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How to Build a Coffee Table

Learn how to build this DIY Square Coffee Table with free plans by Shanty2chic!

I am still on a mission to revamp rooms in my house by building new furniture! I’m working on the living room and starting with a new coffee table. My previous table was chewed up pretty bad by our puppy so it’s a great one to start with!

Let’s get building! Just click the box below to watch the how-to video!

Click here to jump to the free plans!

How to build a DIY Square Coffee Table

Tools:

Supplies:

Building the Base

Step 1

Cut the leg pieces to size and drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes according to the cut list. I used my Kreg Foreman for this project. It’s great if you are building alot of large pieces because it makes the work faster!

If you are building for your home our favorite pocket hole tool is the Kreg Jig K5!

Attach the bottom runner to two legs with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Step 2

Attach the two bottom short runners to a leg and attach the short runners to the center of the long runner with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Step 3

Flip the table base right-side-up and attach the second long runner to the top of the bottom runner with 2″ brad nails and wood glue.

Step 4

Attach the second short runners to the top of th ebottom short runners with 2″ brad nails and wood glue.

Step 5

Attach the short legs to the long legs with 2″ brad nails and wood glue. The bottom of the short legs should be flush with the top of the long runner.

Building the Table Top

Step 1

Cut the top project panels to size and drill 3/4″ pocket holes around all edges of one and 3 edges of the other. Attach them together with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Step 2

With the tabe top upside down, flip th ebase upside down on top of it, so that the short legs are resting on the top of the table top. Attach the table top to the short legs with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Step 3

Cut the support piece to size and drill 1 1/2″ pocket hole screws at both ends. Attach it over the table top seam, to the legs with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue and attach it to the table top with 2″ brad nails.

Table Top Trim

Step 1

Measure and cut the trim pieces to size and drill 1 1/2″ pocket hole screws to each square end. Attach them to the table top with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and attach them to the table legs with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue. Add a few 2″ brad nails and wood glue at the corners to join the 45° angles together.

The Finish!

Step 1

Once the table is built, fill any exposed pocket and nails holes with wood filler and sand it down with 80-grit sandpaper followed by 120-grit and then 220-grit. Once the sanding was done I used a Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner.

Step 2

For the finish, I combined 2 parts Minwax wood finish in Golden Oak with 1 part Classic Gray.

Their new Wood Finish line is so easy to use! Just wipe the stain with a rag. It only requires one coat and dries in a few hours!

Step 3

To protect the finish I tried a new product! Minwax Soft Touch Finishing Wax. This stuff is awesome and so easy to use!

Just open the lid and stir the wax.

Then, wipe the wax over the wood in a circular pattern.

Let the wax sit for 5-15 minutes and buff it with a clean cloth. That’s it! I love the matte finish and it was literally no mess! It works on stained, painted and raw wood!

2 from 1 vote

DIY Square Coffee Table

Learn how to build this chunky DIY Square Coffee Table by Shanty2Chic. This is a great beginner build that won't break the bank! Make sure to download the free printable plans including the supply list and full cut list here!

Tools

  • Table Saw (optional)
  • Miter Saw
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig
  • Brad Nailer
  • Sander

Instructions

Cut List

  • Cut List 1
  • Cut List 2

Building the Base

  • Cut the leg pieces to size and drill 1 1/2" pocket holes according to the cut list. Attach the bottom runner to two legs with 2 1/2" pocket hole screws and wood glue.
  • Attach the two bottom short runners to a leg and attach the short runners to the center of the long runner with 2 1/2" pocket hole screws and wood glue.
  • Flip the table base right-side-up and attach the second long runner to the top of the bottom runner with 2" brad nails and wood glue.
  • Attach the second short runners to the top of th ebottom short runners with 2" brad nails and wood glue.
  • Attach the short legs to the long legs with 2" brad nails and wood glue. The bottom of the short legs should be flush with the top of the long runner.

Building the Table Top

  • Cut the top project panels to size and drill 3/4" pocket holes around all edges of one and 3 edges of the other. Attach them together with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and wood glue.
  • With the tabe top upside down, flip th ebase upside down on top of it, so that the short legs are resting on the top of the table top. Attach the table top to the short legs with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and wood glue.
  • Cut the support piece to size and drill 1 1/2" pocket hole screws at both ends. Attach it over the table top seam, to the legs with 2 1/2" pocket hole screws and wood glue and attach it to the table top with 2" brad nails.

Table Top Trim

  • Measure and cut the trim pieces to size and drill 1 1/2" pocket hole screws to each square end. Attach them to the table top with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and attach them to the table legs with 2 1/2" pocket hole screws and wood glue. Add a few 2" brad nails and wood glue at the corners to join the 45° angles together.

The Finish

  • Now just fill your pocket holes and nails holes with wood filler, sand it down and add a finish! Make sure to share your builds with us on social media and use #shanty2chic so we can share them too! Happy Building!

3 Comments

  1. geometry dash on July 26, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    I believe it is the same as the coffee cabinet at the bottom of the page. The only difference would be how you do the doors

  2. Alyssa on April 30, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    2 stars
    I’ve built many Shanty plans and have to say I’ve loved them all! But… this one was not easy! It looks super simple, and really it is until you get to attaching the 2×4 apron. I had soo many issues and honestly, it looks pretty bad. First, you have to make sure to drill your pocket hole screws toward the bottom of the 2×4 or you won’t be able to access them b/c the tabletop blocks them out. Then… I had a horrible time adhering the tabletop to the 2×4 via the pocket hole screws. In several instances, my pocket hole screw went through the tabletop 🙁 it was just bad. It was also very difficult to line up the 2×6, tabletop, and 2×4 apron in a smooth/seamless line. I gave up and just slapped some stain on it and putting this thing in my bonus room instead of my living room.

  3. Jenny on January 21, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Looks great! What clamps do you like and recommend?

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