DIY Compact Chalkboard L-Desk

DIY Compact Chalkboard L-Desk

Hey Guys! Finally I have a room specifically for me to create into an office. It may be in the basement which makes my husband call it my Woman Cave, but it is at least a room. There will be no more papers sprawled out all over the dining table, or lugging the old MacBook around. I even have a space specially for my art so that I may actually want to start up again. (by the time I set up before I lost the motivation to actually do it). This being said, the next few weeks I will be going over the Furniture, Built-Ins and Accessories that make my fun and cozy office space. This week I will start with the main component, the desk.

I needed something that gave lots of space but would fit into the narrow room, and also allowed me easy access to my built-in bookshelf and could fit my Filing cabinet underneath. Needless to say a bit of planning went into this build to ensure I could get the most out of it. However, I did end up changing my original plans near the end. Originally I was planning on using 2x4s and stain for the top, but while looking around my garage I realized I had 2 pieces of MDF left over from building my daughter's Loft Bed with Built in Bookshelf and Desk. These boards were actually the PERFECT size for the top of the desk, and allowed me to have less waste sitting in my garage.

Now, the only issue was determining what I wanted to do to finish it, since staining it was now out of the question. I have to give credit to my husband for this one, he suggested that I use chalkboard paint. Admittedly, I just stared at him when he suggested it, wondering, "why would I do that?" He must have noticed the look on my face since he continued saying and I quote "You're always sketching and planning new ideas on paper that just gets thrown out. This way you can just erase and start over, less scrap." I had to admit, it has turned out to be a great idea, even for just little reminder notes for myself. So check below for the How to on building a DIY Compact Chalkboard L-Desk.

Now remember, Have Fun & Happy Building!


Make sure you read through the instructions and look over the plans fully before you start your project. Check out the “Before You Start” page for more on tool information, tips & tricks. Always stay safe and wear all safety protection. It is always best to make your cuts as you go and as they say, measure twice and cut once. 

If you have any questions just ask away! 


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Shopping List

6 – 2" x 4" x 8' 

2 - ½" x 2' x 4' MDF Boards 

Chalkboard Paint  

White Paint 

2 ½" Wood Screws 

2 ½" Pocket Screws 

Cut List

6 – 2" x 4" @ 28" - LEG 

4 – 2" x 4" @ 23" - LRG LEG T&B 

2 – 2" x 4" @ 19 ½" - SM LEG T&B 

2 – 2" x 2" @ 33 1/2" - Long to Short with 35 Deg Cut on each end - X1  

4 – 2" x 2" @ 16 3/4" - Long to Long with 35 Deg on one end 25 on the other- X2 

1 – 2" x 2" @ 31 1/2" Long to Short with Degree Cut on each End- X3 

2 – 2" x 2" @ 15 3/4" Long to Long with 35 Deg. on each end- X4 

1 – MDF @ 2' x 4' - TOP LRG SIDE 

1 – MDF @ 20 ½" x 31" - TOP SM SIDE 

2 – 2" x 4" @ 40" - LONG SUPPORT 

2 – 2" x 4" @ 27 ½" - SHORT SUPPORT 

Tools Needed


Circular Saw 




Kreg Jig 


Brad Nailer with 1" Brad Nails 






Measuring tape 


Wood Glue 



Wood Filler 




Paint Brush 


Spong Roller & Tray 


Shop Towels 




Ear Plugs 


Safety Glasses 



Start by cutting all of the boards, except for the ones for the X. (If a measurement is slightly off, it will change they angle for the X cuts) 




First, the frames for the legs need to be assembled.  

 For the 2 Large Legs use 2 ½" Screws through the LRG LEG T&B into the LEG boards.  

Do the same for the Small Leg through the SM LEG T&B into the LEG boards.  



For each LEG, measure out the Long X boards X1 & X3, however do not attach these yet, just lay them in place.  

Do the same for the smaller X boards, X2 & X4 and again, do not attach them.  




Drill 2 Pocket holes in each end of the LONG SUPPORT & SHORT SUPPORT boards. Also Drill a single pocket hole in the 20 Deg cut end of the X2 & X4 boards.  




Before we do any more assembly, we are going to give all of the boards a rough sand using 80-grit sandpaper to remove any large imperfections in the boards.  


Next attach the X1/X3 boards to its respective frame using 2 ½" Wood Screws through the LRG LEG T&B/ SHORT LEG T&B 

Now attach the X2 & X4 Boards using a 2 ½" Pocket screw on the one end and a 2 ½" Wood Screw through the LRG LEG T&B/ SHORT LEG T&B as you did in the previous step.  


Fill & Sand

With the 3 Legs now assembled, use wood filler to fill any holes in the boards. Don't forget to do the SUPPORT boards also.  


Attach the 2 LONG SUPPORTS to connect the Large Legs using 2 ½" Pocket screws.  

Do not attach the Small Side yet as it will make managing to move the desk quite hard and awkward.



Once the wood filler has dried, give the boards a good sand using 220-grit sandpaper to ensure it is all smooth and ready for the finishing.   



Finish & Final Assembly


Now, paint all the boards for the Desk Base. More than likely you will need at least 2 coats 


Bring all your pieces into the room it will assembled in, then use 2 ½" Pocket screws to attach the SHORT SUPPORT boards to both the Large side and the Small Leg.  

 Now, the way I have done this is to make it able to be taken fully apart at a later date, especially when we move.  


Place the Desk Top boards on top of the frame, placing the Large Side first and ensure that there is a ½" overlap around.  

Note: The large side will overlap the Small side frame 

With the Top boards in place, use a brad nailer with 1 inch nails to attach along the frame.  



All that’s left painting the top with the chalk paint. Use the Foam roller to apply the first coat and allow it to dry for an hour before applying the second coat.  

The final step to finishing the chalk board top is priming it, by covering it lightly in chalk 24 hours after its cured then clean up with soap and water.  

I hope you had fun will this build. Share your project and let me know how it went! 
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