DIY | A Waney/Live Edge Desk

The master bedroom in my house has built-in cabinets either side of a Velux window. They’d become a catch-all for clutter, and they were crying out to be better utilised. So, I built a DIY live edge desk top to turn the space into a double-duty office and vanity area.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-12

Where and How to Buy Live Edge Wood

Live edge wood (aka waney edge) is where the natural edge of the wood is kept rather than cut straight, leaving an organic edge, often with bark still showing.

There are plenty of places to buy live edge wood slabs – eBay is good, and even B&Q. But there are not a lot of places that stock anything over 3 meters long, which is what I needed for this desk.

Enter my new go-to timber yard, Surrey Timbers. So much lovely wood to choose from!Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-1

I settled on two planks of Sycamore, because I couldn’t get a single piece that was deep enough. I asked for one plank completely squared off and another keeping one waney edge intact.

Getting the Wood Home

It cost £330 for the wood, including cutting but excluding delivery. We live in a rental, and although this live edge desk is custom-built to perfectly fit the house, it’s also perfectly temporary. Nothing is attached.

Building the Desk Top

Once it was in the house, my handyman (hi Dad!) cut it to size exactly.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-2Getting it up two flights of stairs was a bit of a challenge, but thankfully it just fit.

We attached the two planks together with seven metal brackets (like these) equally spaced on the underside. I also added furniture pads to the bottom of the desk, so the wood top won’t damage the built-in cabinets underneath.

Finishing the Live Edge Desk

The edges had been roughed up a bit when they ran it through the planer, so I sanded them down until there were no sharp edges but maintained as much of the waney edge as possible.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-4Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-6Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-7We used a coarse grit sand paper on the edges, and a fine grit on top, then dusted it off so it was ready for oiling.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-5

To protect the live edge desk, I liberally applied Danish oil using a rag.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-10

Over the next couple of days, I gave it three more coats of Danish oil, sanding everything with fine grit paper in between each coat. The grain got more visible with each new layer. I might have spent some time just stroking it when we’d finished it (I did).

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-9

It dried just in time for me to style and shoot it for my One Room Challenge reveal.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-13

The Desk is Done!

The live edge desk absolutely transformed this space, and made it much more useable.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-14

I’ve set up one end as a vanity area. The other end will eventually be more work-oriented; I’m still sorting my tech out so I can really move my work space up here properly.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-18
Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-16
Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-19

Side note: I do love that lamp. Almost as much as I love how the desk turned out.

Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-17
Waney Live Edge Desk How To Tutorial-11
DIY Live Edge Wood Desk Tutorial

More Fall 2016 One Room Challenge Posts

The desk is part of a six week room transformation. Read more in these posts:



What Clients Are Saying