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August 27, 2012

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Bamboo Edged White Desk

Madigan made… an IKEA desk hack.

Customize an IKEA desk with gold bamboo trim. -


Today I want to show you the small desk in my office/guest room.

BUT, the truth is… You actually have already seen this desk many, many times!

Where did you see this desk?

Well, you saw the white surface in all of these prior craft projects:

How to take craft photos with a white background? - use a white desk!



There are several reasons I really wanted a white desk for this bedroom. First, I love white. The color white is just light and bright. It will coordinate with the other furniture in the room.

But more importantly, I wanted a solid white surface that could double as a photo backdrop. This bedroom gets fantastic afternoon light and I knew that a white desk could serve as a pseudo-photography studio area.

white desk IKEA hack -


I initially thought about trying to find an old desk that I could paint, but I ended up going with a laminate, white desk from IKEA. IKEA desks are very inexpensive AND the surface is very smooth. Perfect for photos!

But when I looked at the selection from IKEA, I was a little bored with the choices. I picked up a simple, white tabletop and legs, but I felt the desk needed something else.


Update a simple IKEA desk with bamboo edging. -


So, I decided to trim it out with gold bamboo. I picked up these two big, thick pieces of bamboo at the dollar store! (I’m always shocked at some of the random and awesome things you can find at the dollar store.)

First, I attached the metal legs to the desk. I purposely positioned the longer edge of the legs at a 45 degree angle to the edge of the table top.


Then, I measured and cut the bamboo down with a jig saw. I placed the pieces so they would fit with the edges butted against each other like so:

cut bamboo to fit desk

I sanded the cut ends with sandpaper. Then, I grabbed some gold Rub n’ Buff was and a rag and liberally spread and rubbed gold wax on each of the 4 pieces of bamboo.

gold wax on bamboo - how to


I thought about drilling and attaching the bamboo with screws, but in the end, I just glued the pieces down. I ‘tacked’ the lengths down with hot glue and then piped a bead of E6000 between the bamboo and the underside of the table top along the back of the bamboo. 


Once the glue was dry, I had a gold edged table top!

bamboo edged IKEA desk -


It was a simple update, but I think the desk needed it. Plus, the gold edging mimics the gold band on the painted desk chair. And the legs of the painted chair remind me a little of bamboo, too.

bamboo details on a simple desk and chair -


For now, I added just a couple of simple accessories to the top of the desk.

A few green, orange and light turquoise ceramic dishes and vases will hold any needed stationary items (and a couple strands of beads, for color). You can read more about this room’s color scheme here.

orange, green, blue ceramics -


And two decorative boxes hold any important papers and receipts. The blue metal box is from a thrift store and the Moroccan-style, orange inlayed box is from Home Goods.

simple decorative boxes -


All of these items can be removed quickly when I need to photograph a craft or tutorial step. I’ll just grab a piece of white foam board and I have a horizontal (the table) and vertical (the foam core) background for my photos.

simple white desk -


I’m really glad I chose to use a small, lightweight desk because I move this table around frequently for photographs, depending on the light. So far, the glued down bamboo pieces are still tight and secure.


The desk is positioned in front of the window for practical reasons (it gets good light there). And I hung long, white drapes on either side of the windows. I’ll tell you more about those curtains soon. I came up with a simple and affordable solution  to create an extra-long curtain rod, so the panels can extend across the whole wall.

Simple white IKEA desk and curtains -


This area has been a great place to work and photograph. The rest of the room is slowly coming together and I hope I can show you more soon!


Simple IKEA white desk update -

I’m sharing this post at: Addicted 2 Decorating, Tatertots and Jello 

Desk source & cost list:

  • VIKA AMON, IKEA table top – $6
  • VIKA LAGE, IKEA white legs – $10 x 4 legs = $40
  • Bamboo, dollar store – $2
  • Gold wax, sandpaper & glue – on hand
  • Total cost: $48