new england farm house barn

My grandparents farm in New Hampshire

Before my grandparents farm was sold, I was able to rescue a couple doors and some wooden boards for my sister and I.  For over 6 years they’ve sat in my sister’s shed but our recent trip to her house for Thanksgiving allowed me us to be reunited with my share of the old wood.

My wife was originally talking about making a coffee table with door but after I got her a stack of old pallets (an early Christmas present) I was able to talk her out of using the barn door so I could use it for a desk.  It doesn’t hurt that she thinks my current desk is an eyesore and has been asking me to get a new desk for a long time!

barn door desk DIY project

The side with supports

After looking at several pictures of other barn door desks on the world wide inter-web, I decided on building X-legs rather than simply attaching spindle legs.  I felt that would give the desk a more rustic look and probably be less expensive in the end (assuming I don’t mess up the wood for the legs).

barn door desk DIY project landscaping timbers x-legs

Landscaping timbers for X-legs

Originally I thought about using pressure treated 4x4s for the X-legs but when I got to Home Depot I saw some landscaping timbers that looked more rustic and barn-like than simple 4x4s so I picked up a couple 8-footers which should give me plenty for the legs, including some excess to practice my cuts!

barn door desk DIY project

Door handle might be used for cable management

Right now I’m questioning whether I should remove any of the hardware on the doors and if so, how much.  The hinges are pretty rusty, as is the handle.  This dilemma also ties into one involving which side I should use as the top of the desk.  The smoother side of the tongue-and-groove boards features the handle, as well as  support bars that stick up off the surface.  The other side feels almost like softer wood and has the recessions from the tongue-and-groove and the hinges (which are extremely rusty) and a latch.  There are pros both ways!  I’m also trying to decide if I’m going to put glass down on top of the desk.

barn door desk DIY project

Tongue and groove side with door hardware

Other questions I’m considering include the finish I use on the barn door desk and X-legs.  I’m very opposed to painting the desk but am thinking about about using a clear lacquer to seal and protect the door.  As far as the legs go, I’ll probably match the color of the door with a dark brown stain.

Stay tuned as I continue my barn door desk project to see more more detail of how I put everything together.  And watch for the finished project on my Pinterest page!