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First, I sanded everything down starting with 120-grit sandpaper, following up with 220-grit, and finally with 320-grit. After doing a bit of research, the general consensus is to skip the water-based primer and go with an oil-based primer.
And as I mentioned in my building post, my husband had to install the cup pulls because I had reached a point of diminishing returns. And to add one last little personal touch, I left my mark on the inside of the middle drawer.
After the paint dried, I hand-sanded everything with a 400-grit sanding block just to smooth everything out and prepare it for the final finishing steps. Before we get started, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to keep up with all my latest builds and free projects! Repeat this process for the other side and you will have both sides of the DIY writing desk done. Prime and paint the base and false drawer front  before moving to the drawer slide installation.
I clamped two scraps to the bottom of the writing desk to help with installation and used spacers for reference points.
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Designer and builder Lon Schleining had the great privilege to receive a grant from Taunton Press and a commission from the Smithsonian to build a replica of the desk for the Smithsonian's Castle Collection.And now he is sharing his plans with you!

Simple Writing Desk PlansThe small drawer and pigeon-hole assembly provide for useful storage of writing utensils and papers. Slant-Front Secretary PlansCombining the stunning beauty of solid cherry with quilted maple veneer, this design enhances any room setting.
Pull-out sleepers support a drop-down front that features an imitation leather writing surface.
August 23, 2015 By Beckie Leave a Comment My kids officially have a week of school under their belts. Where do your kids typically work on their homework – a desk in their bedroom, the kitchen table, an office? I rolled on the primer with a small paint roller, then used a good quality brush to get into the hard-to-reach spots. I used a good brush to cut in the corners and hard-to-reach places and used a roller everywhere else. I removed the dust and debris, then applied 3 coats of wipe-on polyurethane, sanding with 400-grit sandpaper in between each coat. It's a replica of the actual desk on which Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776. A large drawer for supplies and ample pigeonhole space in the desk for paper and letters are supplemented by the upper cabinet's roomy shelving. This is a really nice project for a hallway, an office, or even the kitchen where space is limited.

After working so hard building this desk, I was not going to mess it up now by cutting corners. The roller achieved a super smooth and even finish and was much quicker than brushing the paint on.
I would have had it tinted darker, since the desk would ultimately be black, but there was a long line at the paint counter and I didn’t want to wait and I had 2 little kiddos who were quickly reaching their expiration date (naptime). A paint sprayer would have made this task even faster, but I don’t have a sprayer so I went the roller route. One project I tackled over the summer was a “His, Hers, and Ours” style desk in our downstairs office so everyone has a place to work. It was especially helpful when sanding the cove moulding and getting into the nooks and crannies of the cross pieces. My daughter loves to color there, but I know it will also be a great space for both my kiddos to do homework.
Here are five fabulous knock off projects to build a desk that’s high on style and easy on the budget!

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