My first project building a piece of furniture and using stain! When I saw this desk on your website, I knew I wanted to make it for my wife. I got lucky and found this NEW chair on craigslist for $40, which we easily recovered with a fun print.
About our X-desk... the frame I built out of lumber per plan except customized the overall length of the desk. With so many pieces of wood butting together, I used a tube of ALEX clear paintable caulk on all the internal edges to give it a tighter appearance. This would not have been possible if we stained the bottom of course. The caulk did a fabulous job of closing all the gaps - or making them appear closed. Next, put a good coat of bulls-eye primer then latex top coat. Hindsight: since we knew we wanted to distress the paint, we should have perhaps skipped the primer. It made it really tough to distress areas and nearly impossible to do so without having some areas of white showing instead of just wood underneath.. Still turned out fine, but for next time : )
For the top, I debated several options but ended up using a piece of ikea birch butcherblock that I bought a couple years ago and never used. the piece was not quite as wide as we wanted for the desk, so I used some kreg jig pocket drilling ingenuity to widen it with some cedar deck boards, which have the same 1" nominal thickness as the butcher block. Worked out nicely. Stained it with Minwax Early American and finished it with Helmsman Spar Urethane. We are very happy with the end product. Thanks for the inspiration & direction to make this happen!!
My next project is a refurb of a $20 maple end table I snagged from craigslist. Will keep you posted.
PS. Not sure why my thumbnail photos show up sideways, but when you click on them, they open in the correct rotated orientation