Build an Upcycled Coffee Table

by Rick
19 Materials
While walking back from the park with the kids I stumbled upon two chairs that my neighbors were throwing away curbside . So under the cover of darkness I TOOK those chairs and ran awkwardly into my garage. It sounds much creepier than it actually was. Or maybe not. In any case, today I’ll be using the legs from those chairs to make an amazing and cheap upcycled coffee table!
Grab some cheese and crackers and veg out on the video above or scroll down to check out the step by step guide to build your own upcycled coffee table!
A table can generally be divided into three parts: The top, the legs and the piece that connects the legs to the top called an apron.

Since we already have the legs (thanks neighbors!), all we have to do is build the table top and the apron.
First up I’ll be creating the top by joining (5) 1x6’s cut to 46-3/4″. In this post I’m using what are called pipe clamps to join the wood, but you join wood with glue and strategically placed heavy objects if push comes to shove. I've done it! Don’t let your lack of tools stifle your inner coffee table maker. It's your destiny!
When joining wood it’s imperative that you alternate the grain of each piece so that when your table runs into different levels of temperature and humidity one summer day, it will be able to hold a competent conversation and your coffee rather than FREAK OUT and crack at the (change in) pressure.

A good way to know which way the wood is going is to look at it from the side. Follow the direction of the rings in the wood and be sure to alternate their direction as you make your way from left to right.
Glue is all that we need to join the boards, so liberally apply your favorite wood glue and then squeeze the boards together with clamps or whatever you have!
This is how the finished top should look!
Next up is the apron. Cut your 1x4’s to the following: (2) 1x4 @ 30-1/4″ and (2) 1x4 @ 18″.

Here are all the pieces to the table ready to be assembled.
Set your Kreg Jig to accommodate 3/4” material and pre-drill holes along both sets of apron pieces. Space your holes about 2" from each edge and 6-8" apart thereafter.
I'm using Valspar's Chalky Finish Paint in "Kid Gloves" to paint my legs.
Three coats and they've transformed!

Next, stain your tabletop with your choice of wood stain.
Layout and attach the two short pieces of apron 2-3/8” from each edge and the longer pieces 2-1/8" from the edge.

Secure to the tabletop using 1-1/4" pocket screws.
Finally we’re going to cut (4) mitered support 1×4’s @ 3-15/16″ at 45 degrees. These will attach to the apron and the legs.

Pre-drill two center holes so that we can bolt the the legs to the apron.
To attach the mitered piece to the apron I use my Kreg jig at a slight angle and pre-drill two holes on each side. I'll attach these pieces to the apron using glue and 1" wood screws.

Once those are set, screw the bolts into the legs.
After a few coats of Minwax Polycrylic (clear coat), that's a wrap!

Time to get some coffee on this table!
For a full material and tool list check out my website here and for more fun DIY videos take a look at my YouTube Channel here.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think below in the comments!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Lsh8328942 Lsh8328942 on Dec 03, 2016
    Why don't you have to sand the legs? Will the paint you used scratch off? Your video was really great.

  • Katherine Katherine on Feb 03, 2020

    Absolutely beautiful work!! Thank you!!😀

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3 of 104 comments
  • Sue Sue on Mar 18, 2019

    Embarassed my grandson ,dumpster diving after the college students leave school,

    They dont want to take stuff home.

    Their loss.

  • 34021656 34021656 on Mar 25, 2019