We have been wanting to give our home office space a makeover for awhile now. The paint color was too purplish tan and not as much warm, happy tan as I wanted. The desks were cheapo particleboard and were getting a little worse for wear. There was too much furniture and clutter and something needed to be done.
The main component of the office makeover involved our desks. We had been hunting for desks that we both liked for long time. Like 2 years. I like things white and light, hubby wants darker furniture. Hubby was insistent on a corner desk. I wanted something straight and simple. We looked everywhere including craigslist and IKEA, but just couldn't find what we wanted at a price we liked. So we decided to build our own.
After only one trip to Lowe's, and two to Home Depot, we managed to gather all the necessary supplies. We are not carpenters. We do not have special woodworking tools beyond a circular saw, cordless drill, and a power sander. But we were able to put something together that works.
We purchased 3 sheets of 5/4" birch. I think it is birch. I can't actually remember. It was $25 a sheet and was wrapped in plastic and called crafting wood or something like that. Hubby did some measuring and cutting to make a corner out of two of the sheets.
We used table legs purchased at Home Depot. The smooth legs were $8.15 each, the curvy ones were $8.45. We needed 4 of one kind and 5 of the other, which worked out to be exactly the number they had left. Hope no one came to Home Depot after us looking for legs. We purchased these metal bracket things to hold the legs on. I think they were $1.50 each. After the desks were assembled, hubsters gave them a good sanding with our new power sander.
Then came the staining part. First I applied a wood conditioner since our wood was more porous and a conditioner gives you a more even finish. I applied it with a simple foam brush. I'm all about the cheap disposable brushes when possible. I hate cleaning up paint and other messy, sticky stuff.
Then it was staining time. This time I used a nicer brush to get a smooth finish. I used a stain that contains polyurethane also. I'm all for cutting corners and skipping steps when I can. The color was the second darkest they had and was called "Antique Walnut." The sample and the color on the can looked dark and rich. Or so they claimed...
So I applied one layer of stain:
After waiting overnight for it to dry,(dry time is 6 hours), I gave it a light sanding, wiped off the dust, and got ready for a second coat. Because the first coat looks nowhere near "Antique Walnut". It looks more like an oak-maple hybrid wannabe.
And I decided I didn't really like the wood toned legs. I have pale legs and I didn't want my desk legs to feel different. Ok, I just really didn't like the way the stain settled on the indentations of my desk's curvy legs. And the whole look was a little blah.
So the legs got a coat of primer and white paint. And another coat. And one more. While the tops had their final and third coat of stain. I'm still not completely happy with the color because I wanted it darker, but I was tired of staining and sanding and wiping and staining again. However,I think it still came out pretty well for my first ever wood staining job. (And the walls are not this weird yellowish-green color, it's just bad lighting and camera usage. Also ignore messy tangle of cords.)
Here's the cost breakdown:
3 pieces of wood for desktops: $75
5 plain table legs: $40.75
4 pretty table legs: $33.80
9 bracket thingies to hold on legs: $13.50
Wood conditioner: $6
Wood stain: $12
Total Cost: $181 for two desks. Not super cheap, but not bad I guess for two solid wood desks. And now we can pretend to be talented carpenters and DIYers even though we are winging it half the time. We still have a lot of organizing and decorating to do in our office, but the desks are the first start. I will have more pictures when the room is more put together.