Creative Ways To Repurpose A Worn-Out Desk

You might own an old desk that needs some TLC to bring it back to life. Alternatively, you may find one for a super-cheap price at a thrift store or even a free desk discarded desk on the street. Don't pass up an old desk, even if you don't need it for the home office. Worn-out desks can be transformed to serve multiple purposes in your home.

An old desk offers storage space within its drawers as well as a large, flat work surface. These features contribute to the practical use of an old desk for multiple purposes. Typically, these old pieces need to be cleaned, sanded, and possibly repaired. Then, you might prime and paint the desk, or you might stain and seal the wood. You can add new drawer-pull hardware as a finishing touch. Creative DIYers start with worn-out desks and repurpose them as kitchen islands, bars, TV stands, and more.

Repurpose an old desk as a kitchen island

Picture one of those sturdy, wooden desks that were used in offices for many years. In bygone days, they were the typical teachers' desks in school classrooms, and many of them were made from solid oak wood. Today, one of those dinosaurs can serve as the basis for a practical and attractive kitchen island. They offer multiple drawers for storage along with a large, rectangular top surface for counter space.

Savannah of The Moore the Merrier Vlogs found one of those old desks for free. To raise it up to counter height, she added four legs taken from an old coffee table (also free). In the seating area of the old desk, she installed new hardware to create a sliding system that hides two trash cans suspended in a metal frame. After scraping, sanding, priming, and painting, Savannah topped off the desk with a new piece of countertop material. With modern, new drawer pulls, the kitchen island looks nothing like the original, worn-out office desk. Instead, it provides a fresh appearance and much-needed space for prep work and storage in the kitchen.

Separate the parts of a worn out desk to make two nightstands

Many old desks can be described as "kneehole" desks. This design includes two columns of drawers on either side of an open space with a flat work surface extending across the top. Clever furniture flippers realize that the two columns of drawers on either side can become two stand-alone pieces of furniture. According to Christina of DIY Thrift Flip Furniture, a worn-out desk is the ideal starting point to fashion two modern nightstands.

After receiving an old kneehole desk free from a neighbor, Christina removed the top to separate the two columns of drawers. Next, she used a power saw to remove the curvy bottom portions of the two columns, leaving a straight, horizontal design for a contemporary look. After cleaning the old wood, Christina added new MDF bottoms and wood tops to the two emerging nightstands. She filled gaps and holes with putty and wood filler and sanded the two pieces. With new, modern legs installed, the next steps included priming and painting the nightstands. For a special touch, Christina added woven, natural, caning material to the drawer fronts and framed them with mitered wood strips. The two finished nightstands look nothing like the old desk, and they complement a fresh, modern, interior decor aesthetic.

A worn out desk becomes an attractive and functional TV stand

A TV stand occupies a highly visible location in your living room, den, or family room. So, you want it to offer functionality, storage, and good looks. You don't need to go out and spend money on a new piece of furniture if you have a worn-out desk around the house. Simply apply some ingenuity and elbow grease to transform the desk into the ideal TV stand.

The vlogger on Bored or Bananas did just that. First, Jamie added a 1-inch by 6-inch board beneath the drawers and across the opening in her son's old, beat-up, kneehole desk. She added a board cut to size that fills the bottom of the kneehole area, to create a boxed-in effect for the piece. Suddenly, it takes on the look of cabinetry and no longer looks like a desk. Then, Jamie added strips of carved molding to provide a finished appearance. Next, she added a shelf in the open, kneehole area of the desk. This serves as a home for gaming equipment or a DVD player. After painting the TV stand in a color that complements her decor, Jamie reattached the original drawer pulls and added two new, contrasting knobs on the top drawers. She decorated the TV stand with simple accents and the finished piece looks right at home in her living room.

A old desk transforms to a sophisticated bar

Phillip of Lincoln's Creations and Rentals vowed to never go garbage picking for old furniture. However, he couldn't pass up revamping a free, worn-out, solid-wood desk with attractive lines and ample drawer space. With a few added elements, he turned the desk into a handsome bar for his mother-in-law. It's ideal for entertaining in her home.

To create a bar from the desk, Phillip needed to raise the height of the top surface. He did this via two modifications. First, he added four casters to the bottom of the desk, attaching one in each corner. The casters raise the piece off the floor to increase the height as well as make it easy to move by rolling. The second modification was to add a new top surface above the old desktop. After sanding and staining the old desk, he attached four iron pipe fittings to the corners of the desktop. Next, Phillip mounted a new, solid pine top surface on the pipe fittings. The pipe fittings not only elevate the new bar top above the original desktop but also give the bar a look of rustic industrial decor.

Repurpose a kitchen desk to storage space

Many homes built in recent years feature a built-in desk in the kitchen. Usually, it consists of a kneehole and a desktop with drawers on either side and cabinets mounted on the wall above. These kitchen desks offer a place for the home's occupants to sort mail, pay bills, and organize the family's event calendar. However, if you have a built-in kitchen desk that you don't use, it may be wise to convert the knee-hole space to storage space. While it might be expensive to build shelves and add cabinet doors in the space, there is a simple, inexpensive solution.

Vlogger Sara Joy converted her kitchen desk to a storage area by covering the front of the knee-hole space with a curtain. First, she measured the width and height of the opening to order a curtain in the correct size. Additionally, she acquired a tension curtain rod to fit the width of the opening. Finally, Sara hung the curtain and immediately created a hidden, open space for storage. The curtain colors complement the colors in both the kitchen cabinetry and the flooring. Behind the curtain, items can be stored in bins or baskets to be easily retrieved when needed.

Flip an old desk into a bedroom vanity

There's something elegant and sophisticated about having your own vanity-type dressing table. To create this luxurious vibe, Grace from Cruelty Free Gracefully went in search of an old piece of furniture that she could make over. She found a vintage desk with a graceful design, probably made in the 1940s or 1950s. Although the outer finish of the desk looked worn, it was basically in good shape. At only $50.00, it was a steal.

The old desk features a knee-hole area with two drawers on either side as well as a wide drawer across the center front. But this worn-out desk was in need of sprucing up. Grace cleaned, sanded, primed, and painted the piece to make it look brand new. She added five new, gold-tone drawer pulls for a bit of bling. To use the refurbished desk as a vanity, Grace placed a large mirror on top, propping it against the wall. Additionally, she positioned a lamp and several small pieces of artwork on the desktop. The old desk now looks like a luxurious vanity table.

An old computer desk becomes a gorgeous coffee bar

Computer desks from years ago were huge. They featured pull-out work surfaces for the computer keyboards as well as large, open spaces for the hard drives and the monitors. Now, many people don't need those bulky, specially designed desks that were so popular in the 1990s. But what can you do with one of those old monstrosities?

Merina of Fearfully Created received a large, old computer desk free from her grandmother and was determined to make it into a coffee bar. After removing the pull-out keyboard shelf and two other shelves, she cleaned the piece and painted it with white, chalky-finish paint. She wanted to create a farmhouse vibe by adding pieces of wood stained in a variety of dark and light hues. So, Merina removed the original backing of the computer desk and installed a new back surface consisting of numerous short boards finished in four different stains. The effect is a bit like old barn wood. For a special touch, she installed and wired two farmhouse-style sconces in the back of the coffee bar. Finally, she decorated the transformed coffee bar with farmhouse decorations and added her coffeemaker and a carousel of coffee pods.