Hey there Remodelaholics! Nina from Everyday Enchanting here to share our latest furniture build- a DIY Wood Slab Coffee Table! We have many projects in the works in our 1980s fixer upper (some days I feel like too many!) but one side project is our family room. It was one of the only rooms in the house where the changes are mostly cosmetic/decor-related rather than structural, with the exception of our fireplace remodel. We have been chipping away at filling the room with furniture and decor we actually like, while on an extremely tight budget. Last time I posted here I shared our Ikea Hack/Pottery Barn Knock-Off Apothecary Cabinet, and today is following the same theme- my Pottery Barn taste on a DIY Budget!
This is a lovely reclaimed wood slab coffee table with metal legs. I loved the industrial-meets-rustic style, which was needed in our space to offset the relative femininity of the fireplace and the tufted slipper chairs that are on the way. I loved the way the black legs played off of the black hardware on the apothecary cabinet. I also loved that I could vacuum under it! (This is a big thing since our golden retriever Lucy sheds a lot!) So, What didn’t I love? The $699 price tag.
I know a lot of the reason for the price is undoubtedly the reclaimed pine slab and the metal legs. So I began to brainstorm how we could get the look for less, using more modest materials. We recently had great success building my mom a farmhouse table using 2x8s. I thought we may be able to achieve similar results to this table using a combination of 2x8s, 4x4s, and 2x4s. Here’s what we did!
DIY Simple Wood Slab Coffee Table
Dimensions: 51″ w x 32″ d x 19″ h
Cost: Approximately $50
- 2 – 2 x 8 x 8′
- 1 – 4 x 4 x 8′
- 3 – 2 x 4 x 8′
Time: 1 1/2 hour build time and 24 hours before stain and poly dry
Step 1: The Tabletop
We cut the 2x8s down to 4 pieces at 48″. We then glued and clamped the planks together before attaching them with two 2x4s cut down to 32″. We have received questions in the past about whether we experience the tabletop cracking with this method (since there isn’t a lot of room for expansion and contraction)- the short answer is that we haven’t experienced cracking, even though we have a 5 year old table built with this method. Even if we did- we like rustic furniture. If you feel comfortable with biscuit joinery, go right ahead and substitute it in for this step- but for the sake of keeping this tutorial “beginner friendly”, we will stick with our method… 😉
After that, Mack (my husband) had the great idea to add the illusion of thickness by wrapping the tabletop in 2x4s. It would give a similar look to the reclaimed wood slab, and also effectively hide where we attached the legs! We mitered the corners and ran the 2x4s through the table saw to give them a straight edge. We then glued, clamped, and nailed the 2x4s onto the perimeter of the tabletop, taking care to make sure they were flush.
Step 2: The Legs
We opted to use 4x4s cut down to 17″ for the “faux metal” legs. We joined them at the top using a piece of scrap plywood cut down to 3.5 x 26″. We then cut two 2x4s to 19″ and attached them at 4.5″ from the ground. We used long rustic black screws to attach them, and then nailed in at an angle from the opposite side to prevent spinning.
Step 3: Stain
I sanded all of the parts with 60 grit sandpaper, since the wood was pretty rough. Then I went back with 120 to give a silky smooth finish. We did two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut stain, following the manufacturers directions. Once that was dry, we did two coats of polyurethane in satin.
On the legs we used an all-in-one stain and poly called Polyshades in ebony. It had really great coverage and only took two coats!
After the requisite drying time, Mack brought the table upstairs and attached the legs to the table using basic wood screws. Then I had fun styling it! It is so nice to have a coffee table, and especially one that will hold up to the wear and tear it’s sure to get from our kids. Overall, this was a simple and quick project, and it fits with the style of the room perfectly. Of course, the fact that it was only $50 doesn’t hurt either!
Check out more DIY coffee tables here, like these: