Zebras will frolic…

So, we’ve got some frolicking zebras around here :)


Now for the real reason we are talking about zebras.  My desk.  It’s made of zebrawood.


My zebrawood desk was a DIY project.  It was a really easy, weekend DIY project. I didn’t do it this last weekend, but still.  Maybe, it will inspire you to make your own desk?


My workspace is pretty small at 6 feet deep and 6.5 feet wide.  It is located in a corner of our sunroom.  The evolution of my workspace location is a bit of a long story – and a story for another day – maybe, another day this week.  In the meantime, back to the zebrawood desk.  Considering the small size of my workspace, I figured I had to get creative in order to optimize the area.  I only need a desk, a chair, and a bit of storage.  So, I got my favorite tool out.  As you might know, my favorite tool is the tape measure.  You might think a 6′ X 6.5′ area doesn’t really need much measuring, but a few inches here or there can make a big difference when you need to fit 3 pieces of furniture within that tiny space.


I decided a table type desk, no drawers, long and shallow would be best for my work habits and the space.  The reason I chose a table type desk was that I wanted to keep the space feeling open and roomy.   I think a big block of a desk would have overwhelmed the space – especially since I wanted to face the center of the room rather than the wall.  I also decided to keep an existing storage cabinet.  This storage piece is a bit bulky so not optimal for my small space, but I am happy with the function of it for now.  It holds a big work printer, all my paperwork, and some miscellaneous things.  I am hoping to downsize someday.


Anyway, I searched around for the perfect desk.  I was not successful.  So, I figured a custom piece of furniture was in order.  I also wanted to do something unique – something a little industrial and a little rustic.  I asked the welder who created our stair railings to make a base for my desk – inspired by conduit and piping – taking care of the industrial part.  The rustic part is accomplished by the rusty looking finish.  I like the combination – it’s unique.




I debated the table top options for some time.  Finally, I went to the lumber yard and checked out their inventory.  I ended up with Zebrawood.  I wish I could say that it was salvaged or vintage or something other than “exotic”.  I can’t.  The amazing contrasting grain is what snagged me.  It is like nothing else we have in our house.  I like to buy local products.  I struggled with the whole idea of buying wood from across the globe.  And – they couldn’t even tell me that the wood was FSC certified.  I thought about it for weeks.  Eventually, I gave in – obviously.


The lumber yard cut it to my specifications, planed it smooth, and glued the 2 pieces together to create the width I wanted.  I just had to pick it up, pay for it, and apply the finish.  Zebrawood is very heavy, very dense, and very hard.  I wasn’t quite sure how to finish this sort of wood.  So, I did some internet research.  Wow – there are a ton of extreme opinions out there about finishing zebrawood.  My internet research only resulted in confusion.  So, I went with what I knew.  Watco Danish Oil.  We used this product for all of the cherry and maple woodwork around our house and we like it.  I ended up using Watco Teak Oil for dense woods when I accidentally discovered it while shopping for the original stuff.  It was a good discovery.  I applied multiple layers of the finish, sanding between applications until it was velvety soft and well sealed.


The final measurements of my desk ended up being 6.5′ long by 22″ deep – it is very functional – and quite dramatic in appearance with it’s highly contrasting grain.  A welder to make a base, a slab of interesting wood, some Watco finishing oil and the desk is done.  It was one of the easier DIY projects I have tackled.  It was significantly easier than I expected.  That never happens with my DIY projects.