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Study Desk Refurbishing/ Alterations

353 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mark sr
Hey all, i hope y'all are staying safe during these times. Down here in Louisiana, things are rough but i think things will soon be better.

As the title states, I, along with what seems like a lot of others, am being forced to do my school work from home. As a student, my budget for a desk was inexistent however, lucky for me, my girlfriends dad had one in storage that he was about throw away. It has served its purpose thus far but after these past few long days sitting with it, i have noticed a few things that id like to change for the better and have narrowed down what i can do to two options:

Option 1:

(1) I would like to fill in the grommet holes that are pictured below. I have searched online for grommet hole covers for the size of the hole, but they do not seem to exist. So im thinking i need to fill in the holes somehow, and have no idea how to even start.

(2) I would like to change the color of the desk to match the drawers in my room. I am not very handy so i cannot tell you what the finish is on the desk. What i can tell you is it is a slick surface, almost plastic feeling. I think maybe looking at the marks on the desk could help a more experienced eye determine what the finish i have is. If that is determinable, or if im just over thinking this, i do not know how to stain for finish the desk, although im sure a youtube search will sufficiently help me.

(3) I would like to instal wireless charging under neath the desk, or hidden if possible. I was thinking maybe the grommet holes would a good location? Im not to sure, but this is lagniappe and isn't really necessary.

Option 2:

Instead of attempting to fill the holes and paint the thing myself, i have looked into getting a desk top that is closer to color of my other furniture. I have landed upon this option at IKEA. However, this would require me to remove the desk from the stand it has which, again, i have no idea how to do. If yall have any other options or ideas via this route of things, just let me know.

All things considered, although i lack experience, i am willing to put in the work. Ideally, id like for the job to be as cheap as possible. Just let me know what yall would do in my situation. Thanks in advance, and find the dimension/ pictures of the desk below.

All measurements in inches

Desk Top: 48 wide x 27 deep x 1thick

Grommet Holes: 4.5 wide x 2.36 deep x 1 thick


Desk Top:

Grommet Hole/ Close Up of Finish:

Grommet Hole Above View; It is completely open:

Desk Base/ Side view. I do not care if these holes are open:

Close Up Desk and Base Connection:

Underneath view of desk and grommet hole:

Screw that i have no clue what it holds; Can be seen in underneath view above:

Cabinet that i will try to match/ get close to:

Tools that i have available to me are pretty limited. Just assume that i have pretty basic machinery, but I can gain access to some stuff if needed.
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Uh, the pictures would help.
Have you considered installing a new top directly over the existing?
You can post pics by replying in the "Go Advanced" and attaching them, rather than inserting a third party host link.

If it's "plasticky" it's probably a particle board or MDF covered with either a melamine or a protected paper layer, maybe even a thermofoil. You can verify this by looking underneath or inside where the drawer slides are and seeing the wood. It would look like real tiny chips of wood or sawdust that was glued together and pressed, or if it has the same finish inside, you might see the black edges of the covering on the corners. You will not be successful in refinishing or painting over this kind of finish to be durable.

You can replace the top or as suggested lay over it, some are ready made to size:
butcher blocks are expensive, edge-glued appearance boards are cheaper and look so too, and there could be other methods depending on the look and price you want. If you look under the top and do not see any metal brackets or round cam locks holding the top on, then it is glued on with dowels, but still could be removed.

The grommet covers are cheap, you can drill for a bigger one if you can't find one to fit. I'd probably suggest just keeping a power strip on the floor, or mounted on the back if you want, to plug in your stuff routed thru the grommet.
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I would go to Home Depot and have them cut down a piece of 5/16" OSB to the size you need and then screw it to the top of the desk using drywall screws along the edges with 24" spacing. Want a different color then pick up a can of spray paint and paint it outdoors or in the garage and let it sit for a day or two before attaching it to the desk.

Home Depot sells "project" panels in 2x4 foot sizes starting at $6 for 7/16" OSB. 4x4 foot size underlayment can be cut down at the store to the 48 x 27 inch size if it is important to have the extra 3 inches of depth.

A can of gloss spray paint costs less than $5. Go with white or black and don't try to match the rest of your furniture.

Screw a power strip to the underside of the desk and you have a convenient place to plug in everything. Many power strips include USB charging outlets which work well for phones and tablets.
a piece of 5/16" OSB
Don't forget a large writing mat as well because if you write on OSB your thin pen/cil will follow some strand edges, and on back there is the "dimpled" grid
My office has a built in desk built on a budget. I used 7/16" OSB for the top covered with 1/4" luan and scrap flooring ripped to size and used as a breadboard. It's been in use for 15 yrs of so and other than the cabinets needing a fresh coat of paint it still looks great.
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