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How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk

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If you have an old TV armoire that needs a new purpose, why not repurpose it into a stylish, organized and space-saving desk solution. This step by step tutorial will teach you exactly how to transform a TV armoire into a functional hidden desk for your workspace needs.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk

It’s not often that I get to solve four decorating problems with one project, but this is one of those projects.

I had home office stuff stashed everywhere, a dys-functional charging station, a make-shift laptop desk and a TV armoire that I liked but no longer needed.

After moving that TV armoire into the “library” (really a bedroom that I use as a den), I finally came up with the solution. Convert the TV armoire into a desk!

Keep reading to find out how.

The Original Armoire

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Mahogany TV armoire with brass accents

Here’s what I started with.

Now that I no longer have any big box TV’s, I don’t really need a TV armoire.

But I still like the design of it and hate to get rid of it.

The gold details on the armoire happen to go pretty well with the black and gold color scheme in my den.

So I didn’t bother changing the outside (although at some point I may decide to paint it with black lacquer, like I did with my router storage cabinet).

The inside of an empty armoire

Here’s the inside of the original TV armoire. It has lots of space for organizing, but it’s not very pretty in its current state!

So I had to come up with a way to make it look nicer and address the list of things that I wanted my desk to have:

  • a slide out shelf for my laptop.
  • a place to hide my printer
  • storage for all those pens, pencils, erasers, staplers, pads of paper, etc. that I can never seem to find
  • a charging station to get all of those cords in a central location
  • a place to store the Tivo and stereo receiver (okay…those aren’t really office-y things but I have a TV and a stereo in the room so I need somewhere to put them)
  • lots of electrical outlets to plug in all of these electronics
  • no masses of cords in plain site
  • lighting so that I can see inside the armoire
  • a small bulletin board so tack up messages




  • cordless screwdriver
  • cordless drill
  • 1/2″ drill bit

Step 1: Spray Paint The Inside

The inside of the armoire painted gold

Since I will have to look at the inside of the armoire more often now, I needed to make it a little more attractive.

So I decided to spray paint it gold (which goes with the accents in the armoire and the room).

The reflective surface will also help it be a little less cave-like.  I taped paper across the holes at the back of the armoire so that the paint didn’t up on the back wall.

Spray paint is great because it dries so fast, but the fumes are really strong.

So I had to open the windows, bring in a couple of fans and wear a mask while I was painting.

Step 2:  Add A Slide-Out Shelf For My Laptop

Slide-out laptop shelf installed inside an armoire

Then I tackled the inside.

First, I wanted a slide-out laptop shelf.  The shelf in the armoire is a little less than 30″ off the ground which is the perfect height for a computer keyboard.

Since the door opening comes in from the sides of the armoire, I couldn’t use standard side-mount drawer slides.

I went for an old-school-style center mount drawer slide* that is a single rail under the shelf.

It ended up giving a really clean look that I love (you can’t see the hardware!). However, it doesn’t pull out all the way, and it isn’t quite as smooth and stable as having drawer slides on both sides. So if that is important to you, you may want to use a different kind of drawer slide.

I was able to re-use a piece of board left over from another project (I knew there was reason why I kept all those old boards hanging around!)

I got lucky. I didn’t even have to cut it. Just spray painted it gold, installed the drawer slide, and it was ready to go.

If you aren’t so lucky, you’ll need to cut a piece of board (or have them do it for you at the hardware store) that’s a little smaller than the inside of your armoire. And make sure that it’s narrower than the door opening by about an inch.

If you’re not sure how to install a drawer slide, this video from Wood magazine does a pretty good job of explaining it for 3 different types of drawer slides.

If you’re doing a center mount installation like I did, it’s at the end of the video, starting around the 14 minute mark.

He’s talking about standard kitchen drawers but it works for our slide-out shelf, too. Just think of it as a drawer without the sides.

Step 3:  Add a Shelf Over The Laptop Area

Slide out laptop drawer under a shelf in an armoire

Next I added a shelf over the pull out laptop shelf.  This is where the printer, cord storage and paper inbox will go.

This shelf has to stretch across 30″ without any middle support and will have some relatively heavy equipment on it, so I wanted to use a thick enough board that it wouldn’t sag.

Since I was re-using boards from a previous project again, the ones I had were only 1/2″ thick.

The solution? Stacking 2 boards on top of each other and gluing them together created a really sturdy 1″ thick shelf.

I also decided not to attach this shelf to the sides of the armoire for a couple of reasons:

  • The first is that the wood used for the sides of the armoire is not very thick and I was afraid that drilling holes into it for a shelf support would have gone right through.
  • The second is that if I ever need to take the shelf out for some reason, it can be lifted right out.

To do this, I cut 2 additional boards the depth of the armoire space and about 4″ high to act as the supports for the shelf.

Then I screwed the double-board shelf to the top of those supports and placed the whole thing in the armoire.

Step 4:  Add Lights

Battery-operated lights installed under the top shelf of the armoire

Now I was ready to add the accessories to the interior space.

First I added some LED lights* to the top of the armoire.

These are battery-operated ones so there are no cords to worry about.

And they just stick on, so the installation is really easy, too.

Step 5:  Add Bulletin Board and Printer

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Bulletin Board

Next I added the printer (no special picture for that…it’s not very exciting).

Then I updated the bulletin board / letter holder with a coat of black lacquer spray paint and some leopard print fabric stapled to the bulletin board.  This was just nailed to the back of the armoire.

