I have refinished wood, but this was the first time I ever built something from scratch with my own two hands. I have always loved ladder shelves and loved the idea of having a ladder style desk. I looked for plans and couldn't find any. I had to get rid of an old desk and the day I threw it out, I found Ana White's plans. For nearly the same price as the particle board ones sold at stores, I figured I could buy all the tools and materials to do it myself and customize it....and then i would have the tools to use on future projects. As a beginner with no technique or skill, working between overtime hours, it took me about 2 weeks to finish. I had to work on it in stages. Cutting the boards all the exact same length was by far my biggest challenge. I even had a Home Depot employee cut me two extra pieces and he couldn't even get them perfect. A stop block really would have made this a lot easier. I stuck very closely to the plans except I made my book shelves 18" wide to accommodate my printer. I also added a slide out tray under the desk shelf (not in picture). I made quite a few mistakes, but the finished project looks amazing in my living room. I should have taken another picture after it was all set up with my desk supplies. This picture doesn't do it justice. I love it so much, I may just build another one to serve as an entertainment center on the opposite wall.
Less than $150 for wood, screws, stain. I also bought a mini kreg jig for $20
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Common board from Home depot
Minwax Red Mahogany Stain
Recommended Skill Level