How to Make a Space-Saving Floating Desk

Create a streamlined, custom floating desk that is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and packed with storage with these easy instructions.

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Cut and Install a Cleat

Using leftover MDF scraps, cut a cleat that is approximately 1/4 inch shorter in size than the interior of the shelf (this will not only hold the shelf firmly to the wall but also serve as the back panel for the interior of the workstation). Attach the cleat directly into wall studs with drywall screws and a screw gun, referencing the marks previously made to note the wall studs' locations. TIP: For the most secure installation into the wall studs, first drill drywall anchors designed to hold up to 75 lbs, then drill screws through the cleat and into the stud.

Attach Workstation to Cleat

With the help of a friend, hold the floating shelf above cleat, then lower it onto the cleat so that the bottom of the shelf surface is flush with the top of the cleat. Once placed, add screws through the top and bottom of the workstation, securing it directly into the cleat. Next, apply weight to the top of the shelf to ensure a tight fit. If loose, it may be necessary to add a few more screws in the top, sides, and directly into the front of the cleat.

Paint Interior and Exterior

After the shelf has been securely fastened to the cleat, place a drop cloth to protect the surrounding area from paint splatter. Use paintbrush and roller to thoroughly coat interior and exterior surfaces (Images 1 and 2). TIP: For a two-tone look, consider painting the exterior, but leaving the interior the natural tone of the MDF. This creates a nice contrast when the door is open.

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