Update A Glass Top Coffee Table With A Pallet

Howdy!  My name is Mindi and I blog over at MyLove2Create.  You may remember me from a couple months ago when I shared my Rustic Pallet Jewelry Holder.  Today I have another fun pallet project for you.  A converted glass top coffee table into a pallet top coffee table..

.Give a dated or broken glass top coffee table a new look and added storage -- for free -- using pallet wood and some paint or stain.  Love these colors!

Anyone who has kids knows that coffee tables with glass won’t last forever in their home.  Eventually something happens and the glass gets cracked or broken.  Or people with kids just don’t by glass top tables.  Or they don’t buy them after the glass breaks…or an adult breaks it, ha ha. 🙂  Ok, you get my point…

Glass top coffee table before
I have never personally owned a glass topped table.  Case in point, I have six kids.  I may be crazy, but not that crazy.   Back in March, I happened upon this glass top table (minus the broken glass) in a pile of trash left out at our city’s spring clean up day.  Aka- my favorite day of the year.  Of course,  it came home with me.  Free is my favorite.
It found a spot on my back porch that is supposed to be a great gathering place for my family…instead it holds my furniture hoard.  I am not sure why, but no matter how much I get rid of furniture, it seems to keep accumulating.  Hmmmm.  (ok, maybe I do know why…)
Pallet cut up to be used for table top
Anyway, last week my neighbor down the road was getting rid of her old fence sections, which happen to be exactly the same kind I used to make my Rustic Fence American Flag.  Naturally,  I had to ask her if I could take some.  She was so thrilled that she offered to help drive them up to my place in her truck…for good measure, I threw in this perfect pallet that she was also tossing.  I am such a good neighbor.  🙂
I decided that this pallet could be put to use right away to give my old glass top coffee table a new life, sort of like I did with my Pallet Top Table, except I used a fun triangle pattern on that project.  With my Sawzall I quickly cut through the nails so I could use the pallet boards, I love using pallet wood and this is the easiest fastest way to get great unbroken boards.

How to Update a Glass Top Coffee Table with Pallet Wood

measuring table top for how long to cut pallet wood
The first thing I did was measure the length of the inset area (where the glass rested) and used that measurement to cut my pallet planks.  I cut one board made sure it fit, and the used it to measure and cut the rest of my boards.
Trimming off a piece of pallet wood with a jigsaw
When I laid my boards on the table I noticed about an inch of space left.  Since I was not wanting any gaps I decided to cut a pallet “length wise” at an inch wide.  Because I don’t have a table saw I decide to “rip” my wood with my jigsaw.
Pallet wood cut and put on table top to replace glass
Here are my pallet pieces nice and snug in their new home!  It was at this point that I decided to do a shelf, because who doesn’t want more storage?  Plus I had a few more pallet planks that needed a job, so why not!
Trying out pallet wood for bottom shelf
Here you can see I am trying out what is left of my pallet wood to see if it will work as a lower shelf. If beggars were choosers I would have liked at least one more plank of pallet wood.  But, I did have one…so I just went with it.
gluing and nailing on shelf support
I found some scrap pieces of 1×2 wood in my pile and glued and nailed them onto both sides of the table to act as shelf supports.  I decided to use 2×4’s to get the shelf supports at the right height, plus then I didn’t have to measure. 🙂
staining shelf support boards to match coffee table base
My original plan was to paint the coffee table base, but as I was working on the project I really wanted to keep the original wood finish, it was in great condition.  So I looked for a stain in my stash that would match, and red oak was the winner.  I used it to stain my shelf supports, and then I also went over the rest of the table base to help uniform the color.  It may not be perfect but I was quite happy with the result.
painting pallet planks
Because I decided to keep the stained base, I knew I had to add some color to the pallet wood.  So I grabbed a bunch of colors, mostly blues, greens, grays, and white.  I used the cut off scraps of pallets to test my colors.  I ended up using the above colors and simply dry brushed them onto the pallets with a chip brush.  I did the same technique on my Large Storage Crates.  I love the texture it adds by bringing out the rustic grains in the wood.  I did more color on some boards and less on others, and lightly layered colors on most.   The best part is it doesn’t have to be perfect!  Oh, and I used a natural stain over all the pallet boards after I painted them, it really helps to warm up the wood while making the colors pop.
*Tip* On rustic pallet or reclaimed wood, darker stains tend to really soak into the wood and look like paint…so please test on a scrap piece before you stain to make sure you are getting the look you want.
Adding painted pallet planks to coffee table
Above I have laid out my finished boards where I want them. Next up?  Nailing them on.  You could use glue if you want.
feature image pallet top coffee table
I coated it with a few coats of poly to seal it, sanding with 400 grit sand paper after coats 1 and 2.  That is it, a bright fun coffee table for free!
side shot of pallet coffee table
You might think it weird that the top and bottom slats run different directions, but I think it adds character!  That is why DIY is so fun, you can do what ever you want!
close up of coffee table with pallet top
I am really liking the dark table base with the lighter slats…I am glad I didn’t paint it.
pallet coffee table with dog
When I brought it into my living area in the kitchen my dog Sunny totally approved.  She had to curl up next to it.
bottom shelf made with pallet planks
The bottom shelf worked out, even if I would have liked one more board.  🙂
glass top coffee table into pallet top table
There is a lot of room for storage on the bottom shelf.  Wouldn’t it be great for a couple of nice sized baskets to store toys in for the kiddo’s?  Or for magazines?
Top view of converted glass to pallet coffee table
Do you have an old glass top coffee table you could save with some pallet wood?  I hope so, it is such a fun and easy way to get a custom piece in your home!  If you don’t…check your local Craig’s list or KSL (if you live in Utah) or freecycle, you would be surprised what you can find in the free section!
Thank you so much for reading!

More ways to use an old pallet:

charging station (desktop or wall-mount)

pallet-charging-station-apieceofrainbowblog (6)

rustic interior shutters
how to build shutters from pallets, Prodigal Pieces on Remodelaholic

backsplashpallet wood backsplash 2

or a deck!build a wooden pallet deck, The Second Wind of Texas featured on Remodelaholic

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I have a great love to DIY, repurpose, and create! I am constantly seeking to make things more useful, effective, and beautiful in my home one project at a time. My projects are done in tutorial form so I can inspire others to create too!
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  1. Mindi,

    I love how you gave this ordinary coffee table a fun and useful purpose! The table looks great and I love the colors!

  2. Oh my! I recently came across a sofa table with a very badly damaged pressed wood insert on the top and shelf on the bottom. I’ve already removed the damaged pieces and was planning to do the EXACT same thing! I’m so glad I saw your post first, because now I KNOW it will look ahhhhhhhmazing! Thanks for the visual!!!

  3. Oh Mindi, this is a wonderful remake! 🙂 Love the colors AND I like the planks going different directions. Plus the spacing in the boards below also adds character. I’m saving this idea! 🙂 Thank you!!

  4. Love it! Mindi, you always have such great ideas on reusing pieces of wood and furniture. Your always an inspiration. 🙂 The table looks wonderful and I truly love the colors you uses. Well done, my friend. 🙂