DIY Butcher Block Desk


When you can’t find the perfect desk after hunting for months and months, it’s time to explore the option of building it yourself! With just a little bit of help from my Dad, we built our very own DIY butcher block desk.

Last week, when I shared new images of my desktop organization & notepads, I hinted at showing you my new desk for the home office. I find that I love to have tons of workspace around me and the little white desk I had from Target wasn’t cutting it. Not only did I not have much room for my notepads and spreading out my files, but with a 27″ iMac you need to create some distance between you and the screen!

Since I knew that once we moved into the new house and the bright white theme of my home office was going to go bye-bye, I spent that time keeping an eye out for a large desk that wouldn’t look like a heavy piece of furniture and also not break the bank. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with anything I was finding. 

Having trouble finding the perfect desk? Take these easy steps to build your own butcher block desk using hairpin legs. Click to read the full tutorial or pin to save for later! — Modish and Main

I’ll be honest, I started off with the hairpin legs. I actually ordered these back in August after I found a great article in one of my magazines showing all the different projects you can use these for. Mine are the 28″ Raw Steel Hairpin Legs. After they arrived, I just kept them in the garage until I finally figured out what I was going to build the top of the desk with.

DIY Butcher Block Desk with Hairpin Legs | Modish and Main

Finally in December, when my Dad was visiting for a week, I projected my ideal look for the desk and we spent some time browsing the internet to see what options we had. I knew I wanted the “raw, rustic, industrial” feel and felt that a wood top was needed. The problem was, we own minimal carpentry tools and didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on tools just to build this desk. All I wanted to find was one solid piece of wood that was thick, sturdy and had some character to it. That wasn’t such an easy task.

That’s when the idea of using a butcher block countertop came into play. I knew I loved the look since we had one for an island at a previous rental and they came in pretty large pieces. With no luck at our local hardware stores (Home Depot, Lowes), we ended up at a Lumber Liquidators. They had exactly what I needed and it only cost me $240. It was beautiful & I couldn’t wait to get it home.

Having trouble finding the perfect desk? Take these easy steps to build your own butcher block desk using hairpin legs. Click to read the full tutorial or pin to save for later! — Modish and Main

DIY Butcher Block Desk | Modish and Main

When I said I wanted a LARGE desktop space, I got exactly that. This desk measures 72″ in length x 36″ wide x 1.5″ in depth. It’s a beast. I now have plenty of space for my two computers, organizing accessories and room to still spread out my files when I need to. I love it.

DIY Butcher Block Desk | Modish and Main

DIY Butcher Block Desk | Modish and Main

DIY Butcher Block Desk | Modish and Main

The assembly of this desk was actually quite easy. It’s done in just 5 steps —

Step 1: Apply 1-2 coats of Butcher Block Oil with a terry cloth and let dry completely. (I chose to not oil the bottom side of the desk since it was never going to be seen.)

Step 2: Lay the top side facing down and measure where you want to place the 4 legs. Carefully measure that each of them are in the exact spot.

Step 3: Pre-drill a pilot hole to keep the wood from spitting.

Step 4: Insert a lag screw into each of the holes and tighten using a ratchet. (a lag screw helps ensure that the legs stay securely fastened)

DIY Butcher Block Desk with Hairpin Legs | Modish and Main

Step 5: With the help of another person, carefully flip the desk over and voila you have a new desk!

DIY Handmade Butcher Block Desk for my Home Office | Modish and Main

For less than $350 I was able to create a one-of-a-kind desk that perfectly fits my needs and my newly designed office space.

Update — I recently did a MAJOR update to my home office and now go take a peek what my beautiful DIY butcher block desk looks like in a completely different design.

Keep Living a Stylized Life.

Kristin Signature

42 comments on “DIY Butcher Block Desk”

  1. Krista …. thats is exactly what I want to do for my dining table. I wanted to know where you bought the legs and if the block holds well w/o bending… please write back if possible.

    1. Hey Andres! I purchased the legs from (refer to links used in text of post). I haven’t had a single issue with them bending or giving any sign of not holding up to the weight of the desk and I use this everyday.

