With its sturdy build and polished lines, you would expect to find this rustic coffee table in a high-end furniture shop. See how it comes together with inexpensive materials available at any hardware store. 
rustic farmhouse coffee table completed project

Farmhouse-style furniture gets a lot of credit for being unique and rustic, but store-bought versions can come with a shocking price tag, too. Get the look you want at a price you'll love with our DIY farmhouse table that only looks like it's made from reclaimed wood. This stunning piece will be the focal point of your living room and pairs well with both modern, industrial-leaning design styles and classic cottage or farmhouse rooms. Take a look at our steps below to learn how to make a farmhouse coffee table.

  • Working time 2 hrs
  • Start to finish 3 hrs
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Carpentry Skills, Cutting, Nailing, Staining

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

attach equally spaced boards to frame
Step 1

Make Frame

First, cut all boards according the Cut List, above, using a table saw. Lightly sand any rough edges with a sanding block where you made your cuts and wipe clean with a tack cloth.

Next, you need to make a frame that will form the tabletop. Having a frame will reinforce the strength and durability of the table. Lay the two long pine boards on edge on your work surface and evenly align the four smaller boards between them. The smaller boards should be placed 18 inches apart, with the first and last boards butted with the ends of the long boards. Use a carpenter's square to help align the corners. Use wood glue and a pneumatic nail gun to attach.

How to Use a Nail Gun
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How to Use a Nail Gun

Unfamiliar with a nail gun? Let us show you how to use it safely and easily. 

nailing boards together right angle coffee table
clamp and attach coffee table legs
Step 2

Build and Attach Legs

Next, you should make and attach the legs to the frame. Build legs by butting the long end of the 5-1/2x15-inch boards against the 9x15-inch boards to form a right angle. Run a bead of glue along the long edge of one of the boards and clamp to hold. Let glue dry, and attach with the nail gun. Repeat for remaining legs. 

Once all the legs are built, you'll attach them to the frame. Glue and clamp a leg at each corner of your frame, with the wider side of the leg against the long side of the frame. Once glue is dry, attach with a nail gun. Repeat until all four legs are on the frame.

adding table skirt to edge of coffee table
Step 3

Attach Skirt Boards

Next, you'll attach the skirt boards that stretch between each leg. These boards are 29 and 16 inches long, and should be placed on both the long and short sides of the table between the legs. Keep your frame upside-down as you do this step to make sure the top of the table is aligned and runs flat. Use a nail gun to attach the skirt pieces to the frame, with the 16-inch boards on the short ends of the table and the 29-inch boards along the long sides.

nail boards to top of farmhouse coffee table
Step 4

Attach Table Top

Next, add the table top. The final three boards, each 46 inches long, should fit on top without a problem. Flip the table so it stands upright, and place the 46-inch boards across the frame, aligning all edges. Drive four nails per board, one at each intersection with the frame, to attach the top panels. You might need a ruler and pencil to mark where the frame boards are under the tabletop for attaching. 

Step 5

Finish Table

Once the table is built, it's time for the finishing touches. Sand the entire surface of your table with an orbital sander. Sanding will make everything smooth to the touch. Wipe down dust with a tack cloth. 

Stain or paint the table as you desire. If you plan to stain and finish table, be careful to remove any wood glue on the surface that will be stained. It will seal the wood and prevent stain from absorbing. You can remove the wood glue by sanding it. 

To achieve the rustic look of our farmhouse coffee table, stain the table a medium gray or brown and let dry. Use a China bristle brush to apply white paint (we used Varathane White Wood Grain Enhancer) by dragging the brush across the surface. Move in the direction of the grain. Apply additional coats until you achieve the desired look, allowing the finish to dry overnight in-between coats. Finally, finish the table with a coat of flat, water-based polyurethane.  


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