DIY desk guide written by The Stayover Life

There’s nothing new about having to adapt our homes to become more friendly workspaces. We’ve spent the best part of 2020 trying to create functional spaces where we can all live and work in harmony. After browsing the internet I quickly realised desks are in high demand right now (no surprise there). Many of the desks I fell for were out of stock, international shipping rates (no thank you) or sky high prices.

After becoming a self-proclaimed amateur DIY enthusiast in the early days of lockdown I decided to put my new honed skills back to the test and make my very own DIY desk. My preferred dimensions, my preferred look. Perfect! 

DIY Desk by The Stayover Life
Image credit: The Stayover Life

This weekend project actually turned out to be way simpler than expected. I set to work by creating a moodboard of desks I liked the look of, then began sourcing my supplies for the task. All the materials were ordered from the ManoMano website where you can buy pretty much anything for a homeware project. 

Moodboard for DIY desk
Image credit: Pinterest

The requirements for my DIY desk were:

  • Sturdy feel to the desk 
  • Enough width and depth to either have two chairs to work from same space or one large space for single use 
  • Matt black with industrial looking legs 
  • Upstand around the desk edge for a finished look and to keep loose items from escaping the desk

What you’ll need for your DIY desk: 


Step 1: Sand it out

Lay out all wood on a dust sheet and begin sanding the MDF board and fixing batons to make sure it’s fully smooth and ready to prime. 

Step 2 Prime time: 

Prime the wood with the undercoat and leave to fully dry. Then paint the MDF and the batons with matt black paint. The oil based paint will need a few hours to dry. It would be wise to leave overnight after the second coat is applied.

Step 3: Leg it

Place the MDF board upside down and take the industrial square table legs and align them at each end of the desk top. Fix the legs to the table top with the screws provided. Then attach the protective feet. 

Step 4: Measuring the batons

Flip the desk the right way up and line up one 1200mm baton at back of desk. Sit one end of the baton at the edge of the left hand side and it should be 25mm short at the right side. Take the second baton and place it along the right hand edge of the desk. It will sit snugly in the gap from where the back baton didn’t meet the edge of the desk. At the forward edge on the right hand side of the desk make a marking where to cut the wood. 

Step 5: Fitting the batons

With the remaining side of the wood measure up the baton for the left side. Cut the wood to size. The batons will be different sizes but will fit the trim of the desk perfectly. Sand to smooth the cut edges and line up x3 pieces of cut wood and make sure it all fits in a perfect U shape around the desk edges.

Step 6: Glue it down

Time to try out your new best friend – No More Nails Glue. Stick the batons down and hold firmly until dry. 

Optional – to be sure it’s secure, screw x3 nails to the rear trim and x1 to each side trim.


A two person desk… Or just for one!

Step 7: DIY desk final touches

A plant adds a vibrant element to a home office, so style it up with a chic plant pot. There is a huge selection of plant pots available on ManoMano with many different sizes. 

The light wood bamboo file storage system complements the matt black desk and retro looking chair. A laptop stand is a MUST for perfect posture and also with its interchangeable height this leaves the option for a stand up work space too. Finally, my DIY desk has enough space for a filing tray to keep my home office organised!

DIY Desk by The Stayover Life
Image credit: The Stayover Life

Did you enjoy this article from The Stayover Life on how to build your own DIY desk? Why not learn how to make your own shoe rack out of pallets or even our guide to buying the right desk for you! You can also Pin for later!

Are you building our own home office desk? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

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