Introduction: "Organized Mess" Bedroom Desk
I wanted to build a modern looking desk for my bedroom with a minimalist approach.
Step 1: Building the Top
The top is off old 4" x 4"'s my parents had left over from building their house. I cut 4 8' boards in half to make 8 4' sections. I drilled 4 holes through each board, although these pictures only had 2 holes by this point. 4 metal threaded poles to hold all 8 pieces together. I used washers and lock bolts as the end caps to tighten the table together. I was able to crank all the boards together until they were very tight and then lock them down, no need for glue or clamps.
Step 2: Building the Bottom
For the bottom, I wanted the legs of the table to be large rectangles. I bought some flat, 3" metal that I cut down into 32" wide by 36" tall rectangles. I used corner clamps to weld these squares, and then welded two long flat pieces on the top and back to help support the table top and prevent leaning/rocking. Before attaching the top pieces of the rectangles, I drilled 3 even hole on each side for screws to fit through. These will be used to attach the table top to the frame.
After grinding down all of the welds, I buffed the whole frame and put a white primer coat on it. I then painted three layers of black paint, making sure to leave plenty of time between layers.
Tip: When using spray paint on metal, don't try and get it completely painted the first layer! most of the time you will spray too much and it will run. Several layers of smooth, even painting will look much better.
The base is finished!
Step 3: Prepping the Top
Before prepping the desk, I needed to cut off the extra metal thread. I used a hand-held grinding wheel with a cutting blade and cut the thread as close as I could to the desk. Luckily the wheel was able to bend slightly and it was smooth with the edge of the desk. I then used spackle/bondo to fill the small gaps between the boards, and then sanded them down with a sanding block. once the top was smooth I primed the whole desk with flat white paint.
Step 4: Painting the Top
For my desktop, I wanted to again use the paint-pour method. To better complement my bedroom, I stuck with black, white, gray, and gold. We used a combination of alternating circles and random pours to get the desired abstract look for this desk. Once the paint was dry I taped off the top and spray painted the edges metallic silver.
The total time for painting was about an hour and a half.
Tip: this desktop is very heavy so be careful when lifting to tilt the paint!!
DO NOT mix spray paint into this method. The spray paint will form together over the poured paint and make a bubble that wont cure right and could mess up your epoxy top.
Step 5: Sealing the Top
I used bar top epoxy to seal the top of this table. I went ahead and used two boxes to make sure I had enough to allow it to run off the sides. Tip: Having a partner help you with this step is advised! My dad and I each mixed one box at the same time and began pouring them into the middle of the table. With this epoxy, we have about 20 minutes before its advised to stop moving it. We started by pouring in the middle to make sure we don't run off too much epoxy. Once 90% of the table was covered, we started finding the excess and pushing it right up to the edge so it would slowly roll off, coating the edges on the way down. This allows for maximal coverage with minimal waste.
Tip: Cover the edge of the desk you will sit in front of first to make sure it has a nice smooth finish.
Put a tarp down beneath the desk top to catch all the excess paint/epoxy.
If you realize there is still wet paint: you can either continue mixing the epoxy and hope you like look of a swirly epoxy, or you can move the epoxy and quickly scrap out all the wet paint. This runs the risk of having a low spot or running the overall paint look.
Let the epoxy dry for 2-3 days, periodically check on it and once its cold and hard its good to go.
Step 6: Finishing
To finish this project, I laid the table on its face and placed the metal frame on top to line up the screws. I centered and evened the frame on the table and then used 6 screws to attach the top of the desk to the frame. Once attached, two other people and I flipped the desk back over and moved it into place.
Tips: The desk top is very heavy, use caution and other people when moving/flipping!
I would suggest putting rubber pads or feet on the bottom of the desk in case it ever moves, to ensure you don't scratch the floor.
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