How to Build an Art Desk

An art desk or craft table should provide a large, easy-to-clean surface suitable for all sorts of artwork.

How to Build an Art Desk

You may want space for a computer on your art desk, as well as plenty of storage for supplies. This art desk relies on several purchased components and can be easily assembled with only basic do-it-yourself skills. The same craft desk can work for painting, sketching, jewelry-making or crafts of all sorts.

Decide on the overall dimensions for your table. An art table can be as large as you comfortably have room for; however, do allow for vertical supports at least every 52 inches. If you want the top to your art table to be more than 72 inches, consider adding an additional set of cabinets as a center support.

Purchase and assemble 4 kitchen cabinets. Choose cabinets based upon your art and craft storage needs (cabinets with drawers or shelves are widely available). Arrange them to make sure that the storage is accessible.

Attach narrow wood supports along each edge of the MDF tabletop. Use wood glue to secure them, then nail for additional support. This will add to the strength of your art desk.

Apply contact adhesive to the underside of the laminate using a short-napped roller. Apply the same adhesive to the top of the MDF art desk tabletop. Allow to set per the manufacturer's directions. Apply the laminate to the MDF desk top and roll to even out the surface and eliminate air bubbles.

Apply trim along the edge of the art desk tabletop. Use a nail gun or hammer and small finish nails to secure the trim to your new table.

Move your base cabinets and art desk tabletop into position. Screw or bolt the two cabinet units together to create each end of your art desk. Use 1-inch by 4-inch lumber to create supports for your tabletop. These boards should run from the outer edge of one set of cabinets to the outer edge of the other. Screw into place securely. Move your art desk tabletop into position.

Things You Will Need

  • 4 purchased kitchen cabinets, style as desired
  • 1-inch by 2-inch lumber, enough to frame the tabletop
  • 1-inch by 4-inch lumber, 4 to 6 lengths cut to the desired length
  • Medium-density fiberboard (MDF), cut to the size of your choice
  • Plastic laminate, cut to the same size as your fiberboard
  • Contact adhesive and short-napped roller
  • Pressure roller or heavy, short dowel rod
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill and bits
  • Trim for your art desk tabletop
  • Wood glue
  • Nail gun or hammer and small nails

Tip

  • Use different arrangements of cabinets to create the best storage for your art desk needs. Opt for lower cabinets for seated work and higher ones if you prefer to create art while standing. Salvaged cabinets can also work for this project to keep costs to a minimum.

Warning

  • Be sure your cabinets have a finish that can stand up to your artwork. You may want to opt for easy-to-clean laminate or well-sealed wood.

References

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.