Broken Coffee Table Turned Bench

Lauryn | framedingreen
by Lauryn | framedingreen
5 Materials
5 Hours

Once again I’d been holding onto a broken piece of furniture. But instead of a broken bed frame I had been hoarding for 12 years (see that tutorial here:, this broken coffee table is one I found on the roadside for free!

It sat in my living room for awhile and every month my husband would ask why I still had it. So, to prove to him that I can turn someone’s trash into our treasure and bring my schemes into reality I decided it was time to tackle the broken down coffee table this month!

Here’s is the before of the coffee table. Do not be fooled. It looks like it’s in decent condition, but every single leg on it was wobbly (and one was actually completely broken off).

The first thing I did was flip the table over, so I could see underneath it. I wanted to make sure I knew the easiest way to disassemble it. Luckily for me it was just a bunch of screws.

Once I had everything unscrewed, I laid out all the pieces I needed to make the bottom half of my bench (the leg and edge portions). I did this step, because I wanted to double check I knew what everything was and where it needed to go.

When I had all my pieces figured out I took the shorter side boards and cut them down to 12 inches each. By doing this the table would now be 12 inches wide, which felt like a more appropriate width for a bench.

Then I used my miter saw to carefully recut a groove into each board so that I could refit the corner brackets I had previously unscrewed.

Before I moved on I double checked that the brackets did indeed fit into the new grooves. I did end up having to recut some of my recut grooves, but that’s why I double checked the fitting! Once I had the cuts right I secured the brackets back in with wood filler and screws. I would recommend help for this part, because it’s hard to juggle all the pieces alone.

With the leg and sides assembled it was time to fill in the dings and dents. After they dried I sanded the whole thing down and wiped it clean.

Next, I chalk painted it white and sealed it.

Now that the base of my bench was done I needed to work on the actual seating portion of it. Since I didn’t want to go out and buy new material for this project I decided to use some old fence slates from my grandmothers house. The wood is in great condition, plus it has sentimental meaning to me and my family. But, you could just as easily find old pallets wood if you are completing a similar project!

I cut the slates to size and used wood glue and a nail gun to secure them to the bench base.

Lastly I gave them a good sanding.

And that’s it! Now I have a brand new, sturdy bench to go under our coatrack! Plus the materials were free and the overall project was simple and straightforward. That definitely calls for 3 cheers to finding free furniture on the roadside!

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  2 questions
  • Heje Heje on Nov 08, 2019

    I love the contrast of the bare wood and the painted wood. Was there an option to go the long way with the wood and is it stained or sealed?

  • BarbaraJo BarbaraJo on Nov 10, 2019

    Great looking bench! I have an old table very similar to this. It even has really wobbly screw on legs. When you took it apart and remade it, did that fix the wobbliness?

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2 of 40 comments
  • Annie Annie on Aug 28, 2022

    Nice idea and beautiful job.


  • BJ BJ on Aug 28, 2022

    Love this. I have one I bought from Wayfair. It has faux leather and is tufted. I thought about doing this to it, but it is still in mint condition. So off to a bedroom with it and going out looking for an old coffee table.