Wood Inlay End Table

12 Materials
4 Hours

We needed a new end table in our living room and I took it as an opportunity to create something unique and beautiful. (And learn a few new skills along the way!)

Center cross section

First find the center of your board and mark the cross sections. This will help guide your wood pattern and keep it straight.

My board is 1.5’ x 2’

Cut wood

I found that it’s much quicker to make your middle cross section cuts before the wood has been painted/stained.

I made all of my cuts (in about 5 minutes) then fingered out the pattern I wanted them in.

Stain/paint wood

Next I stained/painted my wood boards.

for the stain, I used ‘fruitwood’ stain by Minwax and brushed it on using a 2” brush.

once that had dried I white-washed each board using a mixture of a tiny bit of white paint and water. I just used an old rag to rub the whitewash onto the wood.

For the white paint, I used ‘bistro white’ by Valspar.

Separate into sections

I marked my bottom board quadrants with ‘A, B, C, and D’ to help keep my pattern in order.

i then piled the wood pieces into each section to keep things organized as I started building the pattern.

Lining out wood

I pulled a few pieces from the section I was working on and had them lined out on the bottom board to help me move a bit faster without having to worry about messing up the pattern.

Cutting wood to size

To make sure each cut was exact, I laid my bottom board on a table top and let the side I was working on hang slightly over the edge. This way I could place the wood where it needed to be and using a pencil I traced along the bottom of the wood piece where it met the edge of the bottom board. Using the board as a ‘template’ of sorts so that I didn’t have to measure and risk making a wrong cut.

I cut then attached each board with wood glue and 1” brad nails as I moved along.

this probably took longer than other methods, but once I got in the groove it moved rather quickly.

Wood glue

For the wood glue I ran a line down the center of each piece.

Then I used a brad nail at each end of the wood piece.

1st finished quadrant

All quadrants finished


For the frame, I just measured around the edges and cut my wood to size with 45 degree cuts and then used 2” brad nails to attach the frame boards to the table top.

If you decide to build this, you’ll want to make these measurements yourself as them may be slightly different than mine.


Building the legs

For the legs we cut 4- 2x2 boards to 24” long and attached them through the table top with 2” wood screws. Place a level on top of the table with the legs on to make sure your table is level.

we then measured in between each leg and cut 2x2’s to size, and then attached them to the base of the legs using 2” wood screws.

Paint base

After the legs (base) of the table was built I painted them ‘bistro white’

Seal it

I then sealed the table top with 3 coats of Minwax polycrilic in satin finish.

All finished

This was such a fun project. This was my first time using a chop saw and finish gun by myself, generally Nate handles the power tools for me but I wanted to learn it for myself, so this was my maiden voyage so to speak and I am so happy with how it turned out!

(as a side note, pricing of this project doesn’t include the power tools because we already had those, but I included them in the list of supplies because you’ll need them to complete the project😊)

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