Coffee Table Reveal

I decided months ago that we needed to build a table for our living room instead of purchasing one. I couldn’t find a small enough table for our cozy space. I also wanted a piece that would compliment our existing furniture pieces. Spending a fortune on the table wasn’t an option either, because I know my cats will be all over it, and I’m too cheap. I found a great tutorial through Pinterest, don’t you just love that platform? Here is the link to the tutorial:

We made several modifications, because our needs were different. Let’s get started.


  • 3 8ft 1×4 Pine Board
  • 4 8ft 2×2 Pine Board
  • Pin Nailer
  • Dowel Jig Kit
  • Miter Saw
  • Power Sander
  • Clamps
  • Minwax Honey Wood Finish Stain
  • Polyurethane (Wipe-On)
  • Annie Sloan Dark Wax
  • Wood Glue
  • Paste Finishing Wax

First, you’ll need to decide what size table will fit in your space and that will determine the amount of lumber needed. Our table is quite small at 30 inches wide, 17.5 inches deep, and 16.75 inches tall.


After purchasing the lumber, we used our miter saw to cut everything down to size. I’m not going to go into details here, because the tutorial I included above did that for me.


Ryan decided to create dowel joints for our table instead of using screws. You can purchase a kit to create these. Glue the exposed dowels and joint surfaces, tap the parts together, and then clamp for at least an hour. Ryan built the frame and top separately. By doing so, I was able to stain each piece before we attached the top to the frame.

Before I stained the frame and bottom, I sanded each piece with our power sander. I then wiped everything down with a clean cloth. I should have used mineral spirits, but I didn’t feel like digging around the shed for it. I find it easiest to stain with a clean cloth. I dip the cloth into the stain and start rubbing the stain into the wood surface. You can also use a paint brush and wipe off the excess if you want to. I recommend lightly sanding the wood with a fine grit sanding block between each coat. We decided to attach the top and frame after the stain dried. We spread a thin layer of glue on the frame, put a few pin nails in along the edge of the top, and clamped the top to the frame.


After two coats, I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the finish. After looking online, I decided I could use Annie Sloan dark wax to darken the piece. It worked perfectly. Again, I dipped a clean cloth into the wax and evenly distributed the wax on the top and bottom. I let that harden overnight. The next day I put a coat of finishing wax on using the same method as before.


I did not think the unfinished edges looked good, so we decided to add trim to the edges. I stained and waxed the trim before we started cutting it with the miter saw. We used glue and the pin nailer to attach the trim. We then clamped the trim for several hours until the glue was nice and dry.

Finally, I added a coat of polyurethane to the top and edges. I like to use the wipe-on poly, because I don’t care to use brushes. That’s it.


This project could easily be completed in two weekends time. Dry time is the worst part of it from a time standpoint. For less than $75 we were able to create a beautiful table for our living room. It also coordinates really well with my Magnolia Home furniture. Huge thanks to my husband for putting this together for me!





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