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Studio Desk Makeover – FINISHED! (Plus, Adding Wood Veneer To A Desktop)

My studio desk is completed! I had initially deliberate a fast and simple desk makeover, however ultimately, I mainly ended up rebuilding the desk. I constructed the unique desk a couple of years in the past. For some motive, I believed I wished a really fundamental, trendy desk. It had a black base and a darkish stained prime. However the desk didn’t look proper within the studio, the place I used to be making some extent to make issues lighter, brighter, and extra female. So I got down to flip the unique desk into one thing extra becoming for my studio.

Right here’s a have a look at how the desk taken care of I constructed it a couple of years again…

And right here’s what the desk appears to be like like now…

In my final submit on this venture, I had completed the desk base. As soon as it was all painted one colour, it appeared like this…

The following step was to complete the desktop. The unique desktop was the identical dimensions as the bottom. That gave it a contemporary look. However on this model, I wished the desktop to increase previous the bottom to present it a extra conventional look. I didn’t need to begin from scratch, although. The unique desktop was a strong core door, which was very heavy and sturdy. I wished to make use of it, however I wanted so as to add to the perimeters earlier than gluing on the veneer.

So I minimize strips of 1-inch lumber, ripped to the proper width utilizing my desk noticed in order that these strips would cowl the sting of the desktop. After which I nailed these strips onto the perimeters of the desktop utilizing 16-gauge, 1.5-inch nails.

Right here’s what it appeared like with the strips hooked up to all 4 sides…

Since all of this might be hidden underneath veneer, there wasn’t any must miter the corners…

However only one strip wasn’t sufficient. That solely prolonged either side a further 3/4-inch, and I wanted double that. So I added a second strip to every facet…

Once more, I didn’t trouble mitering the corners. However I did use my sander to ensure the corners the place the boards met had been very easy.

Right here’s what it appeared like with two strips hooked up to all 4 edges.

Subsequent, I gave the highest a fast sanding with 100-grit sanding discs, not solely to take away the paint and glue that had been on the desktop, but in addition to ensure the transition from the unique desktop to the newly hooked up strips on the perimeters was very easy with no excessive spots.

Then I used to be prepared to connect the veneer. I used a 4′ x 8′ sheet of quartered walnut veneer for this desktop. I began by inserting the sheet flat, after which slicing off a 2.25-inch strip from the precise finish of the veneer. This piece can be for the precise edge, however I didn’t need to connect it simply but.

Subsequent, I minimize off a 2.25-inch strip on the entrance fringe of the veneer. That is the piece I glued on first. I hooked up the veneer utilizing Weldwood Contact Cement and a 6-inch curler for easy surfaces. I at all times put two coats of contact cement on each surfaces (the again of the veneer and the sting of the desk on this case), letting it dry fully between coats, after which letting it dry fully earlier than attaching the veneer. I hooked up the strip of veneer in order that it caught up above the desktop about 1/4-inch. At the very least, that was the purpose. It wasn’t excellent. As soon as it was hooked up, I used a ground curler to ensure it was securely hooked up, after which used a utility knife with a model new blade to chop off the surplus 1/4-inch (or extra) from the highest fringe of the veneer.

The following piece that I hooked up was the highest. After coating each surfaces with two coats of contact cement and letting it dry, I positioned strips of scrap wooden on the desktop about six inches aside, spanning the entire desktop, after which positioned the veneer on prime. These strips stored the veneer from touching the desktop earlier than I used to be prepared. I lined up the precise edge and the entrance edge in order that the veneer overlapped about 1/4-inch, after which pressed the veneer into place from proper to left, eradicating one strip of wooden at a time and urgent the veneer into place. After which I used my utility knife to trim the precise edge and the entrance edge.

The again edge and the left edge had an entire lot of overlap. I wanted to watch out in slicing off this extra as a result of, as a lot as I may, I wished to cut back waste in order that I may get the grain on the perimeters to line up with the highest as a lot as doable. And if I minimize away an excessive amount of, and had an excessive amount of scrap between the items, the grain wouldn’t line up.

I ended up dropping about 1/2 inch of veneer between the 2 items as soon as I rigorously minimize off the surplus after which trimmed every one…

You’ll be able to see right here that after I minimize off the massive piece of extra veneer from the left facet, trimmed the veneer on the desktop, after which hooked up the veneer to the left edge, the grain nonetheless matched up fairly properly, although I misplaced about 1/2-inch of veneer in that course of.

