File Cabinet Desk DIY

Need a desk for your computer or laptop? Have a tight budget? Need storage for files? Like the industrial look? If you answered yes to all those questions I’ve got a solution for you! I’m sharing my DIY plans and directions for this amazing (Pinterest inspired) desk my husband and I made!

We had an enormous L shaped desk that we sold because we got rid of our desktop and purchased a laptop. There was no need for that giant waste of space! We also had tons of files we still needed storage for so this desk was the answer to our problems!

You will need:

  • Two file cabinets. Preferably a 2 drawer, 26 1/2″ depth, and 29″ tall (We scored ours on craigslist for super cheap! Brand new they are pretty spendy!).
  • Primer spray paint + regular spray paint (Color of your choice! We chose a white satin spray paint for less of a shiny look.)
  • (5) 1 x 6’s (We chose pine because it’s inexpensive and a beautiful wood. Five will fit front to back lengt but you can choose your width from side to side. In our corner space we only had room for 55″ side to side.)
  • (1) 1 x 4’s (Cut directly in half. Each one should be 2 feet in lengt when cut right. These pieces will go under the desk top to keep all the wood together and in place.)
  • 10 1 1/4″ screws
  • A drill
  • 150 sandpaper
  • Minwax Polycrylic in a can
  • Pledge

Okay! You’re ready to begin!

Here are the two cabinets we purchased through craigslist. The colors didn’t match but that’s okay because they are going to get painted anyway! Make sure you clean them. I used Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Then I dried them off with a towel and lightly sanded them with some 150 sandpaper. You want them just rough enough for the paint to stick!

And wala! Two coats of primer + 3 coats of paint later… I moved them into the space and placed them 55″ apart from the far side to the other far side.

I added some cute chevron paper to give them a little more pizazz! Are you ready to see what the wood looks like?!…

Gorgeous right?! Okay back to work…

This is where I needed my husband’s help. We took the (2) 2 foot boards and drilled them underneath the 5 boards. We did this because we didn’t want to drill above into the file cabinets. We wanted to make the top detachable so if we ever wanted to move the cabinets we could. When drilling the boards underneath we made sure each one was as close to the cabinets as possible so the top would not slide side to side because of not being screwed into the cabinets.

That’s what the under side should look like. I was underneath the desk holding the back side of the 2 foot board and my husband held the front of the 2 foot board and pushed down on the top boards as I went through and screwed in each board.

Now everything is in place and this top does not move! The last step is to brush a thin layer of Polycrylic over the top to seal the wood. I only did one coat. You can do as many as you want! Then I always spray pledge on my wood and wipe it dry after the Polycrylic is completely dry! Makes a huge difference and brings out that natural beauty! You can always stain the wood if you want a different color. We liked the original color of the wood for this project.

File cabinet desk complete! ✔️

You can store files in the cabinets or random office supplies in them. The perfect amount of storage and desk space! Can be customized to fit any space!

Good luck guys and thanks for stopping by! ♡


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