How to Build a Built in Desk

Are you looking to add a built-in desk to your home office, bedroom, or family room? It’s an easy way to both maintain a sleek look and also have the ideal workspace for completing projects or studies. Building a built-in desk can seem overwhelming if you’re not familiar with DIY techniques, but it doesn’t have to be! By breaking it down into its component parts and following specific steps, anyone can build their own beautiful custom-designed desk.

How to Build a Built in Desk

In this blog post, we’ll look at all of the pieces needed and essential tips on how to build a built in desk easier than ever. We’ll walk you through all of the necessary steps you need to take—from conceptualizing what type of desk you would like and sketching an outline of it right up to putting together the pieces!

What is a Built in Desk?

A built in desk is any type of desk that is constructed directly into the wall or a room. Built in desks are typically custom designed and made to fit a specific area, so they can be tailored to match the existing room’s decor. Some of their advantages include having more storage space than regular desks, as well as taking up less physical space.

The Benefits of Having a Built in Desk

1.More Space

The most obvious benefit of having a built in desk is that it takes up less physical space than other types of desks. This allows for more movement within a room, as well as allowing people to have the freedom to use and organize their workspace however they choose.

2. More Storage

Built-in desks can come with extra storage space, such as drawers and shelves, which is perfect for storing items that won’t fit on regular desks. This makes it possible to keep books and other supplies nearby instead of having to store them elsewhere.

Keep Books and Other Supplies

3. Aesthetics

Since built-in desks are designed to fit a specific area, they can be customized to suit the existing decor. This allows for a more personal look, as well as giving any room an extra touch of style and sophistication.

Required Items

Before you can start building your own built-in desk, there are a few essential items you’ll need. These include:

  • Wood – You’ll need wood to construct the frame of the desk, as well as extra pieces for shelves and drawers.
  • Screws and Nails – For securely attaching the different pieces of wood together.
  • Hardware – Hinges and handles for drawers and cabinets, as well as any other pieces you may need to attach the desk to the wall.
  • Sandpaper – Used for sanding down rough edges on the wood and giving it a smooth finish.
  • Paint or Stain – Used to give the desk a polished look.
  • Measuring Tape – To ensure that all pieces are cut and assembled correctly.

Once you have all of these items, you’re ready to begin building your custom built in desk!

9 Steps on How to Build a Built in Desk

Step 1: Conceptualize

Start by conceptualizing what sort of desk you’d like to build. Sketch out a rough outline, and decide on the size, shape, and features you want it to have. When you’re done, you should have a good idea of what your finished product will look like.

Step 2: Measure and Cut

Once you know the size of the desk you’d like to build, measure out its dimensions on a piece of wood. Mark these measurements with a pencil, then use a saw to cut the pieces according to the measurements.

Cut the Pieces

Step 3: Assemble

Use nails and screws to attach the pieces of wood together, making sure that all of the corners are even. If you have additional features, such as drawers or shelves, you’ll need to assemble those separately and then attach them to the desk once it’s finished.

Step 4: Measure and Cut Again

Once the desk is assembled, measure out the areas where you’d like to add drawers or shelves. Mark these measurements on a piece of wood, then use a saw to cut accordingly. Cutting the pieces slightly larger than necessary is preferable, as you can always sand them down to size afterward.

Step 5: Sand

After all of the pieces are cut, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and give the desk a more polished look. When finished, make sure to vacuum away any sawdust before continuing on. 

Step 6: Attach Hardware

When the desk is assembled and sanded, attach any hardware that may be necessary, such as handles for drawers or hinges for doors. Make sure the pieces are securely attached, as they will be supporting a lot of weight.

Step 7: Paint or Stain

Using either paint or stain, give the desk a final touch of color. This can help to bring out certain features or make the desk blend in better with its surroundings.

Step 8: Attach to Wall

Once the desk is painted or stained, attach it securely to the wall using screws. Make sure that all of the edges are even and flush, as this will help to ensure the desk is stable and won’t wobble.

Attach It Securely to the Wall

Step 9: Add Accessories

Finally, add any accessories you may want on your desk, such as organizers or lamps. This can help make it more usable and comfortable when working. 

Adding a few personal touches can also make the desk more enjoyable to use.

And that’s it! Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a beautiful and custom built-in desk. With a bit of planning and creativity, this project won’t be too difficult to tackle.

8 Safety Precautions to Take When Building a Built in Desk

Building a custom-built in desk can be an exciting project, but it’s important to take the right safety precautions. Here are 8 things to keep in mind when constructing your own desk:

1. Always wear protective eye gear, as well as gloves and a dust mask while working. This will help to prevent any injuries or exposure to sawdust. The protective gear will also make the job easier and safer.

2. Make sure all tools are in good condition before using them. If any of them seem damaged or worn down, replace them with new ones. The damaged tools can be more dangerous and won’t make your job any easier.

3. Cut the pieces of wood according to the measurements you took rather than eyeballing them. This will help to ensure that all of the pieces are cut accurately, which will make the desk much sturdier in the end.

4. Double-check all of the measurements before cutting the wood. It’s much better to be safe than sorry, and one wrong cut could lead to a lot of wasted time and materials. Double-checking will help to ensure accuracy.

5. Take your time when attaching the wood pieces together, and make sure that all of the corners are even. If you rush through this step, it could cause issues later on when you’re trying to attach hardware or paint the desk.

6. Sand down any rough edges with sandpaper, as this will help to ensure the desk is safe to use. It will also make it look much more polished and professional. The rough edges can be dangerous and make the desk less durable.

7. Securely attach all of the hardware, as this will help to keep it in place and prevent any accidents. Make sure that all screws and hinges are tight so that the desk won’t wiggle or wobble when you’re using it.

8. Finally, use a good primer before painting the desk. This will help to make sure that the paint sticks and doesn’t chip off easily. The primer will also make the desk look better in the end.

Sand Down Any Rough Edges

Following these safety precautions when building a custom desk will help to make the process smooth and successful. With some planning and patience, you’ll be able to create a beautiful built-in desk of your own!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of building a custom built in a desk can vary depending on the materials and tools you use. Generally, it’s best to plan for around $200-$500 in expenses. It solely depends on the size, design, and type of materials you decide to use.

How Long Will It Take?

The amount of time needed to build a custom built in desk will depend on your skill level and the complexity of the design. However, it usually takes around 4-6 hours for an experienced builder to complete a basic desk. For a more complex desk, it could take up to 8-10 hours.


Creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing built in desk is one of those projects that truly pays off in the end—not only does it look great, but it’s also extremely useful and efficient. Whether you choose to DIY or hire a professional, make sure to carefully measure, choose durable materials, and plan out where all the components will go.

With these simple steps on how to build a built in desk, you’ll be able to construct your own custom built in desk that you’ll love having in your home. It will undoubtedly become an instant favorite amongst your family members who need somewhere comfortable to do their work and study. 

In addition, you’ll have a great conversation starter with guests who visit because they’ll be so impressed at what you created! So don’t wait—make some room for this special piece of furniture and start gathering the materials needed to build your own stylish built in desk today!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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