For our home office/study renovation, we wanted a clean fresh look finished in white with a pale wood feature. The centrepiece was the work desk that needed to fit an area nearly 3 metres (9ft 10in) wide. After looking around for something to fit our design we decided that an IKEA hack was the way to achieve this.
To make this bench desk we used the following IKEA items:
2x GERTON Beech table tops
2x ADILS white table legs
2x FINNVARD trestles
1x BRIMNES white chest of drawers
1x litre of oil based clear satin polyurethane varnish
4x pieces of round dowel cut to 5cm (2in) in length
2x T-bar steel mending plates with screws
4x 150mm (6in) steel mending plates with screws
1x small tub of matching wood colour putty
Small amount of maple coloured wood varnish
1x tube of liquid nails
1x tube of white wood glue
Clear rubber bump stop
Bottle of mineral turpentine
185mm Circular saw
Power drill and various drill bits
Electric screwdriver/cordless drill
180 grit sandpaper
Long spirit level
1. Cut one of the GERTON table tops to length. Save the sawdust from the wood.
2. Rest the two GERTON table tops on each FINNVARD trestle raised to full height, with a collapsible ladder underneath for support. Face the factory-cut edges towards each other to ensure they are square.
3. Drill matching dowel holes spaced evenly along the facing edges and insert the dowel. Adjust as necessary to ensure that the fit is square and use the spirit level to ensure it is flat. Apply liquid nails to both ends of the dowel as well as along the wood face, and slide the table tops together. Wipe off excess glue.
4. Using the wood putty to fill in the join. Sprinkle and press in sawdust from step 1 to help colour match the join as much as possible. Let it set overnight.
5. Brush off the excess sawdust and sand back the join to be even with the table top. Repeat step 4 one more time to fill in imperfections in the join and to give the wood glue further time to set.
6. Brush off the sawdust one more time and sand back the join so that it is even to the table top.
7. Wipe the table top down with the mineral turpentine and a cloth, ensuring that the surface is dust free.
8. Apply the first coat of varnish, allow to dry, then sand back imperfections. Using the maple coloured varnish, dab a small amount along the join next to areas of darker wood to help ‘blend in’ the joint with the surrounding table tops.
9. Varnish and sand back two more times, leaving time to dry in between.
10. Under the table top, drill holes and screw in the mounting plates along the join to reinforce the dowel and glue join.
11. At the ‘back’ of the table, fit the two ADILS chair legs on either side of the join to provide central support.
12. Measure the height that you want the bottom of the table top to rest at. You will need to cut down the sides (from the top) and backing plywood of the BRIMNES drawers to match this.
13. Drill new dowel and screw points in the top of the BRIMNES side wood to mount the top piece on.
14. Add some white wood glue when fitting the BRIMNES top piece to secure it and cover any gaps between it and the side pieces.
15. Gently remove the supporting collapsible ladder and allow the table to stand on its own. Position it against the wall, and slide the BRIMNES table in to provide additional support.
16. Adjust the FINNVARD and ADILS height accordingly to ensure the desk is square and straight.