Create a Small Space Workstation

Re-invent an unused nook or niche as a handy workstation in a few simple steps.
Contemporary Built In Office Nook

Contemporary Built In Office Nook

Materials Needed:

  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • spirit level
  • drill
  • drywall screws
  • 1x12 pine wood planks
  • 1x2 MDF trim
  • sheet of stain-grade plywood
  • table saw
  • orbital sander
  • medium-grit sandpaper
  • 2" paddle bit
  • caulk
  • caulk gun
  • touch up paint in existing wall color
  • quart of latex primer
  • quart of semi-gloss enamel paint
  • quart of polyurethane
  • wood filler
  • putty knife
  • mini roller
  • 2" paint brush

Mark Walls

Use tape measure to determine proper height and depth for floating shelves and desktop. Mark height and depth with pencil. Hold spirit level up to pencil marks, and draw straight lines for installation.

Cut, Trim, Pine and Plywood

Mark each 1x12 pine wood plank, 1x2 piece of MDF trim and sheet of plywood to size with same dimensions penciled on wall. Cut to size with table saw. Use orbital sander and medium-grit paper to smooth rough edges and tops.

Attach Support Trim to Wall

Place 2-inch side of MDF trim flush to wall, top even with penciled line. Drill several drywall screws 6 inches apart through MDF trim and into wall. Tip: Shelves and desktop will require three strips of MDF each: one on back wall and two on adjoining walls.

Attach Support Trim to Wall for DIY Built in Shelf

Attach Support Trim to Wall for DIY Built in Shelf

Attach Shelves and Desktop

Place newly cut 1x12 planks on top of secured MDF trim. Drill drywall screws 6 inches apart through pine planks and into MDF trim. Add wood filler to holes with putty knife, then sand with orbital sander once dry.

How To Attach Built In Shelves and Desktop

How To Attach Built In Shelves and Desktop

Drill Hole for Cords

Insert 2-inch paddle bit into drill. Drill hole directly through desktop approximately 3 inches from wall. Use medium-grit sandpaper to smooth rough edges.

Attach Fascia

Place 2-inch side of 1x2 MDF trim flush with front tops of pine plank shelves and plywood desktop. Drill drywall screws 6 inches apart through MDF trim and into support trim, pine plank shelves and plywood desktop. Add wood filler to holes with putty knife, then sand with orbital sander once dry.

Caulk, Paint and Seal

Fill gaps between pine, MDF and plywood with caulk gun. Once caulk is dry, apply primer with mini roller and 2-inch paint brush. After primer is dry to the touch, apply two coats of semi-gloss. Assure space is properly ventilated, apply coat of polyurethane to shelves and desktop. Touch up walls with existing wall paint using 2-inch paint brush. Wait approximately 48 hours for polyurethane to cure before placing items on shelves and desktop.

Caulk, Paint and Seal to Finish DIY White Built-In Shelf

Caulk, Paint and Seal to Finish DIY White Built-In Shelf

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