My 15-Minute DIY Coffee Table

Hey folks! I’m anticipating that there are going to be more than my usual readers visiting today’s post because of the #2x4andMore Challenge blog hop from Remodelaholic, so for those of you who haven’t been here before, I’m Sarah — I do lots and lots of DIY projects and have a tendency to make a giant mess. I’m currently remodeling my “bad luck” master bathroom and have about 5,903 other things on my to-do list yet unfinished.

For those of you who have followed the blog though, then today is a day where I fulfill my promise and share the details on that new coffee table I have been hinting at on Instagram. You know — the one I whipped up for a date night because I sold off all my living room furniture and then we had no place to put our pizza. That coffee table.

diy hairpin leg and 2x4 scrap wood coffee table

There’s nothing quite like having a new white rug and nowhere to comfortably rest a glass of red wine that will motivate you to whip up a new piece of furniture! And even though the staining and finishing of the table took the better part of a day, I can honestly say that I cut all the pieces for this table in about 15-20 minutes using only the scrap wood I had on hand.

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I first started with a scrap piece of plywood. Since it was scrap, I wasn’t really concerned about exact measurements, but the plywood was just shy of about 2 feet by 3 feet (the finished table with the 2×4 overhang comes to 25″W x 45″L x 17 5/8″H). I used the scrap plywood to get a sense of how big the finished table was going to look in the room (the scrap on top sticks out on all sides over the plywood eventually, so this is more of an estimate).

I gathered as many scrap 2x4s as I could find — some edges were more rounded because it’s framing lumber, and some is higher grade meant for my furniture projects. Ultimately, I want to have a nice slab or live edge round to make myself a coffee table, so my need for perfection and making everything match wasn’t a top priority (I would make everything look more uniform with sanding and staining later).

I played around with the angles a little until I found a way to use as many of my longer pieces of scrap as I could. The 45-degree angle looked best to me, so I cut a bunch of pieces on my miter saw at 45 degrees and then started lining them up.

As I got toward each edge, I began cutting smaller scrap pieces to square off each side. As you can see, it came together pretty swiftly!


With everything cut, I used a strong wood glue and my set of bar clamps to attach the 2×4 pieces to the plywood. This is only a first step, as I later reinforced things on the back with wood screws when I put the legs on (be sure to pre-drill these holes!).

coffee table underside

As for the legs, I ordered hairpin coffee table legs off Amazon a couple of months ago and then forgot about them in the garage (the ones I actually purchased aren’t available as of this posting, so I’m linking to the ones that are the same style but just slightly cheaper). My boyfriend wound up hating the legs. But I built him a coffee table, so… tough (he wound up cleaning out my garage for me so that I could then sand and stain the table, so I consider that win-win if I get to build and he gets to clean, ha!).

Once the table was built, I completed the rest in the garage. The piece is pretty heavy, just FYI!

coffee table prep in garage

Because some of the edges were really rounded and some of the scrap was a little warped when putting it all together, I filled in some of the wider gaps or knots with wood filler. I like this stuff since it goes on pink, but if you know of any wood filler you LOVE, please let me know in the comments (I have asked all of my woodworking friends and I have been pretty much trying them ALL trying to find the best all-around stainable, paintable wood filler and have been getting lots of different answers, so it might be time for a head-to-head comparison review).

dap plastic wood goes on pink dries natural

I sanded the whole piece several times with finer and finer grain sandpaper on my sander (starting at 80 for the rough spots, then 180, gradually working up to 240) and used a router to round off the outside edge. You can get as aggressive as you like with it, but I used the sander at 80-grit to create the rounded corners you see in the finished photos.

sanding coffee table with palm sander

To finish, I used a golden mahogany stain and satin finish poly, sanding between coats with a sanding block. Then bam — back into the living room it went!

varathane wood stain golden mahogany

It was dark before I got a chance to take some photos, but my pup Charlie was really curious about it… so much that I had to make her a model in some of my shots. 😉

2x4 coffee table DIY - the ugly duckling house

diy coffee table 2x4 challenge the ugly duckling house

But earlier yesterday, I was able to take a few more photos. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now, and it has drastically improved entertaining like an adult and not eating food from the floor.

diy hairpin leg coffee table 2x4andmore challenge - 1

hairpin leg coffee table from 2x4 lumber - DIY

2x4 challenge diy coffee table

And as for Charlie… she’s still pretty curious about the new item in the living room.

charlie still curious about new projects

(P.S. I am on the hunt for a new couch to go with the whiter/gray/black color scheme and hope to have that update for you soon!)

coffee table diy scrap wood

There you have it: my #2x4andmore challenge project. If you are making anything out of structural lumber, feel free to use the hashtag this week on Instagram, and be sure to check out the other projects I’ve linked up below (there’s a linky party too if you’d like to share over on Remodelaholic and it’ll be open all week as well). There are some truly great projects in this blog hop, so I’ve included links to the other participants below:

3 - 2x4andMore challenge collage

garden arbor | Remodelaholic
15 minute coffee table | The Ugly Duckling House (that’s here!)
tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted
single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries
outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House
wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy and Pretty Things
upholstered x-base bench | Frazzled Joy
jumbo tic tac toe | Ginger Snap Crafts
porch bench | Everyday Party Magazine
console table | Hertoolbelt
farmhouse patio table | North Country Nest
easy flower planters | Our House Now a Home
treadmill incline | Practical and Pretty
patio side table | Small Home Soul

2 - 2X4andMore promo image

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