The great thing about using a TV armoire for a desk is that they usually have holes already cut in the back for cords, so all those cables can go out the back where you don’t see them.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Bulletin Board and Paper Holder

This is the same letter holder/bulletin board that I originally had hanging on the wall…it looks a bit better now 🙂

Step 6:  Add Cord Organizer and Paper Inbox Organizer

Top shelf of a TV armoire desk with a paper holder, charging station, printer and bulletin board

Now I needed something to use for a charging station as well as a place for papers, envelopes and notebooks.

A messy closet with a paper organizer and small bulletin board

I re-used the same paper inbox organizer that I had before.

Holes drilled in the back of a small shelf

Then drilled holes in the back of it that were big enough to fit the ends of the charging cables.

A 1/2″ drill bit should do it, unless you have some cords with big ends.

If you don’t have a paper organizer like this, a small shelf will also work.

Small shelf that has been turned into a charging station
Charging Station

Finally, I spray-painted the whole thing black.

The bottom shelves act as a charging station.  The slots at the top are perfect for envelopes, papers and notebooks.

Step 7:  Add Pegboard Storage on the Doors

Pegboard storage for pens, pencils, scissors, staplers and staples.

The last step was to add storage for all of the office supplies that I can never find when I need them…pens, pencils, erasers, staplers, scissors, etc.

Pegboard storage for tape, erasers, tape dispenser, keys, memory cards, paper clips and all of those other small home office items.

For this, I installed decorated pegboard to the inside of the armoire doors.

Pegboard is the most amazing organizational tool ever!  And when it’s decorated, it looks good, too.

Click HERE to find out how to decorate the pegboard.

The Finished Desk

The inside of the armoire after it has been converted to a desk

 And here’s the final look with everything installed.

It’s a huge improvement compared to what it looked like before I started on my journey to convert a TV armoire to a desk.

 And definitely functions better than the original mess!

Other desk ideas you might like

Comments or questions on How To Convert a TV Armoire To a Desk?  Tell us in the section below.


This post was originally published on August 31, 2015 but was updated with new content on August 31, 2023.

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  1. I love the armoire conversion project. This inspired me to convert my armoire, even though I do have a desk, it seems “cluttered” with other office essentials. The armoire conversion is a genius idea. Thank you!

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Thanks, Eleanor. I love mine. Having all of my work stuff organized in one area and being able to hide it behind closed doors is definitely my favorite part!

  2. Oliviamaree says:

    I am very impressed with your creativity.
    I love the concept of the lay out , unfortunately my old tv stand is short and no doors and I am really inspired.Thank you for your tàlent.

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Thanks, Olivia! Too bad this option won’t work for you, but you might be able to come up with a different way to update your TV stand 🙂

  3. Curious of the brand of Armoir you started with?

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Jesse…I bought the armoire from Pier 1 quite a few years ago (so I don’t think it has a brand name).

  4. Hi, I love this desk and want to make one also! How can I find the desk slide you use? I also need one to go over the armoire shelf and not under it. Thanks! Shari

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Shari…I made my own slide-out-shelf using a piece of plywood and an under mount drawer slide that I got at Lowe’s (HERE). It screws onto the top of the shelf in the armoire and the bottom of the slide-out-shelf.

      If you get the same drawer slide I used, it was a little tricky figuring out how to open it…watching this video is helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw0Iu7f7Vn0

      1. Thanks Wanda! That is helpful. One other question: with the slide you used, does the tray table stay in the out position when you are using it or is it prone to slide back into the armoire? I want something that will not move around while I am on the computer.

        1. Wanda Simone says:

          It stays open. The center mount slides don’t slide as easily as the kind you usually use for kitchen drawers so I think they work better for this.

  5. I’m moving to a smaller home and I’m losing the den. I have an armoire that I’m converting to a desk as you did. My question is, how did you install the center mount slides?

    1. Hi Sonia…The drawer slide I used came apart (I think most of them do). So I attached one half of it to the shelf in the armoire, and the other half to the slide out board using 1/2″ screws. Then pushed the two parts of the drawer slide back together to install the slide out shelf. (And I did all of that before adding the top shelf in the armoire…it’s much easier to attach the drawer slide if you have more space to work in). Hope this helps!

      1. Yes it does. How can I send you my before and after pics of my project

        1. Hi Sonia…you can email them to me (wanda{at}fromhousetohome.com). I would love to see how it turns out!

  6. Elaine Lyons says:

    Wanda, would you mind sending me pictures of all the things you have in your den. I’m looking for storage/den ideas. Want my den to also be my sewing area. Elaine

    1. Sure, Aunt Elaine…I’ll send you an email tonight with the pictures…

  7. Hi, I love your idea, but seeing that beautiful wallpaper in the picture where it’s just been covered, looks to me as though a few of them side by side would make a great wall decoration. I really like that wallpaper and wonder if you know the name of it, or where you bought it. If used as wall art, it would not necessitate putting it over pegboard.

    1. Hi Sylvia…The wallpaper is called “Opulence” by York. You can find it online at http://www.americanblinds.com/wallpaper/productid,111926. You should also be able to order it from any wallpaper store that carries the York brand. I did actually use it inside some wall panels in the room where the TV Armoire/Desk was going. I just happened to have a little left over which is why I used it on the pegboard. You’re right…it would be a waste of beautiful wallpaper if that was the only place I used it 🙂

    2. Sorry, slight correction…the book that the wallpaper came from is called Opulence. The wallpaper itself is called Geo Teardrop (pattern #77871 in case it helps).