      1. Thank you for your note. I think i will go ahead and do it. My only concerns were the weight of the butcher block and the block bending overtime. I want to go 84″ long so i can sit 8 ppl …. i got 6 cb2 mesh metal chairs that will go perfectly with that table ;).

    1. Yeahhhh Lauren! I’m so excited for you. Please share the finished product with me via email or on Instagram. My sister-in-law just built the desk for herself and it turned out beautifully too.

  2. So you purchased the Builder Oak Island Top by Williamsburg Butcher Block Co. and just used the Block Food Grade Mineral Oil?

    Did you use any stains?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Eric!

      Yes we just bought a standard butcher block island and only applied butcher block oil to it (2 coats). I chose to keep the piece in its raw form rather than utilizing any stain, but I’m sure you could apply stain if you have no intentions off eating of it. If you plan on eating off it, I would just do some research on how to properly seal for health benefits.

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! I ordered my butcher block top from Sears (it’s a top for a workbench, $100), lag bolts from Ace hardware, and the legs from your recommendation. I couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks again.

  4. Hey big is your desk? It looks pretty sizable and I really like the space you have with even a 27in iMac on it. I have the same one and would enjoy that extra space. thanks!

    1. You’re so welcome James! That’s why I built the desk because with having a 27″ monitor, I needed something that would give me some depth so I wasn’t so close to such a large screen! Since I wasn’t willing to pay what I saw on the market, I decided to build it myself for a fraction of the cost.

  5. I LOVE the desk…going to make something similar. I also love your chair! If you don’t mind me asking, where is it from?

  6. Absolutely love this entire room! We are building the desk. But also wondering, where did you get that fabulous grey metal (?) cabinet I see peeking out from behind your desk?

  7. Thank you for sharing the details of your beautiful space. I love this desk!! Did you use maple or oak?

    And I also love that you spell your name the “right” way! 😉

    1. Hey KRISTIN !!! (heck yes, us “tin’s” have to stick together)

      Great question, I’m 90% sure I bought a piece of oak butcher block. I believe the maple was more expensive. In hindsight, now seeing that my sister-in-law bought the acacia wood for her desk, I wish I would have done that. It’s SO beautiful.

  8. Hii!
    Thanks to you, I’m actually creating this office space for my hubby. I absolutely LOVE IT !
    I was wondering what are the dimensions of your rug? Would you recommend a 5×8 or 6×9 ?
    warm regards,

    1. Hey Vanessa! This is so awesome, your husband is going to love his new office space. My rug is a 5×8, which works nicely with the size desk. If you have more open space available, you could easily do a 6×9 without it being “too much.” Share a picture with me on Instagram once the room is done!

      1. Unfortunately, I don’t know the exact screw size we used! We took one of the hairpin legs in with us to the hardware store and determined the proper screw size from there. You do want to be sure the length isn’t too long that it comes through the top of the butcher block.

  9. Hello! I built a butcher block desk using yours as my inspiration, and I absolutely love it! But I am wondering, how do you conceal your computer cords? Any advice is welcome. Thanks!

    1. Hi Trista! Oh awesome, you should tag me in a post or send me an image of how your desk came out! So for concealing cords, I got these little cable clips in a wood color that I put along the side of my desk to clip my cords in place and run them along the side and then down to where I have a cable box. Inside the cable box I have a power strip and everything hides in there. So the only thing you see is a cable box. I got it all at The Container Store.

    1. Hey Holly! Thank you so much for your sweet comment about my office space. The picture boards are actually chicken coop frames that I salvaged at a flea market and turned them into photo boards with mini clips.

  10. Hi Kristin,

    This is such a beautiful piece. I’m anxiously awaiting an acacia butcher block to ship to my home so I can create my own desk just like this. You did a great job! By any chance, do you remember when you bought your chair? I love how the arms tuck under the desk when you scoot it in.

  11. Wow! love this….I recently purchased a Butcher Block to make a kitchen table. Love the idea of the Hairpin Legs! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.