As someone with a penchant for DIY projects and with some free time on my hands, I decided it was high time to upgrade my kids’ computer desk. It was a practical decision – an exercise in function over form, with a clear goal: build a desk that’s sturdy and functional, with a straightforward design.
The plan was simple. Drawing from the dimensions of my last computer desk (link), the needs of my kids, and their space requirements, I designed a desk that would be large enough to house a computer and still have ample space for everything from school books to craft supplies.
- Butcher block countertop
- Gloss polyurethane
- Construction pine
- Pocket holes, screws, and glue
- Black paint
Also, I picked up a new paint sprayer mid-project – because sometimes you just don’t feel like fixing the old one.
Building the Desk
My wife and I ordered an acacia butcher block countertop from Home Depot. It was stained jet black and given a few coats of gloss polyurethane for a fine finish. A little sanding gave it a slightly used look, while being smooth to the touch. Simple, no frills, but it gets the job done and looks pretty decent. We'll see if it stands up to kids and their naturally destructive tendencies.
The frame was tacked together from construction pine using pocket holes, screws, and glue. The pocket holes were filled with dowels and sanded flat (my son especially loved this part of the project). The frame was painted black, in keeping with the tabletop, and structured to be reliable and long-lasting, based on the proven design of my last desk.
Involving the Kid
My son was around, curious and eager to help out where he could. I let him take a stab at sanding, and even let him handle some painting (the less critical areas, mind you). It was a good opportunity for him to get his hands dirty and learn a thing or two. He did an admirable job. It's impressive how he picked it up like it wasn't his first time.
Now that it’s up, the desk is serving its purpose well. It's housing their mini-computer (running Linux, of course) and has enough space for both my kids to use it for their schoolwork. It’s a straightforward piece of furniture, built to be functional and durable — no more, no less.
In the end, this was a straightforward project — an exercise in practicality, with a focus on function. It was a good way to spend a weekend, and the kids have a new, custom-made desk that serves its purpose well. Plus, it was a nice chance for my son to learn a bit about woodworking — certainly a win-win.