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First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

cruisefan123
New Contributor

First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

Hi guys, first time posting. Like many others I've decided to put together a desk as my first DIY project in our new home. My wife and I were looking for a double desk in our study (she works from home full time, i work from home here and there but will mostly use the space for a personal and gaming setup).

 

My plan is to build around this panel https://www.bunnings.com.au/2400-x-900-x-33mm-hardwood-laminated-panel_p0267054 getting it cut down to 800 deep, and fix 4x black metal legs https://www.bunnings.com.au/metal-legs-sc_p0091470 in each corner along with a set of IKEA Alex drawers in the middle https://www.ikea.com/au/en/p/alex-drawer-unit-grey-turquoise-90483800/ 

 

My main questions are around finishing the desktop. I'm going for a dark, walnut look similar to this desk from Autonomous https://www.autonomous.ai/standing-desks/smartdesk-2-business?option1=1&option2=5&option16=37&option... Would something like this walnut stain be suitable? https://www.bunnings.com.au/feast-watson-250ml-walnut-prooftint-interior-stain_p1520068 Will I need to apply anything else or will a few coats of this to the desired colour be suitable?

 

Lastly I'll probably look to round the edges on the desktop but I don't have access to a router. Since it isn't too intensive I was thinking of picking up a handplane and sandpaper to achieve this (again similar to the Autonomous desk above, although without the rounded corners). Am I going to run into any issues with this approach?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Have already picked up so much browsing this site

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @cruisefan123. It's marvellous to have you join us and many thanks for your questions about building a desk.

 

The stain you have selected has the correct hues to it, and it will replicate the colouring of Walnut timber. However, the desk you have linked to is quite dark, and several coats will be needed to achieve that depth of colour. I'd advise you to do several coats and build up to that colour instead of a couple of really thick coats. This will allow you to achieve a more consistent finish and your desired look.

If you are proficient with a hand plane, I wouldn't expect you to run into any issues. If you haven't used one before and are just looking to knock off/down the sharp corners, then you could do that with just the sandpaper and some elbow grease. There's no going back once you take too much off with a hand plane, and it can be tempting to continue to remove more, trying to solve the issue. If you set the depth on the blade to only take off a minimal amount at a time, you should be fine.

 

I can't wait to see your results which I trust will be particularly popular with our members. We all love a good desk project.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Mitchell

 

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Re: First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

Hi Mitch, thanks for your response. I think you're right about just using sandpaper for the edges, I haven't used a handplane in a long time so sandpaper might be my safest bet I think.

 

With the stain I've selected, how long would you anticipate I'll need to leave between coats? Is this the sort of job that can be completed in a day/weekend/longer? Unfortunately we don't have a garage or appropriate space to work in indoors so my plan was to set up in our car port for the weekend which is outdoors but covered. Do you see any issues with this approach, or would I be better off clearing space to complete the job indoors (we are in an apartment).

 

A few more basic questions... Do you recommend using a pre-stain or will this stain be sufficient? And when I stain the desktop, I'm assuming i just do the top/sides/edges and leave the underside of the desk? Or should I be treating this as well?

 

Thanks again for your help!

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

Hi @cruisefan123

 

If you are using Feast Watson 250ml Walnut Prooftint Interior Stain and you are using it neat. The normal recoat time is after 30 minutes, but If the humidity is high, I would add an extra 30 minutes just to make sure it's dry. However, if you have mixed it with another Feast Watson product, it will take 12 hours until you can do another coat.

 

The best practice is to at least put one coat underneath the bare timber to prevent moisture from affecting the table. If you are painting this inside, make sure you have a lot of ventilation and use drop sheets to prevent staining your floor. 

 

Applying Feast Watson 1L Timber Primer will add an extra layer of protection on your timber top and ensure that stains and top coats absorb evenly. Please note that this primer will take 12 hours to dry off before you can apply your stain.

 

If you prime the table on a Friday morning, you should be able to finish this table on Sunday, Just to be safe I suggest adding one extra day of drying to make sure that the stain has settled down.

 

Please keep us updated with your progress, we look forward to seeing the start of your desk project.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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Re: First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

Thanks Eric. So primer first then a few coats of stain with 12 hours between each coat, or is the 12 hours just between primer and stain the first time? I think I will use the carport for this so outside but under cover. And I won’t do the underside

 

I think I have everything I need now to give this a go this weekend. I’ll send through some pictures of the finished product. Thanks team!

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: First time DIY building a desk, looking for tips on staining wood panel and just general tips

Hi @cruisefan123

 

Just to be clear on the steps. It is the primer that needs 12 hours to settle. I recommend priming the underside as well, just to give your timber top extra protection. However, the stain can be recoated after 30 minutes, but as I've mentioned, if it feels like there is too much humidity, give the stain extra time to dry off. The stain should be dry to the touch, and none of it should stain your finger. If you do get staining, it is an indicator that it needs extra time to dry off.

 

If you need further, assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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