DIY Desk from a Door

This DIY desk made from a door is a great project for those looking to upcycle old stuff.

| April 2016

More often than not, it can be far more fulfilling to find something constructive to build with an old piece of wood rather than throw it out. Guerilla Furniture Design (Storey Publishing, 2015) is a great resource for anyone looking to reuse old or discarded materials. Author Will Holman illustrates this perfectly with this DIY desk made from a used door, proving that the material may be old but something completely new can be made. 

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Guerilla Furniture Design.

Door Desk

Every door dreams of retiring as a desk (or a table). After spending years defending against weather, intruders, and relentless knocking, a door deserves to lie down on a sturdy base and rest. This flat-packable workstation has survived three moves so far, and served as the platform for writing most of this book.

The Door Desk mates a beautiful, timeworn door with a demountable trestle base. Pieces of plate aluminum (old road signs) are cut and inlaid to flush out the panels. Depending on available material, the door panels could also be filled with concrete, grout, wood scraps, or glass.


• Four 28-inch 2x4s
• Two 24-inch 2x4s
• Wood glue
• 3-inch drywall screws
• Old solid-wood panel door, preferably with panels of equal size
• One 2x4, approximately 72 inches long (for a standard 80-inch door)
• 1-1/2-inch drywall screws
• Plate aluminum or other filler material (size and quantity as needed)
• Construction adhesive
• Six 1/4 x 4-inch lag bolts with washers
• One 75-inch 2x2 or other material (see step 9)


• Clamps
• Pencil
• Tape measure
• Square
• Circular saw
• Hammer
• Chisel
• Miter saw
• Straightedge
• Drill/driver and 1, 3/4, and 1/4-inch bits


1. Clamp the four 28-inch 2x4s together, on edge, making sure the ends are precisely aligned; these will become the legs. Using the square, mark a line over all four pieces, 3-1/2 inches from the ends. Set the circular saw blade to a depth of 2 inches and a bevel of 5 degrees, and run a series of closely spaced parallel cuts over all four boards, from your mark out toward the end of the boards, as shown below. Knock out the waste with a hammer and chisel. Each leg should now have an L-shaped notch in one end that is 2 x 3-1/2 inches, canted at a 5-degree angle.

7/21/2016 9:13:58 PM

what would be really nice if you could get it would be a piece of plate glass that would cover the entire door and maintain visibility of the beautiful wood.

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