97. Funky Desk from Rejects

If you read my other blog, This Green House, you may remember the “pirate plank” bar post, wherein I described the reclamation of a huge ol’ fir plank, advertised thusly on Craigslist:

“Free to a good home – one plank. It’s a big one – 2 1/4″ thick x 16″ wide x 12′ 7″ long. This was found in the basement of our circa 1920’s home when we moved in and it looks like it is just about that old. Nice straight grain, wood species unknown. Suitable for miscellaneous woodworking projects, or perfect for a pirate, if your ship is currently plank-less and you have a prisoner that you want to get rid of but are stuck due to your current lack of a plank. It’s leaning up outside the house and has to go ASAP. A smaller version is also available – 5′ long, perfect for your pirate dinghy. Pickup only, sorry – no mooring nearby.”

pirate plank reclaimedWell, that dinghy pirate plank has found new life as a desk top – together with four table legs I found by the side of the road waiting for the garbage truck, and three four-foot-long fir stair risers.

The space in our home is mostly open, with few spots to just quietly collect our thoughts, or in my case, do writing. I thought about the inspiring view from our bedroom and decided that a desk in there might fit the bill.

We have two great 2×6 rugs we bought when visiting a Tibetan refugee camp in India. I love them because they feel joyous, and because we watched the cheerful women making rugs from the raw wool, to the dyeing, to the spinning, to the knotting of the rugs (100 knots per inch.)tibetan runner rug

Into my mind crept the plan to paint the four landfill-bound table legs to match the rugs. It turned out to be a 3-day long project, although it looks quite simple.

First, I built the table base, cutting out a piece for knee space on the front. Drilled 6 holes to screw the top on from below.Unsure about the proportion/design of the table, I photographed the table upside down, then flipped the photograph 180 degrees to see what it would look like.desk proportion audition

Sanded the legs, and trimmed the length to make the desk an ergonomically appropriate height for computer work. Painted the base and the legs with the rugs’ darkest colour:

 Then, I masked and hand-painted the rug designs onto the desk base with acrylic craft paint.  The Greek key design was a real head-scratcher – I traced it from the photo on my monitor, and labouriously cut and re-cut a stencil, only to discover that I could just cut some letter “T”s instead of this: Then it went much more easily:I assembled the legs and base:and gave the whole thing a top coat of Varathane.

Next, the top. It’s a 2″ thick, 5′ long piece of fir. I gave it 3 coats of Varathane, temporarily placed it on the legs, and wasn’t happy with it. It looked top-heavy and unbalanced.Sought advice from friends and family. Decided to cut 7″ off the length. Better.

Another suggestion was to paint a thick line of the darkest colour along the bottom of the slab, represented here by blue tape:

Or, to paint the whole edge that dark blue. The jury’s still out on that decision. Feel free to weigh in.

For now, I’m going with this:

Cost of project: $6 for leg hardware, $8 for new paints.

Sharing with:

Sunny Simple Life, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Thoughts From Alice, Dwellings – The Heart of Your Home, Rustic and Refined, Cozy Little House (FEATURED!), Coastal Charm, Kathe with an E (FEATURED!), Kammy’s Korner, The Dedicated House, Savvy Southern Style, DIY By Design (FEATURED!), The Thrifted Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I Gotta Create, Inspiration Thursday, The Charm of Home, Rooted in Thyme, Friday’s Furniture Fix, Chic On a Shoestring, DIY Vintage Chic, Funky Junk Interiors, A Stroll Thru Life, DIY Like a Boss, The Curator’s Collection, Friday’s Furniture Fix

13 thoughts on “97. Funky Desk from Rejects

  1. That is bloomin’ gorgeous, I love it! I would go for the dark blue on the edge of the desk top, but it is also perfect without (that’s probably not much help)
    What a beautiful spot to sit and work/think.

  2. Wow, I’m impressed Gail! What a fun looking desk and it looks fabulous with the other decor in the room. Speaking of room, I knew you had to be Canadian when I saw that fabulous view outside the window (one I recognize being a fellow Canuck). Visiting from the Friday’s Furniture Fix party.

  3. I like it just the way it is! Great creativity shown and it is a gorgeous view from which to work. Enjoy.

  4. I love how you described the process in such detail. It helped remind me that the creative process isn’t linear, but an evolution. Thank you for sharing. (And by the way, that view!!!)

  5. Thanks for linking up to You’re Gonna Love it. This project is fabulous, and I have chosen it as my featured link this week! Swing by and grab a “i’ve been featured” button if you’d like!

  6. Gorgeous job. I like how you said the legs look simple (I disagreed) and they were a 3-day job. Yep, that sounds about right. You are right about your Tibetan, they look joyous and you successful carried that joy into this table. And the price . . . just perfect. I saw your link at Becca’s party at DIY Vintage Chic.

  7. Love this desk! The colorful legs are so fun! Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday last week. Hope to see you again tomorrow night!

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