The Sophisticated Whimsical Home Office ORC Week 4: DIY Live Edge Desk!!

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We are in the home stretch of the ORC this fall and I’ve got a killer DIY to share with ya!  Here’s the first 3 weeks projects if you want to get up to speed on the happenins round here. (week 1, week 2, week 3)

No muss no fuss folks, this is how I diy’d myself a live edge desk with custom legs for less than $400.  I know $400 might sound like a lot still but if you look up live edge anything, it is EXPENSIVE.  I am all about trying to figure out high end style with a realistic budget.  So I decided to create my own!

I started out sourcing live edge slabs.  This isn’t as intimidating as it might sound!  So if you are looking to create your own live edge anything (coffee table, desk, dining table, etc) these tips should help. I started out by doing a Craigslist search.  Some of the live edge folks have small shops and don’t have big websites or contact numbers available on google.  So I checked those listings first.  Then I went to a couple of local lumberyards searching for the perfect size and color.  I ended up finding my slab at a local hobby woodworking shop!

Here it is as I saw it!

It was the perfect size at 6ft 5 inches and a 22-24 inch depth with natural bark and some color variation. I was able to get another 10% discount by signing up for their email list so it saved me another $35!  I paid $331 for this slab.  It might sound like alot but my serious price comparison shopping proved it was the cheapest price BY far.

Then I had to figure out the legs.  And my friends legs for this type of heavy wood cost A LOT.  Even from Amazon.  I didn’t want to spend $150+ for legs to support this bad boy.  So I started thinking outside of the box.  I visited flea markets and thrift stores looking for tables the right height (30″).  I found the perfect sexy legs on a really awful table top at a local Habitat Restore for $38.  Yep, $38!!!  They were clean, mid sench style and ready to rock and roll the paint treatment I wanted to create.

Here are the legs, we removed the old laminated top and attached the legs to this piece of plywood.

 Mama (me) bought 2 cans of paint.  1 was a metallic brass “pure gold” and 1 was pink.  The initial plan was to paint the supports brass and the feet pink.  I ended up overlapping them and LOVE the look.  It softens the change of colors and makes it less “in your face”.

I used Rustoleum Pure Gold for this.  The brass color was too brown looking so I went with this.

For the pink I used Rustoleum candy pink in gloss, this is the same pink I used on the dressers and nightstands in our daugher’s room.  (Check out my Instagram for pics of this!)

The next step was to attach the finished legs to the sanded top. (We gave the top a good sanding in the garage before attaching the legs below!)  We measured from the ends and the center to get the legs in the perfect location.

Then it was just a matter of drillin in the heavy duty screws to secure the legs to the top.

Next up was moving the table outside and giving the top a good wipe down to get rid of any dust or gunk that might be there after the sanding.

I used a microfiber cloth to wipe down the top.

Here is the desk without any sealant just wiped down after the sanding, ready for sealer!

I decided to use Vermont’s Natural Coatings Polywhey for furniture in satin because it’s a green product (a byproduct of cheese making) and we had used it on our bar countertops (see the post here) and LOVED the results.

It’s a whitish color, don’t let that fool you!  It goes on clear and gives a beautiful finish to the wood!

Here’s the top after the first coat.  It’s so dry here in Colorado so it was drying as I applied the next area, you can see this in the lower part of the slab where it seems darker in spots.

I did a light sanding between the first and second coats!

I used this 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sanded, by hand, the top of the slab to get a silky smooth feel before applying a second coat of the Vermont Coatings and moving this puppy indoors to cure for 24 hours.  (a weird freak snowstorm decided to move in so we had to move this endeavor indoors)

Here it is right after the second coat application.

I repeated the steps of a light sanding after 24 hours curing on the second coat, wiped down with a microfiber cloth and then recoated with a 3rd coat of the Vermont Coatings. (per the instructions)

And voila!  The finished product!  I decided to keep some of the bark on the edges because I love the natural look, but I did sand a bunch of the chunky loose pieces off prior to sealing.

Notice the brass legs flowing into the pink feet?  I love the way it feels organic instead of choppy!

And the top….

It’s stunning!  And the crack you see here, I gooped a bunch of the sealer in it just to provide some protection.  Honestly I didn’t follow the serious woodworkers rules about filling these in with epoxy before sanding/sealing for 2 reasons.  1. I don’t plan to use this for eating (coffee and wine…um yes on the daily, but food nope!) and 2. I love the more organic, came right from the tree look.  The epoxy leaves a more mechanical look to it than a raw and real feel to me.

I’m totes sneak peekin here folks!  This is the desk (with some extra fun around it!) finished.  And I LOVE it!  It’s exactly what I wanted when I started, which is an open airy feel that gives me plenty of workspace without sacrificing style.  What about storage you ask?  Oh I have that figured out and you’ll see soon! ; )


What do you think?  Do you think you would be interested in creating your own live edge masterpiece? I am beyond thrilled with this desk! Let me know in the comments, I always love to hear from ya!

Next week is all about some thrifting and updating tips and a lil diy light fixture that made a huge difference!  All before the final reveal!  Stay tuned folks, this space is beyond my wildest dreams.  (The subscribe box is in the ole sidebar to keep up to date!)

And don’t forget to hit up the other ORC participants progress here.  There are some really fun designs happening that you don’t want to miss!




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