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Custom Desk Mat & Surfacing

Last response: in Opinions and Experiences
February 5, 2012 12:49:17 AM

Hi everyone

I am looking for thoughts and opinions on desk mats or surfacing. I have a large desk that has a wood veneer that I absolutely hate. It's pretty, but because it is a veneer, it is beginning to chip and scratch. I have looked around the web a bit and saw the following:

I like both of these, and they're both rather large, but my desk is an L with the largest side measuring 59.5" x 22.75"
I was thinking about stripping the veneer and using a sealant on the particle board beneath, then applying an adhesive and some neoprene cut to size but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea or not.

Anyone have any suggestions? Should I go with one of the two products I linked?
February 7, 2012 6:36:43 PM

what type of fascia board does it have?
(molding around the edges)

if its not rounded you can very easily formica the top and sides and use a router to finish things up. formica is quite a bit more durable and you can refinish that desk for under $40. if you have rounded corners you can always just pry off the fascia and replace it... or put a fascia over it and fill in the rounded top bead with filler. preferably removal. mine has been lasting for over 5-6 years so far.

i would advise against coating the entire desk with neoprene or other soft surfacing material. its going to get dirty quick, stain, and in general be unsightly. at most i would make a large neoprene pad for the mouse area which is pretty much the only place where it would benefit.

another option is to just paint over the desk. it might sound funny but you could easily do a fake leather effect, or other such pattern and then clear coat over top so that it is durable enough for constant use.

February 7, 2012 8:04:59 PM

As far as I know, it's just a basic veneer around everything.

I was thinking I should just paint on top of it and layer several coats as you suggested..In any case, I ordered a Corepad Deskpad XXXXL.. 47" by 23" and that'll help a bit.
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February 8, 2012 11:26:25 AM

sounds like the kind of desk where every visible surface is flat and the veneer is just glued on. most likely a 1/2" to 1" thick particle board sheet under it. in which case formica would be even easier. formica is also scratch resistant, cleans easily with bleach or other chemicals, and comes in many nice patterns.

i got a free 6' wide desk that was being thrown out at a retail store. it was one of the display tables. the thing has wood legs (probably pine) with a glaze on them but the top was shot. i put a green marbled formica veneer on top and the desk looks like i paid $300 for it.

personally i wouldnt paint it... but i've seen it done and it can come out decent if you do it right. up to you .