Desk do over

Hello all! Hope your weekend and holiday was wonderful! Our Easter ended up being a lot more low key than we planned and it was great! My boy played outside pretty much all day long yesterday and it was fabulous – this is the weather we’ve been waiting for!

So the project I’m sharing today was frustrating – sometimes you put a lot of time into something and it ends up not working. Well, it may work great – but it just isn’t what you envisioned. It’ll make more sense in a bit. :)

I mentioned last week that I’d like a smaller desk in my office. We have a couple options in the house that I thought would work as a replacement – I tried the first and it was way too big (too long). The second was this small desk I got from HomeGoods years back:

decorative desk

In that spot it was mostly decorative – you can tell by the height of the chair that there wasn’t a lot of leg room there to sit. The desk was low and the middle section was in the way. I tried a couple different chairs and that one is actually the only one low enough for it – the desk just isn’t made to function I guess? (Which I didn’t realize till getting hit home and taking off all the tags, of course.) Weird.

So I pulled it into the office to see if I liked the size. It’s about half the width of my current table and I LOVED how it opened up the space. I actually placed it at an angle in the room and loved how it looked in there.

But as I mentioned, I couldn’t really sit at it. So I did some checking – first to see how much I would need to raise the desk to make it work for me. Then I looked at the legs closer and figured out that everything came off easily – the feet first, then the cross bars:

Then I was able to take the legs off as well. This was going so well! :)

I ran to the hardware store and grabbed a 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 board – when I got home I cut it down to size and installed it on the bottom of the desk:

extending legs on desk

Then I reinstalled these little doodads that the legs screwed into:

extending legs on desk

I was making a mess, as you can see. :)

So far so good – it was actually going fast and easy and I put the legs back on and the height was great!

Little issue. When I sit at my desk I rarely sit with two legs on the floor. I pull them up and tuck them under, or sit criss cross, whatever – I LOVE to have my legs up. Because of that I need extra space under the desk that normally wouldn’t be needed. My current table/desk works great because it has a small apron that doesn’t get in the way of my legs.

I tried sitting at the desk as it was but couldn’t handle not being able to pull my legs up. It’s my thing I guess. So…plan B happened. It got ugly before it got better:

repurposing desk

I cut the middle section away with a jigsaw (it was just thin particle board) – not all the way back, but enough for my legs to be able to fit in. The photo above was a rough cut – I evened it all out and then used some small trim molding to cover up the rough edges.

It actually worked out great! I wanted to paint the desk anyway so these changes weren’t any big deal. The painting is where things went downhill. ;)

We took it outside so I could spray paint it – with all the detail on the legs and the grooves in the top I knew that would be the best option. I sanded it down lightly first, then spray primed it, then started painting the final color.

I loved my navy blue lamps in the master bedroom so much, I figured a navy blue desk would look great. My office is light but I thought having more of a statement in the desk would work.

It did not. :)

I didn’t even take pics of it in the room – we put it in there and I had to pull it back out immediately. HATED it. Don’t hate the desk, hate in in the room:

navy blue desk

Did I mention I ran to the hardware store ten minutes before closing to get more spray paint cause I ran out? And then the color didn’t even work. GAH. (I wasn’t 100 percent sold on it outside in the sun but thought it would look different inside.)

And the spray paint covered really crappy. It can get a cloudy look if you don’t apply it just so – this was user error though. When you’re painting smaller projects this won’t happen as badly because it’s easier to get good coverage. With larger furniture it’s hard to get it just right.

Thing is, both the new height and the cut out turned out great, and I love how the changes look!:

navy blue desk

The color is just all kinds of wrong. :) I actually like the navy on the desk, I just think it needs to be a deeper blue.

I’m determined to use it somewhere though – I have a couple spots in mind for it as is (I’ll touch up the uneven spray paint if it works). If I don’t like the blue I’ll be painting it, again. :)

One thing I’ve learned – I’ll need to stick with the table-as-desk idea, for the way I work…err, sit. I’ve been searching on Craigslist here and there for months and haven’t found anything that would work.

Something like this on a smaller scale would be ideal:

table as desk

I’ve been thinking lately I could just DIY something, since the size I want is so specific:

table as desk


And then I came across this small table from IKEA:

small table IKEA

It’s a little plain but only $40 and the perfect size. I think I’m leaning towards making something though. We will see!

All I know is the desk will NOT be navy blue. :) Live and learn. Most of the time I put into this project was spray painting – extending the legs only took about 30 minutes.

All in all not a complete waste, so I can’t be too bummed about it. For now I continue to sit at my gigantor table/desk in my office with my legs crossed. :)

Have you had any projects that didn’t turn out the way you envisioned? I happens to all of us at some point! Were you able to salvage it?