paper bag/paper trick every time I'm doing several coats whether it be paint or varnish and on any project.

I'd also read a few times that reason for sand-papering between coats was to have the next coat bond together with the last, promoting adhesion, so something to take into account as well.


After many days of painting and waiting for things to dry, sealing and waiting, I finally moved the desk into my room and woohoo it fit!!

I moved everything on and noticed straight away that it wasn't as sturdy as my last desk. *gulp* I went on a google spree and found that Ikea sold a cheap ($5) brace that I could attach at the back between the two leg frames.  It took me a couple of weeks to visit ikea and once installed, I can say that it made a world of difference to the stability of the desk and the brace will be easy to remove when we find ourselves having to move again!

A final recommendation is to either wait a couple of weeks for the varnish to really cure or don't put anything on the desk that will leave a mark.  Although the 48 hours after the final varnish meant the desk felt very dry and non sticky to touch, I did notice my mouse pad left a little mark - thankfully easily cleaned and fixed with some plastic underneath.

It's been 3 weeks and I have to say, I love my desk and I'm really proud that everyday I'm working on something I put so much love into!

Extra special mention and shout out to the best project supervisor ever!

Thanks Peachy Girl!

Previous Links
Part 1 and Part 2


  1. Love it when you build things! The table looks really sturdy, I wouldn't have expected it needed braces, that's a really good idea. Also, your supervisor is looking strict... :)

    1. I think you could definitely get away without using braces but I figured I had invested so much time, I should try and get it near perfect! I also read that squares are less sturdy then triangle configurations so I was kind of cursing myself I didn't go with a design where the legs sprayed out a little more into a triangle-like shape :P Oh yeah Peachy, she's protecting that wood! Or maybe she's wanting me to pay more attention to her :P :P he he he

    2. hahah I can imagine, but it looks great like that too! also Fee I got your mail today yay! FINALLY! how far apart are we??? hehe. if you don't mind I'll do a little post about it on my blog--everything's looking perfect, thanks a bunch xx

    3. That's some bad mail service right there, made it to Spain before you! Oh and totally feel free to do a little blog post :) :)

  2. Super amazing Fee! And it looks like Peachy isn't messin around! :)

  3. This is so awesome! You clever thing you! Looks beautiful :) also Peachy is super cute, glad to see she's all better after her adventures a while back. Loves! Xxxx

    1. She's definitely a survivor that one :) :) Thanks heddie!


If you would like to be notified of further replies click the "notify me" box (in the bottom right hand corner)