October 9, 2012

Chic Door Table - Two Ways

I, uh, kinda sold my computer desk out from under my computer...without having a replacement ready.
Why would I do that? The table I was using was actually a sofa table so it was long but not very wide and I was getting a little tired of having no place to write and I'd had it with my mouse always  being under the printer tray. So my sweet neighbor mentioned she was looking for a sofa table or something like it for her foyer and could I keep an eye out for one in my travels. Uh, Yeah!!! She took a look at it and we walked it down the street within 10 minutes.  

It is amazing that my kids actually played their computer games belly flat on the ground for two weeks before I got tired of looking for a solution.  I saw an old core door on the trash and went for a look-see only to see it had a foot print smashed through it. That would have been perfect. Totally forgot that I had not one, but two, five panel doors we had removed from our kitchen, just waiting in my basement to be used again.

I thought this would go together in a day. 
So not the case. This table went through three re-designs before I figured out how to make it look the way I wanted. 
 My brother-in-law had made a table for my son when he was 4 that had some cool braces that you stuck 2x4's in to make legs. Undid three of them (you'll understand more when you see the pics) and went to work on my door. First I cut off the bottom panel and about 2" on the top to make it the length I wanted and also to make it look symmetrical. 

I wound up not using the braces  but I thought I'd still show you the how-to in case it might be something you want to use. These are pretty inexpensive and they go together really easily, when yo use the right stuff, like 2x4's, instead of 1x4's... just a little hint for ya'!

The braces has three parts: the part that sits on a piece of wood, a middle locking piece and the bolt/wing nut combo to tighten it all down
This is what you need:
2x4's (or 1x4's for my final design)
scrap 2x4 pieces
leg braces
5" bolts and wing nuts
drill and drill bit the circumference of the bolt
paddle bit

When they are all together they will look like this

Find the drill bit that is as close to the bolt circumference as possible

Using the brace hole as your guide, drill all the way through a scrap piece of 2x4

Now use the paddle bit and drill down just a bit into the hole so the bolt will lay flush with the top of the wood, like above. This needs to happen so when you attach it to your table top, the wood will sit directly on the surface. Otherwise your block will rock back and forth and therefore so will your legs. Much like when you disembark from a cruise....

Lay your block bolt side up and secure to bottom of table top with wood screws

Place brace onto bolt and add filler pieces if using 1x4's. If using 2x4's, cut them to length (typically 25-27" for a computer table.) When cutting your legs to length, remember to subtract the depth of the table top and the depth of the wood piece that the brace is on. Otherwise the table sill sit too high and you will have to re-cut. you may also want to cut one side of the 2x4 at a 20 degree angle on a compound miter saw so the legs sit flat on the floor.

Add you leg pieces and the middle locking piece then the wing nut and tighten down. Don't over- tighten yet you may need to make some adjustments once you level all the legs

Take a long piece of wood and lay it across the legs. Set your level on the wood and adjust it until the legs are level. Now place the board across the legs long ways and make sure it is level across all legs.

When I flipped it over, I hated that you could see the braces. I thought about painting them white but i knew i would still hate them so off they came.

 Redesign #2
I cut a two by four 10 inches long and then cut the ends at a 20 degree angle so the legs would be angled out. Attach to table top with wood screws.

Cut top and bottom of leg wood at 20 degrees as well taking care to make sure they are cut the correct way on the miter saw. Mark a T to indicate top of the leg

Pre-drill holes on the leg before attaching them to the wood brace with wood screws

This is how it ended up Friday night. Why three legs? I was going to add a shelf between the two right legs for the computer tower to sit on. That middle set of legs would not level up and i thought it looked lopsided so they came off on Sunday. Why Sunday?

Because we were replacing our DR windows all day Saturday! Yes our windows are almost 6 foot tall so I thought it would be fun to show how big by standing in the opening! Crazy I tell ya'! 
Now help me think of how I can re-use the weights that we removed from the frames

Okay, onto Re-design #3
I removed that wonky third "in-bred" leg and added side braces and was finally happy with it. Decorating is exhausting. I was going to add a huge piece of Plexiglas to the top but the cost was prohibitive, $60 prohibitive.

So here are two ways I came up with making this go from the obvious "you have a door sitting on wood legs" to a "You made a door into a trestle desk? Tres Chic!" 
I added luan panels to the inside door panels for a more masculine look

If you choose, you can add fabric panels on top... and if you know how I love to change things up, you can now change the look of your desk with the seasons. Because you don't have enough things you need to change, like bedding, table cloths, mantle displays, underwear...

