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How to Make a Scrap Wood DIY Desk Plans

Easy scrap wood project to make a rustic computer desk using DIY desk plans. Our DIY wood desk is beginner friendly, affordable, and sturdy!

Get creative with this scrap wood project and see what you can repurpose to make this rustic desk.

What is Needed to Make a Scrap Wood DIY Desk

To make this rustic desk you will need 2 x 4’s, plywood, and optional corner molding.

I used a piece of pine plywood for the top and framed the outside of the desk with corner molding.

The corner molding gave the desk a cleaner look and hide the rough edges of the plywood.

I recommend using wood that is in good condition, so your desk will feel sturdy.

Do not use wood that is bowed or cracked as this can ruin the integrity of your rustic computer desk.

diy plans for scrap wood desk
Tools needed for this project!

Simplify Your Project with DIY Desk Plans

If you are going to purchase a piece of wood for the top of the desk then I recommend buying a large piece of birch wood.

Using a better piece of wood, will allow you to skip the corner molding and the wood will have a cleaner edge.

I only used plywood because I had a large piece taking up space in my garage.

So, don’t be afraid to customize these DIY desk plans and use whatever wood you have on hand.

diy desk plans

Choose Your Desk Measurements

My home does not have enough space available to add a home office, so I built this rustic computer desk to fit in a corner near a sunny window.

The space that I was working with was rather small, so my desk 29 is only inches high and 19.5 inches wide to fit just right.

Most desks are 30 inches high, so I went with 29 inches for the height of my desk because I was adding a 1 inch thick piece of plywood to the top.

I recommend making your desk about the same height because a chair will fit nicely underneath the desk.

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How to Make a Rustic Computer Desk Frame

To make the outside frame for the desk, simply cut 2 x 4’s to height and width that fits your space.

The outside of the frame is 29 inches tall and 19.5 inches deep, but this can be customized to fit your space.

First cut 4 pieces of scrap 2×4’s to 29 inches in length then cut 2 pieces of scrap 2×4’s to 19.5 inches long.

To simplify your project, check out our free DIY Desk plans with 3D images.

diy rustic computer desk
Frame

Connecting the Desk Frame

To connect the desk frame you will need a drill, wood screws, and wood glue or liquid nails.

First apply a thin layer of liquid nails to the 2×4’s that are going to be attached to one another.

Then predrill holes in the attached 2×4’s before joining them together with wood screws.

I made the mistake of not predrilling and one of my 2×4’s cracked, so make sure to predrill.

For the frame a 19.5 inch 2×4 will be on the top and a 29 inch 2×4 will be on either side.

After you have made 2 frames for your desk, you will be moving onto the support for your desk.

How to Add Support to a DIY Desk

Now that you have built a left and a right frame, you will need to connect both frames to supports.

The supports are very important as this will bear weight and make your desk sturdy.

There are multiple ways to go about adding supports to furniture, so if you prefer a different design then go ahead and change the supports.

I went with a simple and clean support to leave plenty of foot room underneath the desk.

If you already are feeling overwhelmed then I recommend using our free DIY Desk plans with 3D images.

Adding the First Support

To adhere the first support, use liquid nails, kreg jig, and screws.

The first support will be attached at the bottom of the frame in between both the left and ride sides of the desk.

Create 4 pocket holes with a kreg jig in the 23 inch 2×4 before attaching this support.

There should be 2 pocket holes on each end of the support.

Using the kreg jig allows you to easily screw into the pocket hole to attach the support to the frame.

Adding the Second Support

I know this might be confusing to interpret, so I recommend using our free DIY Desk plans with 3D blueprints.

The second support will be placed along the top portion of the DIY wood desk.

To adhere the second support, use liquid nails, kreg jig, and screws.

Make sure to add 4 pocket holes with the kreg jig on the 2×4 on both ends of the support.

Once you have made your pocket holes, lightly add liquid nails on the both ends of the 2×4 support.

Then place the second support in the center on the top portion of the frame.

Drill the screws into the pocket holes attaching the support to the frame on either side.

This support will rest in between the left and right frame and drilled in place.

If for some reason your desk does not feel sturdy, add more supports and consider mounting to a wall.

To simplify your project, check out our free DIY Desk plans with 3D images.

How to Add a Top to DIY Desk

After you have cut you desk top to size, you can attach it to the frames.

Gently rest the plywood top onto the frames and make sure the top is centered.

Once you have the plywood top centered you can add liquid nails onto the top of the frames and support.

Make sure the desk is centered one more time before allowing the liquid nails to dry.

Now you will need either a nail gun with brad nails or finish screws and a hammer.

I used a nail gun and brad nails to attach the plywood to the frame and support.

diy desk plans to make a rustic desk for a scrap wood project
This is countersinking the nails. You can see the nail just below the wood.

Try to countersink the nails if you can, so they will be just below the top surface of the desk.

I lightly tapped the nails with a hammer to countersink them before covering the hole with wood putty.

Optional Corner Molding

Since I used a piece of scrap plywood for my rustic computer desk, the top of the desk looked a little rough.

So, I added corner molding around the entire top portion of the desk to cover the rough edges of the plywood.

The corner molding was cut at 45 degrees and attached with liquid nails, a nail gun, and brad nails.

Again I countersunk as many of these nails as I could, so I could cover the nail holes with wood putty.

To simplify your project, check out our free DIY Desk plans with 3D images.

Sanding Your Scrap Wood Desk

Now that your desk has been completed, you should add wood putty wherever needed.

Once the putty has dried, you can down the entire desk.

I started with course sand paper then transitioned to fine sand paper to smooth the surface.

Since your DIY desk is made of scrap wood, you may have to use course sand paper to clean up the wood.

After completely sanding your desk, wipe the desk down to prep for painting or staining.

Painting and Staining a Rustic Desk

I white washed bottom of my desk and I did a 2 part stain on the top of my desk.

I was going for a rustic desk, so white washing came out great for this scrap wood project.

To white wash simply grab some white paint, water, and a disposable cup.

Pour a little white paint and slowly add water until you get a good consistency.

I pour enough water into the paint, so it is not too thick or too liquidy.

You really can’t mess this up, just pour water in until you like the consistency then start painting.

Use a paint brush to brush on the white wash then wipe the paint off with a rag.

I only applied 1 coat of white wash because I like how the wood grain showed through the white wash.

If you do not like this look then I recommend adding another coat of white wash.

How to Stain a DIY Wood Desk

I stained the top part of the desk and the corner molding with a weathered gray wood stain and a darker stain.

To apply the first coat of stain use an old t-shirt or rag and lightly wipe the stain onto the wood.

When you wipe the stain on, you should follow the grain of the wood.

Then wipe the stain off while working your way across the entire top portion of the desk.

Second Coat of Stain

Once your weathered gray stain has dried, you can add the dark color stain to the top.

The dark stain that I was used was called, Kona.

I have used this stain on several other projects, so I knew the color Kona would come out darker than I wanted.

To apply the darker stain over the weather gray stain, I followed the same steps as above.

I was satisfied with the look of the stain after 1 coat of each stain, so I let my rustic computer desk dry overnight.

diy desk plans, rustic computer desk
DIY Scrap Wood Desk

To simplify your project, check out our free DIY Desk plans with 3D images.

Cleat Coat

After the desk has dried for several hours, you can apply a gloss clear coat to the top of your desk.

I only applied the gloss clear coat to the top of the desk because I was being lazy.

I figured the top portion of the desk was the only area that really need protection, so I only applied clear coat to the top.

The gloss clear coat should be applied with thin layers using a brush meant for gloss.

I was satisfied with the look of 1 coat of gloss, so I let my desk dry before moving it.

If you want to add an additional coat of gloss, you may need to sand the first coat then add a second coat.

Each product is different, so I recommend reading the instructions on the can of gloss clear coat before applying a second coat.

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