DIY Office Work Island

Today, we’re sharing our DIY Office Work Island!

I’ve worked from home long enough to understand home offices need three key elements:

  • Good lighting
  • Easy to Maintain Storage and Organization Systems
  • Friendly Work Surfaces

So naturally, now that the metal shed makeover plans have officially begun I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate all three elements.

From Desk to Work Island 

One of my all-time favorite projects is a DIY Office Work Island we built several years ago.  It’s the perfect combination of form, function and style.

I love it so much I’m hoping to use it in the shed too.  It’s definitely going to take careful planning though given its generous size.

Back in the day, I used this table style work island which worked well for basic desk needs.  On a side note, can we just talk about how much my style has changed over the years ?

But once we decided to give the office a makeover as part of the One Room Challenge, my bestie S offered to help make me a proper office work island.

As always, we try to be really cost conscious with all the projects we take on and this work island was no exception.

Here’s a look at how we created a DIY office work island by shopping the garage and upcycling a few materials we already had on hand… 

*This post was updated July 2020

Initially, I really wanted the look of a reclaimed wood planked tabletop for the office work island.  But I quickly realized reclaimed wood is not easy to craft on and it can also be expensive.

Thankfully, we found some paneling at Lowe’s that looked like weathered planked boards. It was around $15 per sheet, which made it a cost-effective option too.

Given paneling can be quite thin, we needed to attach it to a sturdier base in order to secure the tabletop to the apron of the office work island.

Enter the old door I had been using as a desktop…

S used a caulk gun and Liquid Nails to attach the planked paneling to the door.

Then we stacked heavy books and magazines on top while allowing the Liquid Nails to completely dry and set.

Here’s another look at all the layers.  The paneling is on the very bottom, next is the door and then the top layer is the baskets we used as weights.

Once the top was ready, S was able to build an apron on the bottom of the door.

Building a table apron also gave us a place to help secure the counter height legs we used.

They were left over from a previous project and were one of the pieces we found in the garage.

After the apron and base were completed, S was able to build a casing around the top of the door and paneling to give it a more finished look.

We caulked the edges and space between the paneling and the casing too.

Weathering the Office Work Island Legs

Once the construction of the office work island was finished, S officially passed the baton to me so I could paint the legs.

I wanted a weathered look but not one that would compete with the planked paneling.

At first, I tried a combination of clear and dark wax. But it was a bit too rustic.

Then I tried straight dark wax without any clear wax at all but that wasn’t it either.

I’ve learned if you want to achieve a weathered look you have to add a little gray to the mix because brown alone won’t be enough.

So, I started painting the legs with the last bit of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen I had in the can.

I mean, I was scraping the bottom and the consistency was very watery.

I allowed the French Linen to dry just enough where it started to penetrate the wood.

Then I used a piece of 000 grade steel wool I had soaked in water and worked the wool into the wood grain.

Next, I wiped the excess away with an old cloth.

This process is very messy so make sure your area is completely covered. Also, make sure you’re using gloves while trying this technique.

I took mine off to take these pictures.

After the legs were dry, I sealed them with clear furniture paste wax.

While this project was totally messy, it was also totally worth it!

How gorgeous are these “weathered” legs?

Finding a New Spot for the Work Island 

All in all, the DIY office work island stands at a sleek 84 inches long, 29 inches wide and 36 inches high.

It’s so long, I can start a project on one end of the island and begin a completely different project on the other end with plenty of room in between to craft or make a mess.

Best of all, it can easily be wiped down and cleaned without a lot of fuss.

And I am all for quick and easy, no fuss solutions.  Especially, when they involve cleaning up messes ?

We still need to get the insulation on the walls installed and get the floor painted too. So, I’ll share how this piece looks in my new office as soon as we get those steps finished.

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. I loved your budget workaround idea that helped you avoid using reclaimed wood, while still getting a distressed look. Your office work island turned out so beautifully!

    1. Thanks so much, Heidi, I really appreciate it! Fingers crossed it fits in the new office work shed 🙂 Hope your week has been a happy one, CoCo

  2. What a creative idea! With so many people working from home, this DIY work island will be very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That table is gorgeous! And i love the stools. Great DIY!

    1. Thank you, Amy! It’s definitely seen its share of messes but in the best possible way. The counter height really helps as a space saver since the stools can be tucked right under the table. Hope your week has been a happy one, CoCo

  4. It’s beautiful! I love the way you weathered the legs, I did something similar to weather a new wooden stool for my bathroom and it worked a treat! This workspace is coming along nicely, can’t wait to see the next instalment!

    1. Thank you so much, Jayne! I’m really excited to see how this work table fits into the outdoor office. It’s huge so it will definitely take a bit of maneuvering but I’m excited to have it out there. Can’t wait to see your stool! Hugs, CoCo

  5. I LOVE everything about this DIY, CoCo! From the way you recycled items from your garage and office, to the way you gave the wood that gorgeous weathered look! And might I say you had me swooning over that perfectly perfect scale sitting on your desk! Oh my goodness! I cannot wait to see your work island in your new space!

    1. Thanks so much, Christine! I cannot take a bit of credit for how that scale was styled. I totally step back and let my Mom do her thing and this is what she came up with. We found that big old thing at Renninger’s for $5 at the very beginning at the sale and had to haul it back to the car with one of us on each side because it was SO heavy ha ha. Definitely worth all the effort though 🙂 Sending you hugs, CoCo

  6. Coco, I love your work island table. It’s beautiful and you did a great top I’d explaining the construction process. Thank you for sharing at Tuesday Turn About Link Party.

    1. I really appreciate that Carol, thank you so much! It’s pretty long so I’m hoping it will fit perfectly in the new office-workshop too 🙂 Hope your week is fabulous, Big hugs, CoCo

  7. So gorgeous Coco. Love your thought process. A lovely project you can be proud of. Thanks for sharing at Love Your Creativity. I am featuring your sweet project today. Hugs

    1. That is so exciting, Linda, and such a great way to start the week off too! Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Sending you hugs and thank yous, CoCo

    1. I really appreciate it, Kristin, thank you so much! Sending you hugs for a happy week, CoCo

  8. Wow. I love what you have done. This is an office you can truly look forward to working in everyday. A real studio. Thank you for sharing you have given me some great ideas.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Eileen! I worked at the kitchen table for a long time so it’s nice to have space of my own to look forward to now. Can’t wait to see how your ideas come together too. Hope your week is a blessed one, CoCo

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