Living Room

DIY Wood Coffee Table

As I’m working bit by bit to redecorate and refurnish our main living area and adjoining front room, I’m running into the costs adding up. And adding up. And adding up. Buying furniture pieces all at once is not the most economical, especially when your focus is on quality and durability (ahem…two dogs and three kids). Below is a whole slew of wood coffee tables that I had found, fell in love with, and then rationalized against.

Because at the end of the day, you can BUILD a wood coffee table easily, affordably, and quickly.

When you have to pay close attention to a budget, it’s vital to put the money into big, worthwhile pieces and then put a little elbow grease into the others. And that’s just what I did. I rolled up my sleeves, drew up some plans, and went to work building a new (and first one ever for me!) coffee table for our living room. And guys, I’m really in love with it!

In the hunt for a new wood coffee table? I’ve got you! Scroll down and see ones that I’ve fallen in love with.

Ready to tackle a simple DIY and make one yourself? Let’s do this!

Here’s What You’ll Need

The Process

Line up your 2×6 boards in the manner that looks best for your tabletop. Note how the grain coordinates with the boards beside it and if you like how the knots are aligned. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I marked on the underside of the boards 1, 2, 3, and 4 so I would always remember the order they fall in.

To attach the boards, start with the interior side of your #1 board. Measure and mark where your holes will be drilled with the 3/8″ drill bit. I drilled 1″ deep holes at the 4″, 17″, 30″, and 40″ mark.

To ensure I’m drilling into the wood the correct distance, I took a piece of painters tape and taped it around the drill pit 1″ in so I knew where to stop.

Put a liberal amount of wood glue into each hole and place the dowel rod into each hole.

To line up your next board perfectly, I measured the same distances as the first board and then took an additional step to ensure it was exact. On the end of each of the dowels from the 1st board, put a small amount of toothpaste. I chose my kids toothpaste since it’s the bright blue kind.

Line your two boards up and slowly press them together so the toothpaste transfers to your second board and you can see exactly where you need to drill.

Once you’ve drilled your holes on your second board, add a liberal amount of wood glue to each and slide the boards together. If necessary, use a rubber mallet to form the boards together. Clamp and leave to cure for 30 minutes before moving on to your next boards and next set of holes.

To support the weight, I also added 2 leftover pieces of 1×4 and screwed it into the underside of the table.

It’s time to build the legs! I turned my miter saw to a 10 degree tilt and cut my legs at 16.5″ each using the 2×4. You will want to cut both ends of your legs at the 10 degree tilt so the legs of your table will look like this //. Using your kreg jig, attach your legs using 2 screws in each leg. I attached my legs 2.5″ in from the ends.

Next, it’s time to attach your cross bars using your 2×2 boards. My finished tabletop size is 21.5 x 44.5″ so my bars were cut to match my table. You may need to measure and adjust your crossbars to match what you are wanting for size.

The crossbars at the end of the table were cut at 21″ at the 10 degree tilt. I cut them to look like this /\. I attached them to each of the legs at 4″ off the ground using the kreg jig and one screw on each end.

For the long part of the table, I cut the 2×2 crossbar at a 0 tilt and measuring 32″ each. Again, I attached using the kreg jig on the underside 9″ high off the ground.

It’s built!! And now comes the really fun part.

Grab a hammer, your sander, some screws, some springs, a rough wire brush. Anything you have lying around that could put some dents into your table. I wanted the table to be imperfect and like it’s been through a life already. I used the sander to round out the ends of the boards and divot the sides. Then I used my hammer to dent in all around, to smash the spring and screws into it strategically throughout and distress it to my liking.

Once I was satisfied, I ran the palm sander and 220 grit sandpaper all over the table to get rid of the rough edges and ribbed boards.

To stain, I mixed equal parts Provincial and Weathered Oak in a plastic cup. This is a similar color to my flooring in my home. I used an old rag and dipped it into the stain, rubbed it over and wood and immediately used a clean rag to wipe it off. I wanted minimal color on the boards. If you are looking for a richer color, leave the stain on longer before wiping off the excess.

When the stain was cured for 24 hours, I took the 80 grit sandpaper and went over the table around the edges, occasionally on the top and down the sides of the legs to take some of the stain off in areas. I followed it up with 220 to soften the wood again.

Finally, I applied 3 coats of clear polycrylic with a soft brush, allowing 2 hours of dry time in between each coats. I allowed it to cure for a full 24 hours before moving the table inside.

Cost Breakdown

For this project, I used a lot of leftover wood we already owned: 2x6s from a dining room table, 2x4s from old DIYs, etc. In addition, I do already own a kreg jig, palm sander, and miter saw. If you don’t own these tools, ask around with friends and family first. Next, look into renting from a local hardware store or Home Depot. A last resort is to buy these items unless this is something you’re wanting to start doing. If that’s the case, WELCOME!! You can do awesome things!!

In the end, this table cost me $72.15. I needed to purchase a 2×4, 2×2 boards, screws, sandpaper, stain, polycrylic, dowels, and wood glue. As construction prices continue to decline, this cost will continue to decline, as well.


As many of you know, I’m a stay at home mom with 3 children: 6, 4, and 2. I am only able to work on projects during “naptime” that lasts about 1.5 hours each day, or after bedtime. This project took me approximately 5 hours to complete from start to finish.

Not in the Mood to DIY? Let’s BUY IT! Here are the Tables I’m Loving!

Poly and Bark Ellar Oval Coffee Table // Yukon Natural Coffee Table // Mabel Coffee Table // Wood Coffee Table Cote A Coast // Faunce Coffee Table // Mateo 31.5″ Coffee Table // Angled Acacia Wood Coffee Table Natural // Willow Coffee Table // Idabel Coffee Table // Keaden Coffee Table with Storage // Sullivan Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table // Brezza Table

You can do hard things! You’ve got this!!

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