Hey Remodelaholics, I’m so glad to be popping in today to share all of the details for building this DIY Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table. You can find me blogging on the regular over at This Mamas Dance– where I tackle DIY’s, builds, and design projects.
This coffee table has been on my to do list for far too long, and I am so happy I finally got the supplies rounded up to put it together.
I am sure you have seen the steel base coffee tables in all of the furniture stores- I decided to try a hack using 2×2 cedar balusters intended for deck rails, and the entire base came in at about $20. It’s amazing how some matte black spray paint made this look like steel. I wanted the table top to be the star, so I chose chunky reclaimed 2×12’s. These boards didn’t look like much, but with a good cleaning and a coat of mineral oil they are simply stunning. We were able to salvage these from a reno project, but if you can’t get your hands on authentic reclaimed wood you can always recreate the look with some deck boards, nails and a hammer- add a few layers of stain, and voila! I’ve got an entire tutorial on getting a reclaimed wood look with new boards over on my blog which you can check out here.
I used that technique for the industrial pipe shelves in our colorful kids bathroom which you can find here on Remodelaholic.
Now that we have gone over some options for the top…
How to Build a Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table with Faux Metal Base
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Let’s get building! For this project you will need the following:
Pocket Hole Jig and Bit (for drilling out pocket holes)
Building the Base
The finished dimensions for your table base will greatly depend on the room it will be sitting in. I wanted a rather large table. The finished dimensions of the top are about 33″ wide by 50″ long. You will also want to take into account the reclaimed wood you are using, so that you don’t have to rip your boards down. Once I determined the size of the top I settled on a base that measures approximately 47 1/2″ by 31 1/2″. Standard coffee table height is between 16 and 18″. Mine comes in just above 18″.
Step 1: Measure and Cut
To create the same sized table the cut list is as follows
4-2×2’s @ 16 3/8″ (vertical corners)
4-2×2’s @ 28 3/4″ (horizontal top and bottom ends)
4- 2×2’s @ 45 1/2″ (horizontal top and bottom interior rails)
3- 2×12’s cut at 53′ (for the table top)
Step 2: Build End Legs
Assemble the leg ends by building a rectangle with 2-16 3/8″ pieces and 2- 28 3/4″ pieces. First clamp the 2×2 down and drill pocket holes into the 28 3/4″ pieces. Assemble the end legs using wood glue on the ends and 2 1/2″ pocket screws. Make sure your pocket holes face the inside of the coffee table base.
Once you have assembled one end leg you will duplicate the process.
Step 3: Attach End Legs using Horizontal Top and Bottom Rails
For this step clamps come in very handy! I love using clamps, especially because I am often working solo on these types of projects.
Drill a set of pocket holes on each 45 1/2″ 2×2. Attach the horizontal rails in the same manner you did the previous pieces, using glue and pocket screws To conceal your pocket holes you can place one set of holes so they will be directly under the table top, and one set of holes so that they will be facing the ground.
Step 4: Fill Holes and Paint the Base
Fill all holes with wood filler and allow to dry completely. Gently sand the entire base, then apply two coats of matte black spray paint.
Assemble the Top
To assemble the top I drilled pocket holes along both sides of my centre board. Apply wood glue to the seams, and fastened using pocket screws. We recently purchased some massive clamps, but if you don’t have clamps just grab someone to help apply pressure to the board while you screw it in so that you get a nice tight seal.
Once your top is assembled it is time to attach it to the base of the table. Simply pre drill holes along the top rails of the base, and screw into the table top from the bottom. It is very important that you pre-drill these holes to prevent splitting. I put 4 holes along the 2 long sides, and 2 holes along the short ends.
As mentioned I just gave my boards a good cleaning, then applied a coat of mineral oil to the tops and sides. Here are the boards prior to oiling:
And the same boards with a coat of oil. The intensity of the oil will fade over time, but I wanted to make sure the wood was protected from spills. I’m glad I did seal it, as I spilled a cup of coffee all over the surface just before I grabbed these photos- but it wiped up without issue.
I love that this table can work with a variety of styles- from transitional to modern and everything in between. I’m also pretty happy with my “steel base” hack- and that I was able to build this table for about $20 as we had the old boards in our wood pile. Of course, if you need to purchase wood for the top it will come in a bit higher, but it will still cost much less than purchasing something from a furniture retailer.
I hope you enjoyed this project. If you try building this we’d love to see the finished project on facebook, or tag us on instagram using #imaremodelaholic.