I Have an Idea: Barn Door Desk (Part 4)

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I finally had all the materials I needed: my old door and two amazing sawhorses.

Unfortunately, the sawhorses were just a bit too tall to be the right height for a desk. Since sawhorses are on an angle, cutting them wasn’t as easy as I originally thought it would be. I mentioned earlier that I married an engineer.  My husband was enlisted.

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You know it’s serious when you break out the calculator!

Next—time to use some elbow grease! We washed and sanded and removed the paint from the door.

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It was surprisingly stubborn, but finally the wood grain could be seen. We decided to stain the legs ebony and the desk top natural.

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Three coats of polyurethane later, and we were ready to construct the desk.

We used angle irons to fix the door to the sawhorses. We were lucky that the door we found fit perfectly and was easy to attach—I was right to be so particular!

We moved the desk into our office, where I use it every day. It is a fun and functional addition to our home!


(I cleaned it off for this photo.)


I Have an Idea: Barn Door Desk (Part 3)

As I have discussed in my previous posts, I was on a mission to find the owner of a pair of sawhorses, and I had put my daughter on the case. Since I still don’t know how she actually found out the guy’s name, I asked her to explain it herself. Here is what she said:

Daughter here.

I’m sad to say that tracking down the owner of the erstwhile Weed Shop was not my first foray into internet sleuthing. First I tried to do a reverse address search, but I didn’t have any luck.

Then I remembered that property tax information is open to the public, so I searched the records online to find out who the owners of the property were. From there, it was a quick Google search to track down the phone number.

All told, it took me about a half hour to track down that name, and in the process I discovered that I was maybe a little too good at internet stalking.

Me again.

I had a name and a phone number, now the ball was in my court.  I wondered how to start the conversation with him.

“I was trespassing on your property…”

“You don’t know me…”

“I really love your sawhorses that I saw while I was on your property– deep into your property.”


What I imagined his reaction to these introductions would be.

Well, I’m not sure how I started, but it ended with the owner suggesting that I call her husband about it, and he wasn’t home. She suggested that I call back when he was home. The ball was moved forward.

I called him when she suggested, and he was agreeable! We set up a meeting time for the upcoming Saturday since he was planning on being there working on restoring the house on the property. My husband agreed to join me.

My last hurdle to jump was the price. “How much would you like for 2 of them?” I asked.

He said, “How much were you thinking to pay?”

I threw out a number. “How about $10.00.”

“How about $5.OO?” he said.


I had never been negotiated down before. I really liked this guy and his sawhorses! I hoped they would be as nice as I remembered them! (They were.)

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It just goes to show that you never know what the day may bring, and sometimes people can really surprise you in a good way!


I Have an Idea: Barn Door Desk (Part 1)

I enjoy looking through magazines to get inspired. I cut out pictures and sometimes, just sometimes, I follow through, but I can’t live long enough to do all that I want to do. Luckily, I married an engineer, an engineer that rebuilt a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger with his best friend when they were 20. And when I say rebuilt, I mean rebuilt.

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I am so fortunate that he is also very patient, because often my projects become “our” projects.

I was watching an episode of Fixer Upper when a desk made from an old door with sawhorses for legs caught my eye. When I saw it again in a Life: Beautiful magazine featuring Chip and Joanna from the show, I immediately cut it out to use as a guide to turn my idea into reality.

Our current desk never really worked for us. It was too narrow to be of much use, so I felt justified to get started on this project!

The hunt for the door began. I scoured architectural salvage warehouses, antique stores, and flea markets, but I wasn’t having any luck. I had no idea old doors were so expensive or how picky I was going to be. Since it was going to be a desk, I didn’t want cut outs on the face of the door. Old doors were beautiful but not flat!

Just when I was considering making my own (or, more accurately, having my husband make one) I had a Miracle on 34th Street “Stop the car!” moment.

If you haven’t seen the 1947 version put it on your must see list!

We were driving by a small antique store when I saw a blur of green out of the corner of my eye.


I thought it could be door, so I asked my husband to turn the car around. To my delight, it was a sea foam green door propped up against the store.

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It was affordable, flat and a good size. My project was started!