March 28, 2012 - 8 comments

DIY Coffee Table

After a couple of months without finding the right coffee table at the right price, I started to search for DIY coffee table ideas online and stumbled across Silvia Song's DIY coffee table.
Instead of using an Ikea oak counter top, I used a solid wood panel of pine from Lowe's and painted it with 3 coats of stain.

Here is a list of supplies I used:

  • 1 Stain grade solid wood panel (pine or any other type of wood you prefer) size 5/4"  x  24"  x 48"
  • 4 Raw Steel 14" Hairpin legs from
  • 1 Cheap synthetic paint brush
  • 1 Quart of Stain & Polyurethane (Miniwax Polyshades in Antique Walnut Satin 340)
  • 1 Sanding sponge (220 fine)
  • 12 Screws size #14 x 1"
  • Drill
  • Cardboard box to prop the wood panel on while staining
  • Small towel that you don't mind throwing away


  1. Start off by sanding the wood panel and wiping away all the dust and dirt with a small towel. Then, stir the stain & poly making sure you do not stir too quickly and create bubbles
  2. Begin painting the wood panel with even strokes carefully so that the stain does not drip over the edges. The stain & poly is permanent so make sure you cover your flooring for accidental drippings
  3. Wait 6 hours (or follow the instructions on your stain can) in between coats
  4. Sand with fine sandpaper/sand sponge
  5. Repeat step 2–4 until you have 3 coats of stain
  6. Place the legs 1.5" from the edge and mark with a pencil where the screws should be
  7. Use a drill with bit no wider than the screw's center to make screw holes. Be sure to not drill all the way through the wood panel
  8. Screw in screws

I would definitely make sure to do this in a well ventilated area  since the stain & polyurethane fumes are quite strong.  This was my first coffee table so I had a lot of questions, but the workers at Lowe's were super helpful and knowledgeable.  Overall I'm happy with how the coffee table turned out!

Photography by Ms. Yvonne Lin

Published by: Yvonne in DIY


July 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

how on earth did you find this board at Lowes? Was it plywood? I’ve called 4 different lumber yards and they dont’ have anything like this.

    July 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Stephen! So, it’s been two years since I made this table. I hope they didn’t discontinue that product. The piece I got is definitely solid wood and not plywood. I’ll look tomorrow to see if I can find it! In the meantime, here is something similar:

    Clear Kiln-Dried Aspen Panel (Common: 3/4 x 24-in x 48-in; Actual: 0.75-in x 24-in x 48-in)

    July 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    So I went to my local Lowe’s and found that they aren’t selling the 5/4″ wood panel anymore, but they are selling a 1″ panel.

    Unfortunately, not all Lowe’s carries the same products, I hope there is a store near you sells this though! :)
    The brand is Idaho Timber. Good luck!

November 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

How much did this table cost you all inclusive?

It looks fab!

    November 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks Carys! In total, I believe I spent around $100. Not too bad for a very sturdy coffee table!

Donna Zehring
November 17, 2015 at 7:47 pm

I just finished making my own hair pin coffee table! All in thanks to finding your website. However, I read that the raw steel legs need to be sealed with something so they don’t rust. What did you use?

    November 17, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Glad to hear! I didn’t seal my raw steel legs and they look the same after 3 years of use. If you plan on having the coffee table in a not so humid climate, I think you should be okay :) But if you are still a little worried, there are sprays like Rust-Oleum Professional (zinc coating) that should do the trick. I’ve never tried it before though!

      Donna Zehring
      November 18, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Thanks for getting back!! And thanks for the great idea on the legs. Makes all the difference and gives the table such character!

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