Oh, this desk. Wow, I love this desk. So simple, casual and functional, if I do say so myself. It’s been an epic journey, but she’s finally done done done, and here’s the rest of the story of how it was finished. After the cabinets and doors were built, I glued some wood plugs from Homey Deeps into the outward-facing pocket holes,
then puttied the joints and crevices:
I’m terrible and hopeless at puttying. Every time I go to do it, I say to myself, ‘OK, take your time, use a steady hand, not too much putty.’ That sentence pretty much goes from my brain right out my ear (it that’s even possible?). I did make my best attempt though, and didn’t mar it beyond what the sander could fix. With the cabinets and doors all smoothed out thanks to the random orbital sander, it was priming time. I used this Zinsser primer to coat the side panels, the front, and the doors.
I left the back and insides raw to save myself the painting. I’m never one to let a viable short cut slip by!
After the primer dried for a day, I sanded it a bit to take down the brush strokes as much as possible.
I painted the cabinets ‘Van Deusen Blue’ from Benjamin Moore. I looooove this color. Exactly what I was going for with the desk. I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint, which was great, except it took 16 hours to dry before I could re-coat! For an impatient painter like me, this was torture! I waited it out, though, and put on the second coat the next day and it was perfect. I guess good things do come to those who wait.
For the finish, I wanted something that looked hand-rubbed and wouldn’t be too fussy. After a bit of research, I found that paste wax was just what I was looking for. Added bonus? All you do is wax on, wax off. THAT’S IT! No worrying about brush strokes, no worrying about dust in the finish, NADA. Just grab a rag, channel your inner Karate Kid and go. Needless to say, I’ll definitely be using wax again!
Inside the cabinet, we installed a sliding shelf for the printer.
Now, this was almost a disaster because the printer fits inside the cabinet veeeeery snugly. See what I mean?
There was no space for the drawer slides to fit beside the printer. Just as I was muttering my first curse word of the day, Mike came up with the idea of risers that would screw to the drawer slides, and then we could put the shelf MDF on top of that so the printer would have full rein of the cabinet width. Genius, I tell you!
With that crisis averted, we attached the hardware (all from Lowe’s) to the doors, and the doors to the cabinets, mostly by eyeing where things look best. Let’s be honest, the cabinets are not the most square things in the world so going for square would probably look worse than eyeing it.
With those in place, we brought them into the house and set up the desk! The top, as I’ve mentioned before, is a piece of Ikea butcher block counter top. The piece was going to be a corner desk, but we had a change of heart when we saw the whole thing together as a straight desk. I couldn’t bear to cut that pretty chunk of wood! For now, the top is just setting on the cabinets until we make up our minds on the corner desk business. Once we do, we’ll latch it down for good. In the mean time, I sealed up the wood with some Watco Teak Oil. I just poured it on,
brushed it around,
waited 30 minutes, and wiped it off. Again, easy-peasy finishing. Double score!
Phew, and that’s the story of finishing the desk! I still can’t believe I built/designed it!…Oh, what’s that? You want glamour shots? Why yes, I can show you those! A hardware/cabinet/top close up:
The filing-cabinet cabinet (I still can’t believe that all my measurements worked out):
The printer cabinet:
The left cabinet basking in the sun:
And the whole shebang:
Parfait! Now, if only I had an ounce of accessorizing talent I could really make this desk sing. Outlook not good, but that won’t stop me from trying!