How to Build a Simple Multipurpose Wooden Table

13 Materials
4 Hours

I needed a table for our little office space area and came up with this easy DIY. It’s a simple multipurpose wooden table that took me almost no time to build. Better yet, once I completed it, I realized it’s super versatile. It’s just the right size to pop into a bathroom or behind a couch, to use in a small apartment as a breakfast bar or under a tv mounted on a wall. With so many places to put it, you may decide you need to build more than one!

Tools and Materials

  • 48" x 12" x 1" Whitewood
  • 4 Parsons table legs
  • Stain/paint
  • Polyacrylic/sealer
  • Foam brushes
  • Rags
  • Miter box/circular saw
  • Sanding block
  • Drill/screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Painter's tape
  • Drop cloth paper
  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Gloves
Simple Multipurpose Table

Stain the Wood
Stain the Wood

Since my board was already cut to the size I needed, I dove right into staining. Follow the directions on your stain can for application tips as they sometimes differ based on the product you use. In general, I like to apply 2-3 coats to each side and wait 15-20 minutes between coats. Then I wiped the excess off with a rag.

Cut Down Legs
Cut Down Legs

You can purchase Parsons Table Legs in just about any size to suit your particular build. However, if, like me, you want to alter the height even further, you will need to cut them down. I marked the height I wanted them to be and used my miter box and saw to cut them. Then, I used a sanding block to smooth out any rough edges.

Cut Using a Miter Box
Tape off the Bottom of the Legs
Paint the Bottom of the Legs

I wanted to give the legs a color blocked look, so I taped off the bottom 6” of each leg with painter’s tape and then took them outside for 2-3 quick coats of spray paint until they were covered. Then I removed the tape and left them to dry overnight. The next morning, I gave the bottom of the legs a quick sanding so the line between the paint and the wood was smooth.

Paint the Bottom of the Legs
Paint the Top of the Legs
Paint the Top of the Legs

I wanted the top of the legs to have a bit of contrast, so I chose a slightly different paint color. You don’t have to, but I found it easier to get a clean line between the two paint colors when I applied a bit of tape to keep them separated. I used a foam brush and added several coats of the new paint until I was happy with the color and the coverage. I set the legs aside to dry and started working on the leg attachments.

Add Leg Attachments
Add Leg Attachments

I picked up 4 metal leg attachments at the hardware store to connect the legs to the table. I pre-drilled the holes before I added the screws in, to prevent cracking or chipping the wood. I placed them in the far corners of the table, but you can place them where they fit best on your unique build. When buying the attachments, keep in mind the length of your screws and depth of your wood. You don’t want screws popping through the top. Since the Parsons Legs have hardware attached, I just screwed them into the leg attachments, until they were tight.

Add Legs

To finish the table off and protect the top, I gave it 2-3 coats of polyacrylic sealer. I made sure I worked in a well lit, well ventilated area. Then I applied the sealer with a foam brush and I lightly sanded in between coats after each one had dried, for a smoother finish. Make sure you wipe away any sanding dust before applying the next coat.

DIY Multipurpose Table

When my simple DIY multipurpose table was finished, I put it against the wall and set it up as a laptop desk. It suits our needs perfectly right now, but its versatile size and shape make it a great piece for a hallway or entryway, as well. There are so many options and places to put it, I love that we can move it around if desired. It’s an easy build, great for a beginner since it’s really mostly about the painting. So grab your wood and start building!

Where will you put yours? Let me know in the comments!

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Suggested materials:
  • 48"x12"x1" whitewood   (Home Depot)
  • 4 Parson's Table legs   (Home Depot)
  • Table leg attachments   (Home Depot)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Sue Sue on Feb 26, 2017
    What was the cost to make. Love it thanks for sharing.

  • Anita cowell Anita cowell on Mar 06, 2017
    great table i want to make one. but i dont understand the table leg part. how did it twist onto the metal leg attachments? i didnt notice a long screw on an end of a leg. did you have to drill and add the screws?

Join the conversation
2 of 17 comments
  • Cathy Murphy Cathy Murphy on Feb 20, 2017
    Love it! I need to make one to put behind my couch and maybe put power strip attached to one of the legs for a small lap and to charge my notebook and phone! This will be my next project! Thanks!

  • Caseyem11 Caseyem11 on Jan 09, 2018
    I like these narrow tables and have several in my home.