Affordable $30 DIY Wood Desktop Tutorial (Home Office)

Learn how to make your own 10 foot long wood desk top for under $30! With only a few tools and materials you can have a custom office desk on a small budget

Affordable $30 DIY Wood Desktop Tutorial (Home Office)

Is your home office always a mess with not a lot of workspace? Especially if you share it with your significant other, you need a long DIY desk that can fit your needs. Today I’m sharing my step-by-step directions on how to make an affordable DIY wood desktop for your home office! Read all the way through for my top tips and a big update to our home office.

Friends, before before I show you how I made this 10 foot long custom wood desktop, let me tell you – it was super easy and more importantly a VERY budget friendly DIY! The other fun fact about this project is that it involves no pocket holes, pocket hole screws or a kreg jig! Yes, you heard it. No pocket hole jig needed for this table top. The top of the desk is an easy build which anyone with some basic power tools knowledge can make.

If you’re new here, you should check out this easy DIY art ledge project to start with!

The Office Before:

Okay so let me give you a little background info on this desk and why we needed a new desk.

Our office had one small IKEA desk frame with top which was awkwardly sitting in one corner and the rest was basically a blank space. Hubs and I needed a loooong desktop with plenty of desk space which would allow both of us to work together without our office supplies getting mixed up. He has his two monitors and a computer that sits on the desktop so it just had to be a custom made piece. Even if we could find something store bought that fit our needs we were never going to spend the $$ on a new desk. If you haven’t noticed a pattern already, we hate spending money where it’s not needed and DIY is often the cheaper option! There are so many free plans available on the internet to make your own large desk.

At this time, however, my husband and I were not hardcore DIYers and even following a free diy desk plan sounded intimidating. We decided to come up with the easiest plan which is often the best way to begin. A quick trip to Home Depot and we had all the supplies we needed to start. Read through for all supplies and detailed instructions on how to make your own desk!

Before You Begin

Some things to note: the depth of the desk can be adjusted to your liking. You can add more an extra piece of wood to make the final width bigger. You don’t need to make any cuts if you plan on making a 10 foot long table top or another common measurement is 8′ or 12′. These sized boards are readily available at the hardware store. If you want to make it a specific length you can either use a saw to cut the wood pieces or have home depot cut the boards for you. When you’re selecting your wood, make sure you lay the three long boards down to see if they are straight up. Repeat this step with the furring strip. If you see a bend in the wood boards, pick another one!

Supply List for DIY Wood Desk


  • three 1″x8″x10′ pine wood boards (they can be as long as you want your desk to be)
  • 1″x2″x12′ furring strip pine
  • 1/2″x24″x10′ pine board (to use as a base for the planks)
  • Wood conditioner
  • wood filler
  • Stain (I used Golden Oak plus weathered oak)
  • Polycrylic in matte finish
  • Tack cloth
  • Liquid Nails/Wood Glue


  • 24″ clamps
  • brad nailer
  • Circular saw or Miter saw (optional)
DIY wood desktop material needed

How to Build Desktop:

Step 1: 

On a flat surface, lay down your three boards and use liquid nails/wood glue to attach them to each other. No need for wood screws! Make sure you wipe down the excess glue. from the top and bottom of the desktop

DIY wood desktop with wood glue

Step 2: 

Use wood clamps to secure the boards for a tight fit so the boards line up and dry in that position.

DIY wood desktop with common pine boards

Step 3:

When the boards are set, glue and nail them down to your backing board (the 24″ pine wood board) to give it more stability as a long top

DIY wood desktop with no pocket holes

Step 4:

Using your nail gun attach the furring strip to the front and sides of the desktop to give it a thicker appearance.

Step 5:

Use a woodfiller to fill in the nail holes. Next, sand the whole desktop with 220 grit sandpaper to give it a smooth finish. Next, wipe it down with the tack cloth to get rid of the sanding debris.

Step 6: 

Grab a clean rag or foam brush and apply the wood conditioner. This creates a good surface for evenly absorbing wood stain. Here’s my natural stain look process: I used one coat of pickling white by minwax to remove yellow tones from the wood, then one coat of Golden Oak, followed by a coat of weathered oak.

Step 7:

For the last step, apply your stain of choice and then seal it with a top coat. Your desktop is ready to go on top of IKEA Alex drawers or whatever legs you choose!

custom wood stain natural look on wood desktop. Staining a wood desktop

FAQs about making your own DIY wood desktop

What type of wood should I use for a desktop?

To keep the cost low I used common pine boards for this desk top, however, sky is the limit. You can go as fancy as white oak or walnut for your long desk top.To save an additional step, you could always use a 2″ thickness pine board to begin with but we wanted to keep our cost as low as possible and we already had a backing board at home to give it more stability.

Can I use a butcher block to make a desktop?

Yes you can absolutely use a butcher block as a desktop and you could just place one on top of IKEA Alex drawers to make your long top. The additional cost would not make it a budget project, however. On the other hand, if you want it even cheaper, you could get a plywood top as well.

How thick should a wood desktop be?

Solid wood desk tops should be at least 1-1/4″ thick for support and stability. For a more high end look, 1-1/2″ to 2″ thickness wood looks best. Trust me theres a huge difference between a 1/2″ desk top and a 1-1/4″ thickness one. The additional support you get is also great.

This project was inspired by Angela Rose’s diy desktop which she talks about in her Instagram highlights! If you make this DIY desktop please tag me on instagram so I can see!

Office Desk Upgrade

This easy DIY project was a great way to get our office space more suited to our needs. It worked wonderfully for three whole years and countless people followed this tutorial on social media to make their own! However, with both of us working full time from home, and Hassaan adding more monitors to his desk area, we needed another solution. Our entire room needed more storage space and we decided it was time to upgrade to a larger build in desk unit with custom wall cabinets and shelves. Read about that makeover here and see how we got more than enough space for storage in the same square footage.

This post contains affiliate links to products that I used or recommend. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
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