I had the local hardware store cut me four panels from Plexiglas and inserted them over the fabric.
Finally finished and finally loving the final product.

I would suggest gluing the luan down to make it more stable since I didn't make them fill the panel completely, thus giving the panels some wiggle room. I used Liquid Nails adhesive and let this dry overnight. Leftover paint cans work great as weights. 

Now I have a great big workspace that is so much more functional and user friendly and....

way prettier than the floor.

Final possible re-design...
Should I paint the legs or leave them natural?

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  1. That is amazing. Doesn't look like a door at all, but a high-class designer piece! Wait, it IS a high-class designer piece~~ya did good!

  2. I really like this and Sandra is right, it is a hi-end designer piece! I have to save this for my future office/craft room. I vote to paint the legs to finish it off...like you need one more thing to do!

  3. This is a great project. Just saw a great old door last Sat. Not sure about the clamp thingy, but looks like a big help! I posted vintage halloween apron to the party. Following your page now and liked ya on the Facebook. Follow me too at www.sewsweetvintage.com and like my face book box there:) Cheers!!!!!

  4. It looks great! I could use this table in my new sewing room that I am creating this week.

  5. Kim this is gorgeous! Looking great! You've nailed it once again!

  6. I love the new desk!! Beautiful...and definitely better without the braces.
    Debbie :)

  7. You go, girl! What a fabulous job! Something that I would never attempt on my own...so I'm in total awe of your skills! I would leave the legs unpainted. Love the mix of feminine and rustic! :)

    xoxo laurie

  8. You are absolutely amazing. This desk totally rocks. Glad you sold your old desk. :-)


  9. oooooooo ahhhhhhhhh LOVE! You're awesome, Kim!

  10. Oh this looks awesome! What a great find. It looks really nice in the space, I'm loving the blues tones against the wood!

  11. I love your new desk and the fabric print underneath!

  12. Since you asked... I'd paint or stain the legs (medium-dark to dark) for more contrast with the table top and the floor--perhaps something like the wood tone of the chair? Nice job with such a stylish upcycling of what you had!

  13. your gorgeous new desk
    looks uber chic

    love that you made it yourself

    and i can empathize with the windows

    ours are 6 feet tall too

    thanks for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded

    just shared your desk
    on the Stuff and Nonsense FB page!


  14. Hi Kim! Your door/table turned out great! I love it!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me a comment!
    Hugs from Spain

  15. Great re-do....and you are giving me a heart attack standing in the window!!

    1. I was only about 5 feet off of the ground...I like living on the edge...the windowsill edge. Now THAT is living dangerously!

  16. I love your table/desk! I suggest staining the legs with a dark walnut stain. :)


  17. Happy to feature you at the party this morning!

  18. I love your trestle table and the idea that you could change the top out for the seasons or just whenever. You gave a wonderful tutorial and I must give this a try soon. I like the lgs plain but they would be pretty with a dark stain also. :-) won't you come by my party and share? Totally Transformed Tuesday http://pjhdesignsoneofakind.blogspot.com Hope to see you there. Peggy

  19. Great transformation! I thought it was a door transformed into ordinary table but it was a computer table. I will give a try on it....

  20. Thanks so much for linking to Make the Scene Monday, you are being featured tonight!!

  21. I am beyond impressed with your table. You had me reeled in before you even covered it in fabric..and I love some fabric. This absolutely looks like you paid a whole lot of money for it. If I were a little more skilled, I'd give it try attempt to make one of my own. Being that I'm not, however, I better start saving to BUY a desk. :-) Thanks for sharing!

  22. This is just awesome. Thank you so much for sharing all the directions too! Featuring tomorrow at Redoux. -K

  23. That's so cute and it certainly is a great idea! It's also good that you preferred a wide table to have a more comfortable time in using the computer. What a fantastic job on the aesthetics!

  24. This was a great little tutorial. I have a desk similar that I also made from an old door, but I just took a shortcut and bought the legs from IKEA. They have a few different choices but I went the cheap route and bought the metal ones which came with the brackets for attaching also. I didnt put a top on it because I was making jewely and the indents were perfect for beads and supplies, so they didnt roll off. I will tell ya (and anyone else reading this) I was never happy with the metal legs, they were too wobbely for the size of the door. At some point I will redo the legs. But I LOVE the plexiglass and material under that you did, so that will be my inspiration when i get mine done. have a great weekend!


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