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Easy DIY Floating Desk!

This simple and inexpensive DIY floating desk is perfect for small spaces, and it can be adapted for kids or adults! See just how easy it is!

DIY Kids Desk: image of little girl coloring at floating desk with plants, paper organizer

After bunk beds, the girls’ top wish for their new shared big girl bedroom makeover was desks. They’re still a little young to really NEED desks in their room, but they can do homework and art there… and cut up tiny bits of paper. WHY ALL THE TINY BITS OF PAPER???

After buying bunk beds, mattresses, and bedding, my budget for this project was dwindling fast. So instead of buying kid-sized desks, we decided to make inexpensive floating desks from plywood and metal brackets.

We’ll be able to adjust the height of the desks as they grow- and as you’ll see, we mounted B’s desk higher on the wall than E’s. We used the same paint to makeover these inexpensive MARIUS stools from Ikea to go with the desks!

See the New Video Tutorial for the Stools Here:

how to make a diy floating desk…

tools

supplies

1. cut plywood

We chose to make the girls’ desks 17″ x 36″. Peter cut them with a band saw. You can also ask them to cut your desktop to size at the lumber or hardware store and save yourself a step.

2. sand plywood

cut plywood piece sitting on two sawhorses, with orbital sander and sandpaper discs sitting on top of it

I used an orbital sander with 60 grit sandpaper to smooth out the cut plywood. 60 grit is a very rough sandpaper, so it’s good for a first sanding to remove any rough spots.

Next, I used a 120 grit sandpaper (much finer) to create a really smooth finish. You could use an even finer paper (like 220 grit) if you want.

Diablo red sandpaper discs in their packages sitting on plywood- 120 grit and 60 grit

3. primer

This great shellac-based primer will block any knots or woodgrain from bleeding through the paint. I use it on pretty much every painting project I do now.

I like to use a disposable brush (and sometimes gloves) with it because it doesn’t clean up with water. You can use denatured alcohol to clean it up if necessary.

open can of Zinsser BIN primer ready to be used on DIY floating desk
close-up of paintbrush applying BIN primer to top of DIY floating desk

4. sand again

Orbital sander smoothing out finish on DIY floating desk after coat of BIN primer has dried

Once the primer was dry, I lightly sanded the desktops again, using the 120 grit sandpaper to remove any lumps and drips.

5. wipe off sawdust

Next, I used a damp rag to wipe off any sawdust left behind by the sander, and let it dry.

6. spray paint desktop

top of DIY floating desk for kids being spray-painted aqua blue

When spray painting, I always shake the can well, and hold it about 10 inches from the surface I’m painting. I do a light coat first, not covering everything. Then I let that dry for about 10 minutes.

Then I come back and do a full-coverage coat, moving the can back and forth, and overshooting the edges to be sure I don’t end up with extra paint and drips on the edges.

I might come back and do a third coat 20-30 minutes later if necessary.

7. spray paint brackets

2 white metal brackets for DIY foating desk sitting on black plastic trash bag

I chose to spray paint the brackets gold. They would probably look cute left white too.

metal brackets on plastic trash bag- now spray painted gold

8. mount brackets to wall

We had each of the girls sit on their desk stools to determine their ideal desk height. The one in the video is El’s, and it’s lower than B’s because she’s younger and smaller. We marked the height on the wall. (Video coming soon!)

9. attach floating desk top to brackets

Once the brackets are firmly mounted to the wall, screw the desktop to the tops of the brackets from below, using the 1/2″ screws.

That’s it! Pretty simple, right???

Want to follow along with our girls’ boho bedroom makeover?

diy floating desk for kids with little girl sitting at it.
little girl working at floating kids desk
girls bedroom with little girl coloring at diy floating desk

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30 Comments

  1. Your easy DIY floating desks are so perfect for a kids room! Easy and great for a small space! Love! Pinned!

  2. Hi there! This floating desk is so cute. I’m wondering where you found the pegboard; as well as the cup holders, and how you get them to stick into the pegboard?
    Thanks!

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