DIY Rustic Wood Desk Top

Oh my goodness everyone, this DIY rustic wood desk top is totally bringing my office together! It’s so stinking pretty and the colour – oh, I nailed the stain on this one. It’s TO DIE FOR. So pretty. If you want to check a progress update on the office, head to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge. If you’re reading this after November 18, 2021, go hunt around on my blog for the FINAL reveal – if you’re reading this before then, follow along on Instagram to see the progress I’m making on my office!

If you’re here to learn about how to make your own DIY rustic desk top, that gives off restoration hardware vibes, by the way, you’re in the right place. I am also pleased to report that this was as easy as I thought it would be. You know in DIYs you have those moments where you’re frustrated beyond belief – I did not have that with my DIY rustic desk top. It could not have gone smoother. I will say that probably all of that has to do with the fact that Kreg gifted me this pocket hole jig which effectively did all of the work for me. So, if you’re following this tutorial, you NEED the pocket hole jig no questions asked.

If you’re here to see more of the office space, start here.

DIY Desk top for week 5 of the one room challenge - rusitc desktop, built in cabinets and a shiplap wall. Not yet done is a bookcase. There are small decor items on the desk and Signed Samantha sitting on the desk top.

How to make a DIY rustic wood desk top

As with anything, you need to measure this to your space. I will provide you with my measurements below, however, this would be custom to your space and how you want to finish the top (is it built in? is it an independent desk? if it’s an independent desk, you can blend these this tutorial along with this one – but modifications will be necessary).


Here’s what you need to make a DIY Restoration Hardware inspired desk top that is 10ft long, 20 3/8″ deep, and a faux 1.5″ high (thanks to the front cap):


  • Three 1x8x10 common boards (mine is pine)
  • One 1x2x10 board
  • 2 1/2 inch Pocket hole screws
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Mitre Saw
  • Circular saw
  • Kreg straight edge guide
  • Wood Glue
  • Saw dust (yep, save your saw dust)
  • Sander + 100 grit and 220 grit
  • Stain – I used Varathane flagship and briarsmoke and a matte finish 
  • Nail gun and 1.5 inch nails
  • Scrap wood at 1 inches (really 3/4″)
How to make your DIY rustic desk top with pocket screws - two 1x8s pictured with pocket hole and a screw on top
How to make your DIY rustic desk top with pocket screws - two 1x8s pictured with pocket hole and a screw on top and a clamp holding it together
How to make your DIY rustic desk top with pocket screws - two 1x8s pictured together with wood glue and saw dust
DIY Desk top for week 5 of the one room challenge - rusitc desktop, built in cabinets and a shiplap wall. Not yet done is a bookcase. There are small decor items on the desk and a pink chair.

How to Make A DIY Restoration Inspired Rustic Desk Top

  1. Using your mitre saw, cut your 10 ft common boards to length (in my case it was 114 inches). 
  2. Set up your rip guide with your circular saw and cut off 2 1/8 inches off of one of your 1x8x10 common boards (this gets you to your desired desk depth)
  3. Take you’re pieces to your desk area and measure them to make sure they fit properly. if you have any additional cuts to make (I had to go around my shiplap so I used a jigsaw for that), make those now. 
  4. Set up your pocket hole jig and every foot or so, add a pocket hole to one of your boards. I marked the sides I wanted to be the top (and obviously then pocket hole’d the bottom). I added pocket holes to two boards. 
  5. Line up your first two boards (pocket holes facing away from one another so you can still secure that last hole!). As you’re getting ready to screw with your drill, add a clamp to the first pocket hole. This is CRITICAL. it straightens out your boards and levels them. Repeat until all of your pocket holes are screwed. Repeat with the other board/piece so all three pieces are connected. 
  6. Flip your board over and run some wood glue along the seams. Take your sawdust and rub it in with the wood glue. Let it dry. 
  7. Take your 100 grit sandpaper/sander and sand the top. Try to get off the excess glue that isn’t filling the cracks. Re-sand with 220 grit. Wipe clean with a tack cloth. 
  8. Take a paintbrush and stain your desk top. To acheive this colour, first apply flagstone, and then wipe it off after 1-2 minutes. Then apply Briarsmoke, and wipe it off after 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  9. However you’re affixing it, take your scrap wood and place it underneath your desk top in key locations (corners). 
  10. Take your 1x2x10 board that’s been cut to size and nail it to the front of your desk top. Fill those holes, sand, and then stain this too. 
  11. That’s it! You have a stunning desk top!!! I would affix this via the bottom to keep the top seamless. If you need it attached to something. 



Option to use a hole saw and create little holes for your cords (cord management is a necessary thing!!!).

