How to Build Your Own Desk to Use at Home

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With DIY projects, there’s always the satisfaction and appeal in the idea that you can make something out of your own hands with absolute freedom on how you want things to go from start to finish.

Perhaps the easiest way to get started on DIY woodworking projects for your HDB flat or condo unit is by making your own desk at home.

Here’s how you can get started:


While most desks are about thirty inches tall on average, it may not suit you if you’re a little too tall or a little too short.

So when planning the desk you want to make, sit in the chair you plan on using to determine the measurements, taking into consideration factors such as your height, the char’s width for freedom of movement, and your reach.

Tools and Supplies

The best way you can cut the wood of your choice is by asking to have it cut to your specifications at the hardware store. Ideally, you want to use softwoods, since they tend to be a lot easier to work with.

If you’re looking for something novel to make your desk with, reclaimed wood and even driftwood make for great materials, as well as old doors or nightstands. When you upcycle, you open yourself up to new ideas and possibilities.

Aside from the wood cut to your specifications, here are some of the other tools you will need:

  • Hand drill (with drill bits)
  • Multipurpose screws (that can penetrate wood)
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Primer and latex paint

Building and Assembly

Once you have the materials and tools you need, you can begin constructing your desk by using these following tips as a guide:

1. Start by assembling your supports. Make sure that your supports are sturdy and of the same length. Since these will bear the weight of your desk, be sure to fasten them well with both screws and wood glue.

2. Build bottom-up. Depending on how you want your desk to look, your supports can also double as drawers for you to place things in when you want to access them easily. If you need a place to store books, for instance, you should definitely install them.

3. Add the tabletop. Lay the center base by measuring and marking the spots where the supports should go, and secure using both screws and glue.

4. Add the finishing touches. Start sanding your desktop until smooth and remove any debris using only a dry cloth or a vacuum, since wetting wood can cause it to warp. Depending on the wood, it’s your choice to either add paint or simply give it a good gloss.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

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