DIY Fold Down Wall Desk

how to build a murphy desk

If there is one thing we can all agree on in 2020, it’s that you can never have enough workspaces at home (am I right?). The problem is that most desks are bulky and require a dedicated office space. However, when you’re in a small space (like my 525 square foot apartment), office space is hard to come by. So to help combat this problem, I decided to try my hand at creating a compact fold down wall desk that looks like a piece of artwork when not in use! Even better, I was able to build this entire desk over a long weekend and in just a few easy steps!

How To Build A Fold Down Wall Desk

This project is sponsored by Walmart. For my full disclosure policy, visit my policies page.

Want to see this build in action? Check it out on YouTube (& make sure to subscribe)!

Interested in the printable PDF plans for this project? You can grab them here!

Printable Plans Here!


diy wall art ideas

Besides the fact that I have been getting tons of target ads for Murphy style desks, I recently came across this tutorial from HGTV for a fold down desk and decided I wanted to try my hand at creating my own version.

There are so many things that I love about this build. Firstly, the fact that it folds up and out of the way is life (and space) saving! I’m also so excited because by popular demand I was able to revive a fun furniture painting design that I used on an older cabinet build and finally share a video tutorial for the technique!

This fold down murphy desk only took a long weekend to build and was made a lot easier thanks to product from Walmart’s DIY & Done shop, which included pre-made and easily delivered items that I needed to complete my project! This a great beginner build and was way fun to make!

Ready to see how I made this build happen?

What I Used:

Miter Saw
Circular Saw/Table Saw
Drill & Driver
Doweling Jig (Optional)
Pocket Hole Jig
Brad or Pin Nailer
Sander & Sandpaper
Iron (For Edgebanding)
Painter’s Tape
Painting/Staining Supplies
Wood Clamps
Tape Measure
Safety Goggles

(2) 1 x 6 x 8′ Boards
(1) 1 x 2 x 6′ Board
(1) ¾” X 3′ Square Dowel
(1) 4 x 4′ Sheet ¾” Birch Plywood
¼” Dowels (Optional)
Wood Screws & 1 ¼” Pocket Hole Screws
Birch Edge Banding
Wood Glue
Wood Putty
(3) Full Overlay Hinges
(1) Pair Gas Struts
Wood Stain
Latex Paint
Spray Polyurethane
Pegboard Organizers

Cut List

For the full, detailed cut list, check out my plans!

The Steps:

1. Create your desk frame by attaching your 1 x 6 side pieces to the top and bottom desk pieces. use whatever joinery works for you!

2. Once the frame has been made, add your divider and shelf pieces using pocket holes and/or nails and glue.

3. Build the frame for the pegboard using 1 x 2 boards. Make sure to build it back far enough to fit your hinges.

4. Add supports to the back of cabinet using back shelf panel and support panel with pocket holes.

5. Attach front panel with hinges & add edge banding to the plywood edges. At this point you can customize this panel with any artwork you’d like! I created mine using painter’s tape and 

6. Add the 3/4″ square dowels to bottom shelf. Make sure they are far back enough for hinges and pistons to fit.

7. Install the remaining hardware, such as the pistons.

8. Hang the desk on the wall before attaching the pegboard. It’s super important you install the desk into as many studs as possible.

9. Cut and attach pegboard to desk.

That’s it!

fold down wall desk

I chose to hang my desk at arm chair level to pair it with this cute, modern accent chair that I got from Walmart!

fold down desk ideas

Want to see some other versions of murphy desks? There are tons to choose from on Pinterest! While you’re there, don’t forget to Pin This post for later!

Sam Raimondi

Sam is a full time psychologist and part time content creator from Long Island, New York.




  • Michael

    Nice design, thanks for posting.
    Two questions: does the piston forcefully push open the desk much?
    And is the desk quite stable when typing away?
    Thanks, Michael

    • Sam

      Piston has been fine and desk in more than sturdy enough to type on!

  • Amy

    Hi! What hinges did you use? My apologies if they are in the post, I couldn’t find them.

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