Skip to content
How To Build A Coffee Table?

How To Build A Coffee Table

A coffee is usually the centerpiece of your living room. For most of us, it has to be functional and fit with the room design.

Although coffee tables are usually a fraction of the size of a dining table, for example, you often have to pay a similar price for them.

How To Build A Coffee Table

One way to save a lot of money is to build your own DIY coffee table.

In this article, we take a look at how to build a simple coffee table made with wood.

How To Build A Simple Wooden Coffee Table

Building your own coffee tables is not as difficult as it sounds. We’ll take you through the steps for a basic coffee table made of wood.

Cut Boards For The Top

Measure wooden boards for the size coffee table you want, and then cut them to length.

We found that 32 inches is a practical length for a coffee table, but this depends on your preferences.

You can use just some standard 2x8 wooden boards. Use a table saw to cut the number of pieces to the required length, ensuring that you get enough for the correct width.

Alternatively, you can also make the top of your coffee table with a single piece of wood. However, this may be much difficult to find but worth checking with your nearest DIY retail store.

Put The Top Pieces Together

If you decided to cut different pieces, then now it is time to glue them together.

Put some good quality wood glue on the long side of the boards where they touch each other, and just glue them together.

Make sure that you line them up properly, so that the surface and edges are flat and even.

How To Build A Coffee Table

The glue will take some time to dry, so make sure that you clamp all the pieces together during the drying process, and allow the pieces to rest for this period of time.

Secure The Top Of Your Coffee Table

Gluing the wooden slabs together is usually not strong enough to hold them in place.

That’s why, we recommend to cut two pieces 2x4 boards with a length of 32 inches (or your chosen coffee table length).

Place them across the glued boards, one on each side from the narrow edges. Make sure that you line them up with the long sides of your coffee table tap.

Then use wood screws to secure them. This will ensure that your coffee table is much more solid, and will not depend on the strength of the glue only.

Add Sides

This is another (optional) step for adding more stability to your coffee table. Plus, adding side pieces can also make your coffee table look more appealing.

For this, just cut a couple of 2x4 boards to the same length as your coffee table, and two with the correct width.

Then, you need to cut the edges of your coffee table top on the narrow sides to a 45 degree angle.

Now you just glue your 2x4 boards to these sides. Make sure that they sit even and flush to the edges.

Once the glue has dried, you should also screw or nail the boards in place. This will give the sides additional stability.

Cut The Legs Of Your Coffee Table

Now that your coffee table top is in a good shape, it’s time to prepare the legs of your coffee table.

You can use 4x4 boards (or anything thicker) as legs. Cut them to the height that you want your coffee table to be.

The majority of coffee tables are a comfortable height of 17 inches but this depends on your preferences.

In addition, you will also need two pieces of plywood (3.5 inches x 26 inches), and then cut another two pieces of 2x4 boards with a length of 19 inches.

Put The Legs Together

After you cut all of the pieces for the underside of the table together, you need to assemble them.

Use one of the plywood pieces and attach one of the legs to each end. Screw the plywood onto each leg.

Now place one of the 2x4 wood pieces around 4.5 inches from the bottom of one of the leg ends.

Screw this into place so it is set between the two legs. You will need to repeat the same for the other side of the legs.

Paint Your Coffee Table

Before you secure the top onto the legs, you to either paint or varnish all the pieces of your coffee table.

You can just use your creativity here. Consider what you may like and what matches with your living room design.

You can give the coffee table either a rustic look or a classic finish.

Simply use the manufacturer’s instructions on applying the paint or varnish, and ensure that the pieces are fully dry before you assemble everything.

Put The Top Onto The Legs

Once the varnish or paint of your coffee table pieces has dried, you are ready for the final step: attaching the legs to the top.

Turn the tabletop over. The 2x4 boards should be facing to the top now. Then turn the legs over as well, so that the plywood lies flush on top of the 2x4 boards.

Now you just need to screw through the plywood into the 2x4 boards. This should make sure that everything is secure.

Just turn everything over again, and you have created your own coffee table!


While you can create your very own coffee table from scratch, you can also give an existing coffee table a new lease of life with a makeover.

Take a look at some thrift stores or second hand furniture flea markets for coffee tables that you may like. You will just have to sand it down and then restrain or paint it.

This is a really economical way to recycle old furniture, and it is just as fun as making your own coffee table with wooden boards.


Previous article How To Decorate A Small Living Room With Sectional Couch