DIY Desk top for week 5 of the one room challenge - rusitc desktop, built in cabinets and a shiplap wall. Not yet done is a bookcase. There are small decor items on the desk.


  • Catherine

    It is beautiful. What color green did u use on the walls and cabinets?

  • Allie

    Looks amazing! What do you mean by #9?

    • Samantha

      Thanks so much, Allie! Great question – what I mean is add your scrap wood onto the surface that your desktop will be on. For me, the desktop rests on the two Ivar cabinets, so I put two scrap pieces on either side of each of the Ivar cabinets to make sure the desk’s surface was level and so that it raised it enough for me to be able to put the front cap on without interfering with the doors of my cabinets. Does that make more sense?

  • Myra

    Hi Samantha, what’s the purpose of the 1x2x10 board? To extend the depth of the desk a bit more? or make the table appear thicker? Thanks!

  • Kenzie

    Beautiful! Can you tell me the dimensions of the cabinets and where you got them? Thanks

    • Samantha

      Thank you so much! I used the Ikea Ivar cabinets but they were far too tall for me so I had to cut them down to fit the room/height I needed. I hope that helps!

  • Lisa Roper


    Where did you get the cupboards from?


  • Jessica

    Hello! I’m wondering how long your wall is that you built this on? Just trying to decide if we need to make two desk areas or if ours would look similar to this.

    • Samantha

      Hi Jessica,
      Great question – my wall is about 10 ft long! I hope that helps

      • Kristen

        Hi Samantha, using this for my own DIY attempt. Did you ever think about using butcher block for the counter top? Wondering if it will save any steps or if it’s a bad idea

  • Doriane

    Hello !! I love your desk ! Where are you find your boards ?

    • Samantha

      I found everything at Home Depot!

    • Samantha

      Hi Doriane,

      Great question – I would be cautious of how heavy it might be in the middle – if your gap is smaller than mine it would probably work but the weight would be what would concern me. Otherwise, I think it would look really good!

  • Jasmin

    Hi I love this and you are my inspiration for our office. As far as the desk top did you secure it to the wall or the cabinets?

    • Samantha

      Hi Jasmin! I’m so honoured to hear that! I can’t wait to hear about how your office turns out. I actually didn’t secure the desktop to anything because I knew the weight of the bookcase and the snug fit I had would keep it in place – however, if I were to secure it, it would have been to the cabinets. Potentially from inside the cabinets so I wouldn’t see it on the top of the desk. Hope that helps!

  • Mayela

    Looks INCREDIBLE!!!!! Do you think it would be possible to do like a wide peninsula desk in this space with the same wood and do the metal legs like in your other post? Kind of like this desk, but within that middle space between the two bookshelves you made. My wall is about 15 feet. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Samantha

      Thanks so much! You probably could! You’d just have some trouble accessing the cabinet under the peninsula portion but if that didn’t bother you, I don’t see why not!

  • Julie P

    Hi Samantha, this has been great and we are recreating your cabinets/desktop. I have two questions about step 10. 1) Did you have any sort of seam when attaching the 1x2x10 to the rest of the desk and if so, did you do anything to that steam? 2) You said you stained your 1x2x10 after you affixed it to the desk. I worry that when I am staining the front piece, that I might get more stain on the desk and make it darker. Did you tape your desktop or are you just really good at staining! I’m not sure I trust myself!

    • Samantha

      Hi Julie! I love to hear that!! I have a small seam – I left it but you could do the same thing I did to the rest of the desktop an fill it with woodglue and saw dust – you’d have to restain that section, of course. To stain the front cap, I did tape off the top of the desk. I am not that good of a stainer either. If you wanted you could totally stain it before and touch up where the nail holes are?!

  • Joscelyn

    Hi there! We looooove this so much we are in the middle of a complete copycat recreation in our home office, even just ordered the exact hardware and my boyfriend is following your blog exactly!

    We are wondering, did you find it necessary to seal the desk with any kind of top coat? I don’t see it in your steps but just wondering.

    • Samantha

      I’m so so honoured you’re recreating this in your home!!! I didn’t end up sealing my desk, but I really don’t do anything on it other than type. If I was writing more or had my daughter colouring/eating around it, I totally would have! I would have just used a matte, clear seal! I hope that helps!

  • Kati

    What color did you paint the other walls that complimented the BM ash wood moss paint?

  • Kayla

    Hello! I see your desk is 10 feet long and 2 inches thick, but how deep is your desk? Is it as deep as your Ivar cabinet? Thank you in advance!

    • Samantha

      Great question – I’ll add this to the post. It came out to almost 21″ (20 3/8″ with the front cap on it)!

  • Angela

    Hi Samantha! I am having trouble finding the Flagship stain. from Verathane. Do you know another color that is similar?


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