Customer Project

How to Make a Lap Desk

Browse Projects

  • Home Office Makeover
    Black and Gold Home Office Makeover
  • Nautical Bookends
    Nautical Wooden Book Ends
DIY Lap Desk After
  • Estimated Time

    3 Hours

  • Challenge Level


  • Tools & Supplies:

    • Wood Glue
    • Screwdriver
    • 2 L-Brackets with Short Screws
    • Painter's tape
    • High Quality Synthetic Bristle Brush
    • Lint-free cloth
    • Tack Cloth
    • Sandpaper (#120, #150, #180 Grits)
    • Table Saw
    • Stir Stick

This DIY lap desk makes it easy to work from the couch! Here’s how we made it for a fraction of the cost of buying one at a home store.

1. PREPARE: Always work in a well-ventilated area and cover your workspace with a drop cloth to protect it from drips and overspray.

2. CUT: Using a table saw, cut a small L-shaped groove in the top of each MDF board. This is where the plywood top will attach to the legs.

3. STAIN: Thoroughly sand the plywood top, working your way up through each grit of sandpaper. Wipe away the sanding dust with a tack cloth after you’re finished with each grit. Stir or shake your Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain in Sunbleached thoroughly. Then, use your lint-free cloth or brush to apply a generous amount of stain onto the wood in the direction of the wood grain. Let the stain sit on the surface for a few minutes, and then wipe away the excess with a clean cloth--again, working in the direction of the wood grain. Once the entire board is stained, set it aside to dry for one hour.

4. POLYURETHANE: Stir your can of Triple Thick Polyurethane thoroughly with a stir stick. Then, use your brush to apply an even coat of polyurethane to the plywood board. To get a smooth, even finish, apply the polyurethane in the direction of the wood grain in one thick and uniform coat. Set the plywood aside to cure for 48 hours.

5. PAINT: Shake your can of Universal Matte spray paint in Robin’s Egg for one minute after the mixing ball starts to rattle. Then, follow the directions on the can to apply two light coats to the front and back of each MDF board. Let the boards dry completely for 24-48 hours before applying painter’s tape for the next step.

Next, use painter’s tape to mask off stripes on each MDF board. Then, apply two even coats of
Universal Metallic spray paint in Titanium Silver to the MDF boards over the painter’s tape. Let the boards dry for at least one hour before handling.

6. BUILD: Glue the MDF boards (legs) to the plywood (top) with wood glue and let dry according to the label’s instructions. Then, use L-brackets to secure the boards together from underneath.

7. FINISH: Flip the lap desk back over and enjoy!