Four DIY Coffee Tables

Follow these instructions to craft a coffee table that reflects both your style and your do-it-yourself ingenuity.
Cottage Style

Ready-made gingerbread from a home improvement store gives this table its cottage flavor. If this look fits you, follow our step-by-step instructions to turn an unfinished wood coffee table into a gorgeous living room anchor.

What You Need

cottage style table

  • Unfinished wood coffee table
  • Beaded board (about 44 x 18 inches; see instructions)
  • Cap molding
  • 4 wood brackets
  • Wood adhesive
  • Clamps
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Satin-finish latex paint
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • 4 glass knobs
  • Drill


cottage style how-to

  1. Protect your work surface with newspapers or a drop cloth.
  2. Measure your tabletop and have a home improvement store cut beaded board to fit the tabletop (our tabletop is 44 x 18 inches). Have them cut and miter the corners of cap molding to fit around the tabletop to frame the beaded board.
  3. Measure the opening from below the drawers to the top of the shelf. Purchase decorative wood brackets (from your hardware store's molding aisle or a hardware catalog) to fit. Our opening is 7 1/2 inches and we found our brackets at
  4. Coat the backside of the beaded board with wood adhesive and adhere it to the tabletop following the adhesive manufacturer's directions.
  5. Repeat with the cap molding, matching up the mitered corners. Clamp in place until dry.
  6. Use wood adhesive to adhere decorative brackets in place, clamping until dry.
  7. Remove clamps.
  8. Remove drawers from table and remove original drawer knobs.
  9. Fill the knob holes with wood putty. Use low-grit sandpaper to sand smooth, then wipe clean with a tack cloth.
  10. Drill new holes in each drawer to accommodate two knobs (we drilled 3 inches in from the sides of each drawer).
  11. Use low-grit sandpaper to sand all surfaces, wiping clean with a tack cloth.
  12. Prime table and drawers (still removed from table) and let dry.
  13. Paint table and drawers (still removed from table) using satin-finish latex paint (we used Sherwin-Williams SW7004 Snowbound) and let dry.
  14. Install two reproduction glass knobs in each drawer and replace drawers into table.


Consider painting the decorative brackets before adhering them to the table since that might make it easier to coat the small openings and curves with paint. For the best-looking finish, use a wood conditioner before priming and painting unfinished furniture. If staining, top with clear polyurethane.

Continued on page 2:  Traditional Style