Build a Reclaimed Wood Herringbone Coffee Table in 5 Easy Steps

Would you love to have a beautiful reclaimed wood coffee table that can be built in 5 easy steps?  This herringbone coffee table with hairpin legs is the project for you! Using plywood and wood planks, this plan is simple and affordable!

Use reclaimed wood to build a simple wood stool, an easy floating vanity, or a beautiful curvy headboard, too. 

herringbone coffee table

Hi Remodelaholics! It’s LZ from The Summery Umbrella, and I’m super pumped about this new project today!

I’ve created projects out of reclaimed wood like this beautiful Mason Jar Pendant Light as well as my stunning Potting Bench.

Today is going to be ANOTHER gorgeous and stunning reclaimed wood project! You can most definitely accomplish this cutie putie with just about any kind of wood, but since my husband and I have a lot of barn wood on hand, it’s our go-to solution.

How to Build a Wood Herringbone Coffee Table
by LZ from The Summery Umbrella


Step #1: Gather the Materials

Materials Used:

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  • 1/4 sheet 1/2″ plywood
  • 4-16″ hairpin legs
  • barn wood  4-1″x4″x8′ (approximately 10 sq ft)
  • nails
  • 12-1″ black panhead wood screws
  • spar varnish
  • wood glue

Tools Suggested:

  • drill and bits
  • sandpaper
  • table saw or circular saw
  • miter saw or circular saw
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • nail gun (brad)
  • ruler or anything with a straightedge

Step #2: Cut the plywood base and rip your reclaimed boards (or new boards) to the desired width

 Cut 1/2″ plywood to 23″x47″. This will be your base for the herringbone coffee table, and your end result will actually come out to 24″x48″ after your edge is added.
 plywood base for herringbone coffee table

 Rip your barn wood to 3.5″ strips (or just use 1″x4″).

Step #3: Mark a starting point and attach reclaimed wood to base plywood

Mark the starting point with a square on your base. We chose to offset ours to be a little different, but a very common herringbone pattern is centered.

Creating the angle for the wood top of the coffee table

Apply glue to the underside of your barn wood boards and position along the marked line. From the underside, secure into place with 1″ brad nails (make sure to overlap the edge–you’ll cut off the extra in just a second).

Placing the first boards on the tabletop

Staggering the boards on the tabletop

Butt the edge of the next board up to the first board checking for square. The first boards and their placement are the most important as they will provide the outline for the rest of the project.

How the planks look when they are laid out on the tabletop

Continue the pattern the entire length of your table.  As we worked our way down we trimmed the larger lengths off so we could use the scraps to fill the smaller places on the ends. This was done with a circular saw.

how the edge of the herringbone table will look

Trim all edges flush to the plywood underneath. This can also be done with the handheld circular saw as well.

herringbone coffee table

Next, using a table saw or circular saw cut your wood into 2″ strips for trim.

cutting trim pieces for tabletop

Tip: Instead of measuring your pieces put the trim piece in place and simply mark where to cut.

marking length of trim for tabletop

Apply the trim to the sides with glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

Step #4: Sand the Table and Apply Protective Coat

To finish we lightly sanded the entire table with 60 grit sandpaper, which was mainly to knock down the splinters.  Then applied Spar Urethane to add a beautifully shiny protective coat.  On barn wood we used four coats of the spar varnish. This particular finishing product is great for old dry wood as it flexes with the wood.

applying protective coating to tabletop

Step #5: Attach the Legs to the Tabletop

Add your hairpin legs! The set that we purchased was ridiculously easy to install as you can see in the below picture. If you would like to pre-drill your screws you most definitely can, but I did not think it was necessary.

Attaching the hairpin legs to the bottom of the coffee table

And thats it!

Finished herringbone wood coffee table

Styled coffee table

Plus, with this table not only is the top simply amazing and will definitely need to be shown off, but you can also add layers of your favorite vintage finds to add an interesting element to it as well. The sky is limit with decorating ideas with this table!

Cost and Time Involved:

Hairpin Legs: $50

Spar Varnish: $32

Total Cost: $82

Total Time: You could easily do this project in two days if you have all of your supplies on hand. It’s approximately 4 hours to build your table and add your first coat of varnish. Subsequent coats will add extra drying time.


I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial and happy building,


Really enjoy building? Check out our pallet wood outdoor coffee table with drink holder, this rustic display shelf, or this large rustic wooden star!

If you love it like we do, please pin it or share it on Facebook!

herringbone coffee table

More ways to use the classic herringbone pattern:

Herringbone in Home Decor | 25 Projects and Ideas from #herringbone #diy #homedecor

More easy ways to put that beautiful reclaimed wood to work:

How to build a rustic wood bed, The Accent Piece featured on Remodelaholic

DIY Reclaimed Longitude/Latitude Sign Build a Reclaimed Wood Floating Vanity - Girl Meets Carpenter featured on @Remodelaholic Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Island, Frazzled Joy on Remodelaholic

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Hi! I'm LZ, and I am the owner of The Summery Umbrella shop and blog. I love being creative in any form that it takes (writing, painting, DIY, food, etc), and find a hard time sitting still.

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