Additionally, sanding makes all of the distinction in the case of working with veneer. That is one motive I really like working with actual wooden veneer. For instance proper after attaching the veneer to the left facet and trimming off the surplus from the highest edge, look how tough it appeared…

However after burnishing it down slightly extra, after which sanding that nook, that is the way it appeared…

After which as soon as I acquired the surplus veneer trimmed off of the underside, that is how that left edge turned out…

And right here’s a have a look at the completed prime, and the 2 completed edges (left edge and entrance edge), at that time…

Subsequent, I added the precise edge piece. This was the primary piece I minimize from the large piece of veneer, however I wanted to connect the highest earlier than including this edge. It’s loads simpler to match up a small piece to a big piece that’s already in place relatively than making an attempt to match up a big piece to a small piece that’s already in place.

After which lastly, I hooked up the again edge (i.e., the desk chair facet).

And right here’s the way it appeared as soon as every little thing was trimmed and sanded.

And right here’s a greater view of the desktop. Quartered veneer typically has attention-grabbing patterns in it, and this piece had fairly a couple of. These don’t trouble me, however simply be aware that in the event that they do trouble you, and also you’re wanting to make use of veneer on a venture, you would possibly need to search for a unique minimize of veneer.

To seal the desktop, I used the identical product that I used on the entire walnut in our rest room — Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C in Pure (affiliate hyperlink). These items is AMAZING. It’s an oil plus a hardener, and it’s extremely sturdy. The entire walnut in our rest room appears to be like simply pretty much as good as we speak because it did the day I completed it, and I’ve by no means needed to recoat.

After mixing the 2 elements collectively in a 1:3 hardener-to-oil ratio, I wiped it on with a paper towel. Simply be aware that that is NOT the right means to do that. It’s a lot simpler to use with one thing like a kind of white spongy applicator issues that gained’t take in (and waste) a whole lot of oil, and that gained’t depart behind little bits of white within the oil. However I didn’t have a kind of applicators, so I simply used a paper towel. It wasn’t very best, however I made it work. Right here’s the distinction that the oil made within the colour…

I wiped oil onto the entire floor, let it set a couple of minutes, after which used a clear white rag to buff the complete floor. It leaves a beautiful matte end on the wooden.

And right here’s the oiled desktop. Isn’t that fairly?! I really like walnut. I simply love how deep and wealthy the colour is with out being too darkish.

Right here’s a comparability of the scrap piece of unfinished veneer on prime of the oiled veneer.

And with that, the desk was accomplished.

I’m so happy with how this desk turned out. I really like being within the kitchen and searching into the studio to see a glimpse of the desk, pendant gentle, and pink cupboards. Now I simply want my pink velvet chair!

My mother came to visit yesterday, and when she noticed the desk with its new prime, she stated, “Wow! I knew it was going to be fairly, however I didn’t understand it was going to be THAT fairly!” 😀

I’ve to agree together with her. I knew it could be fairly, and I may make it work. However I feel the ultimate look far exceeded my expectations.

And I simply love sitting at this desk, with my arms resting on this easy wooden desktop, and searching as much as see that stunning pendant gentle. I’ll be spending many hours right here, and it’s simply excellent.

In spite of everything was stated and accomplished, I ended up not including drawers to the desk. I had one downside after one other with that plan, so I ended up carrying the highest trim all the best way throughout the again (chair facet) of the desk, after which I wrapped the opposite trim round identical to I did on the underside under the leaf panel.

That provides it a completed search for now, whereas additionally permitting for the potential for including drawers later if I modify my thoughts.

Anyway, I’m so happy with how this turned out. I used to be very proud of the unique desk for a few years. It was , sturdy, helpful, utilitarian desk.

However I feel the brand new appears to be like is so significantly better. It suits the studio so significantly better, and it’s rather more “me”.

In order that’s another large venture checked off of my “to do” listing for this room. I’ve only a few extra, together with some electrical work, some trim and door casings, and reupholstering my desk chair.

After which getting this room all cleaned up and arranged goes to be fairly the job. The considered tackling that job is slightly overwhelming proper now.

However at the least this one is completed. And I’m simply so proud of the way it turned out!



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