Nailed It!

True confessions: power tools kinda scare me.

Which pains me because it goes against the very grain of my feminist core.

But I designed and M built our office desk/Ikea hack/faux built-in about 6 years ago when I INSISTED that there was NO WAY LHR and GraphicDefiner were going to be our Christmas guests with our office in a state of unfinished horror.  We got the built-ins done and the floor and paint done and then we never got around to building the drawer fronts– they had to be custom-built because we hacked Home Depot kitchen cabinets to make the desk and, thus, standard drawer fronts would not fit.  We were out of steam and out of time.
And so they stayed frontless.
For YEARS, people. YEARS.


To say that these frontless drawers have been a bone of contention would be to understate the matter.
A lot.

So, when we got our new floors and I fell hard for Blackberry Punch and the office stopped being Vomit Brown and totally uninspiring, I was fired up to get some drawer fronts made, come hell or high water.

Which drove me to do it myself.
Which meant overcoming my fear of power tools in order to use both the chop saw and the air-compressor-powered nail gun.
Baby, there is NO TURNING BACK! While I may not be Ana yet, I am HOOKED!
What took me so long???
I want to quit my job and BUILD STUFF.

Here’s how I did it. (With M’s help to get me over my terror of Big Noisy Power Tools.)
We wanted Shaker-style fronts, so that made it pretty easy.

First, I laid in some supplies:
5/8 inch MDF, cut to size for each drawer front
1/4 inch x 3 inch poplar trim (we chose it because the grain is subtle and it is easily painted out)
Ikea drawer pulls in appropriate lengths
No More Nails adhesive (I had planned to just use this, but M insisted we also nail the trim pieces on, for increased durability. Good idea.)
Pencil for marking measurements
Measuring tape
Sandpaper for sanding the edges of the trim
Wood filler
Primer, paint, spray paint


Here’s what I did. I started by measuring the horizontal pieces of trim and marking them. I also marked each one with a “B” to indicate which side of my measurement line the chop saw blade should be on; if you don’t do this, you run the risk of losing the width of the blade from your cut, making your trim piece too short.

Next, I dry fit the horizontal pieces and measured for the vertical ones.


Next, I glued the pieces in place, starting with the bottom horizontal piece, then the vertical ones, then the top horizontal one.  It’s important to schmear the glue so that it does not cause the trim to sit a bit high on the drawer fronts. Next, get out that nail gun and close your eyes and pop a few nails in at the corners and in the middle of each long piece of trim. Fill the dents where the nails went in and sand them.


Some primer and some paint, a little bit of Antique Brass spray paint to jeuje up the Ikea drawer pulls and, voilà!


Turns out, pizza boxes are the perfect tool for supporting drawer pulls while you are spray painting them!

It only took six years.



More office makeover to come. Stay tuned! 


2 thoughts on “Nailed It!

    • Thanks, Edmontonmom– I love it. And since it is the only finished space besides the bathroom, I also want to hang out there! 🙂

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