Floating Sofa Table From Reclaimed Barnwood

5 Materials
3 Hours

The small seating area on our main floor is a bit of an odd layout. After moving the L-shape couch from our family room into this area recently, it was too large for the space and also covered the air intake vent. I kept pulled it away from the vent, but every time someone sat on it (even our chubby dog) it would slide back up against the vent.

Covering the air intake vent

I needed to find a solution to keep the couch away from the vent. My first though was a sofa table, but having done that in the family room I noticed that every time the couch bumped the table it left a mark on my freshly painted wall! 

I googled and found out that furniture should be a minimum of 10 inches away from the intake vent. I had a pair of shelf brackets that were one foot deep, so I decided to create a built-in sofa table using those brackets. 🥚


The first thing I did was go onto Marketplace to find places selling barnwood. There was a farm only eight minutes away where I found a board the width and height I wanted. I had brought my bracket and it was the perfect fit. The farmer trimmed the piece to the length I wanted – eight feet.

So many options

Fortunately, it was a short drive!

Tight fit in my little car


I sanded the board using my orbital sander with 80 grit paper. And then again with 220 grit to smooth it all out. 



While sanding I noticed a large nail in the board. I used pliers to bend it straight and pull it out the other side. I think the nail hole adds character, so I didn’t bother filling it.

Removing the random nail


After sanding, I placed the bracket on the board…and the board was too wide!! I assume I must have placed my bracket on the section the farmer cut off! With the help of my friend Ron, we ripped 1/4 “ off the board using a table saw. My saw is missing the guide arm so we clamped a board to the saw to guide the barnwood for a straight cut.

1/4" trim


I stained the board with dark walnut to match the other surfaces in that space. The gel stain was old and had turned runny so I used a brush to apply it and then wiped off the excess with a cloth.



I applied wood finish, using a brush – 3 coats.



I attached the brackets to the wall, drilling each bracket into a stud. I lined it up so the board would be at the same height as the wood frame inside the couch, to act as a bumper.

Attaching brackets to the wall

Once it was all in place I wasn’t loving how the couch looked in front of it - it seemed awkward because the shelf was longer than the backrest on that side of the L shape. So I turned the couch so the backrest width matched the length of the board and I felt that looked better.

Floating barnwood sofa table!
Stylizing still needs a little work. :)

I think this was a quick, easy and inexpensive solution to my runaway couch problem. And if things ever go back to normal, I’ll buy a new one that fits the space better. 😊

Are you done yet, mama?


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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • L
    on Apr 4, 2021

    just wondered what the vent is actually for? i am in the uk and i havent seen a vent like that in the wall before. thanks

    • Valerie Burge
      Valerie Burge
      7 days ago

      That could work Diana. Someone in the comments shows that. I was also thinking those little spacers that you can put behind your headboard so it doesn't knock into the wall might work if you added them to the legs of the couch.

  • Markeen
    on Apr 5, 2021

    Is that just the cold air return vent? Cuz if it is the heat vent, didn't you just cut off the heat supply, making it hard for the heat to ventilate? I love the look I just wonder what the vent was actually for?

    • Markeen
      on Apr 6, 2021

      Yes it is true that they should not be blocked I just hoped it wasn't the heat now being blocked cuz of the table. You did a great job!

  • Nancibeth Williams
    Nancibeth Williams
    on Apr 7, 2021

    What if the vent is in the floor? Any suggestions for that?

    • See my answer above for a crude description of a block of wood behind each foot of the sofa. You can cut an in-facing v to keep the sofa from scooting back. Just a random thought. Not nearly as pretty as this shelf. And I especially like the lamp behind it, right where you need it to read.

Join the conversation

6 of 52 comments
  • Vickie
    on Apr 6, 2021

    Great idea. And looks perfect!

  • Jennifer Roysdon
    Jennifer Roysdon
    7 days ago

    Love your precious dog! Trued convincing my husband to do this. Our bulldog would just lay on it.

    • Valerie Burge
      Valerie Burge
      7 days ago

      Sounds like your dogs are mischievous! Lol. Charlie hasn't gotten up there. He did put his paws up on it once when I was standing on the other side of the cutout with food. He must of thought it was a takeout window.

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