Rust-Oleum Projects

Ikea Shelf / Lego Desk Hack

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  • Burned Wood Look in Minutes
  • Estimated Time

    1 Day

  • Challenge Level


  • Tools & Supplies

    • Tack Cloth
    • Clean shop towels
    • 2 – Ikea shelving units with storage bins
    • Large Lego base plate 15.75” x 15.75”
    • 2 – 1x2 pine 15.75” long
    • 2 - 1x2 pine 18.75” long
    • 3 – 1x8 ine 96” long
    • Circular Saw
    • Random orbital sander
    • Impact driver or screwdriver
    • Biscuit joiner & biscuits (optional)
    • Router (optional)
    • Wood Glue
    • Bar Clamps
    • Instant glue
    • 80, 120-grit sandpaper
    • 10 – small L brackets
    • 20 - #6/#8 x 3/4" wood screws

Ikea Shelf/ Lego Desk Hack


STEP 1: Choose the shelves you want to work with as the base for your desk. In this case, we’re using the Ikea Trofast model.


STEP 2: (Optional) Spray paint all of the shelf components in your desired colour. In this case, we’re using Painter’s Touch 2X Paint & Primer in Charcoal Grey.


STEP 3: Assemble your shelving units. Tip: add felt to the bottom of the shelves for easy movement once the top is attached.

STEP 4: Using a combination of biscuits and wood glue, carefully join your 1x8s together and clamp them in place until the glue sets. Be sure to apply even pressure when clamping to ensure your boards remain flat and wipe away any excess glue that may squeeze out.


Optional: If you don’t have a biscuit joiner, you can use pocket screws on the underside of the boards instead.


STEP 5: Once your glue is set, remove your desktop from the clamps and, if necessary, cut to size with your circular saw and a straight edge. In this case, we went with a 96” long desktop so just a minimal squaring up of the ends was needed.


STEP 6: (Optional) Using your router, add a chamfered or rounded over edge to your desk top.


STEP 7: Cut the 1x2s that you’ll need to frame your Lego base to size. In this case, we are using a large 15.75” x 15.75” base. So, we’ll need two pieces cut at 15.75” and two pieces cut at 18.75”.


STEP 8: Use your random orbital sander to sand your desktop and 1x2 piece on all sides, first with 80-grit and then again with 120-grit sandpaper. Be sure to round over any sharp edges.


STEP 9: With a clean tack cloth, wipe away any sawdust that may be left on the piece in order to prepare it for staining.


STEP 10: Using a 2” foam brush or a clean shop towel, apply a coat of your favourite Varathane wood stain and let sit for 5 minutes. In this case we’re using Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain in Carbon Grey.


STEP 11: Wipe away any excess stain with a clean shop towel and let dry.


STEP 12: Once the stain has dried, glue your 1x2 strips and Lego base in place.


STEP 13: Apply your first coat of Watco Wipe-On Poly with a clean, lint-free cloth to begin sealing your desktop.


STEP 14: Once your first coat is dry, lightly sand with a fine-grit sandpaper and apply a second coat. Be sure to wipe away any dust with a tack cloth before applying the second coat of poly.

STEP 15: Attach your desktop to the shelving units. In this case, we used L-brackets to secure the top to the shelves from the ends, middle and back.


STEP 16: Get the mess off of the floor and organized into the bins that fit into the shelving units.

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