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Project 1: Door As Desk

Although I have lived in my new apartment since the beginning of August, there are a few projects that I still need to tackle: Build a dresser, bed frame for a king-size mattress, more storage space, etc.

What to Build?

The top of my list was build a desk. Something simple. I already had a 2-drawer filing cabinet, so all I really needed was a flat surface and something to prop the other side of of my desk project. I found a cheap used (although paneled) door at local used-goods store. The door had been painted several times, so the first task was to strip off the old paint. That proved to be a much more difficult task. I tried several stripping products and none of them met with much approval.

Paint Strippers Suck!

First, I went natural with an organic orange-scented stripping agent. It worked OK and it held its strength for up to 24 hours, but the resulting slop was so liquid that I promptly ran through all my cleaning towels until everything was soggy. Next, I tried a not-so-environmentally-friendly paint remover and it did OK as well, but you had to tackle all that you could at about the 15 minute mark, else it evaporated. Not to mention that it failed to penetrate all the layers of paint.

Fiber Board!

Since it was a four-panel door, I still needed a flat surface for the desktop. Angie and I found a large 8×5 foot section of 1″ thick wood-fiber board that someone had painted a red-blue-white checkered pattern upon one of its surfaces. It had been abandoned at a nearby trash bin and we promptly stored it in the garage. I used it as my flat surface, using wood screws to attach it to the paint-stripped door.

It’s pretty heavy, but it comes apart with minimal effort and will be much easier to move in the future.

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