We FINALLY have a desk.  A real life, adult size work surface in our home… & we built it ourselves! Kinda makes you a little prouder when your own blood, sweat & tears are in something.  Well, to be honest, there were no tears on this one & only a little bit of blood.  The desk is only part one.  We will be building a hutch to go on top of it in the next few weeks & it is going to be ah-mazing.  I can feel it.
As most of our projects begin, this one started with a quick sketch… which is still taped to the wall above the desk.  It provides a constant reminder to “FINISH ME PLEASE!”
Our kitchen is small.  No, it is really small.  We decided that we would send our beloved vintage coke machine over to Pop Pop’s (my dad’s) to live until we get a bigger house.  A desk is a much more practical use for this corner anyways.  { Personal Note:  Yes Bro.  The Coke Machine is still MINE! }
Honestly, it was an awkward little corner that I have never been happy with.  So I am thrilled at the direction it is heading in!  Here is how we made our desk.
We started with a butcher’s block table my hubs scored { for cheap } a few years ago.  After deciding the desk was more important, I came up with the idea to use the legs for our desk.  It was the perfect height & all we would have to do was replace two of the apron boards to make it the correct length & build a top…
{ we have saved the butcher block for use at a later time! }
To build our top we bought two 1 x 12’s cut to 48″ at Home Depot.  We decided to go with oak because it is a hardwood, I mean we will be writing on our desk.  No need to worry about pencil marks digging into our hard work.  We also got some 1 x 1 1/2″ trim pieces to give the edges a finished & more substantial look.
Plus, it had a really pretty grain to it…

To attach the 1 x 12’s we cut some scrap wood to use as braces.  After measuring & tracing the scraps to their desired location the hubs drilled them into place.  { I feel I must say this: The braces go on the UNDER side of the desk top. You know what happens when people assume. }
The template allowed us to make sure the wood stayed in the right spot for the pilot holes.

We then flipped the table right side up & began to attach the trim pieces.  After measuring twice & cutting once our mitered edges were pretty perfect.  We then attached the trim using liquid nails & some small nails that were countersunk.

This was later filled with wood filler.

We used tie downs to clamp the trim pieces together
while the liquid nails dried for 24 hours

While it dried we also had a jungle gym for the littles.

We attached the legs using the original hardware that came with the butcher block table.  Using the discarded pieces as our template allowed for a perfect fit.

Next came my job.  Sanding, Staining & Sealing.  I sanded this thing until it was smooth as butter using a medium grit to start & finished up with a fine grit.
After sanding, I wiped down all the saw dust & used a Minwax Pre Stain Conditioner.  This helps prep the wood for an even stain.  I then followed with a combination of Minwax Natural & Classic Gray Oil Based Stains.  I just kept layering the two until I got the coloration I wanted.  Yes, I did try my vinegar & steel wool mixture but it just ended up not being the color I wanted.  Maybe for another project…
I finished the top using my new favorite product, Minwax Paste Finishing Wax.  After rubbing on the wax with a clean cloth & buffing it out 3 times I am in LOVE with the lustre and factory like finish it provides.  I’m not a big polyurethane fan due to it’s plasticy feel & tendency to yellow (I know the water based doesn’t yellow, but I would have had to use the oil base)  The wax paste didn’t change the color of the stain I worked so hard for.  Which was my end goal.  Plus, if it scratches, I can just sand that spot & re-wax/buff.
{ Notice the freshly painted paneling too πŸ™‚ }  That is how we built our Farmhouse Desk.  Legs like these can usually be found at your local Home Depot or Lowes & eBay is a great source for wood legs as well.  Like I always say, Hunt your house with an open mind.  You never know what objects can be transformed. I can’t wait to get the hutch built & attached.  It is going to make a big change to our tiny little kitchen.  Here is a hint… My Cutting Edge Stencil just came in for this project!

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