DIY Pallet Coffee Table

Who doesn’t love a pallet project? It’s an almost completely free way to get a new piece of furniture or art in your home. I like pallet boards because they’re sturdy (have you seen the amount of stuff piled on a pallet at a grocery store?!) and they have the perfect weathered wood color!

Since we moved into our new house almost 10 months ago, we haven’t had a coffee table. While I have liked the open space for the boys to play, the living room felt a little naked. Not to mention there was no where to prop our feet up for nightly Netflix watching. We had to work hard to find alternate comfy positions. The struggle was real.

So I headed to Pinterest….because duh #pinterestisthenewgoogle. I have gone back and forth between a fabric ottoman, fabric cubes, factory cart, etc. etc. but I didn’t ever LOVE anything. So I found a few different things I liked, and Jonathan drew up an idea.

Plans for DIY pallet coffee table

First thing we did was pick out the boards for the top, cut them down to size, and pulled the old nails out of them.

Next up was figuring out how to lay them out and in what order. We wrote a little number on the back of each one when we got it laid out how we liked.

board layout for DIY pallet coffee table

I knew I didn’t want it to be plain wood because the rug is already brown (it’s a jute rug) and the couches and walls are white. So I painted the boards — most of them white (I just used leftover white house paint) and the rest with some blue chalk paint I had on hand. We sanded the boards down before painting just to get the dirt and grime off.

painted boards for DIY pallet coffee table

After the paint dried Jonathan sanded it until it was distressed the right amount. He basically sanded each one until I gave him a thumbs-up of approval. I’m a great project manager 😉

distressed boards for DIY pallet coffee table

Next up was working on the legs. We got a 4×4 piece of wood from a local hardware and lumber store for about $7, the only thing we had to buy for the table! It was the perfect length to cut into 4 equal pieces. Jonathan used his saw to chamfer the bottoms of the legs to give them a little character.

use a saw to chamfer coffee table legsuse a saw to chamfer coffee table legsuse a saw to chamfer coffee table legs

Check out the saw dust cobwebs. That’s real fancy!

He also used a router to chamfer the corners of the legs, about 4 inches in from the top and bottom. You’ll see a better picture of the spacing in the final images. If you don’t have a router you could use a table saw. Or just skip that part all together and sand the corners a bit so they aren’t such a harsh angle.

Next we added some stain to the legs to get rid of the greenish hue. Since Jonathan builds a lot of furniture we have approximately 50 cans of stain hanging around. So we just picked one. Any brown would do!

brown wood stain for coffee table legsstaining the legs of DIY pallet coffee table

While that dried, we cut pieces of pallet board for the frame. We also put a little white paint on these and sanded them down to look more distressed.

Next step is the only semi-complicated part of the build…making pocket hole screws. You don’t have to do these, it just made it easier to put together. Jonathan says if you don’t have a Kreg’s pocket hole screw jig then you need to get one. “It will change your life.” Direct quote. You’re welcome (click here to get it off of Amazon).

It basically helps you put a screw hole in at an angle. You’ll need to do this on the inside part of the 4 pallet frame pieces. You’ll screw these into the legs.

drill pocket hole screws into coffee table framedrill pocket hole screws into coffee table frame

Once this is done, you’ll mark out where they need to go on the legs. We went about an inch from the outside.

measure the placement of the frame on coffee table legs

Then you’ll need to use some wood glue to help secure the frame pieces on before you screw them in.

glue frame to legs of DIY pallet coffee tableglue frame to legs of DIY pallet coffee table

Now you’ll use 1.5 inch pocket hole screws to join the legs and frame together.

Mr. Lugibuild/Lugidad takes his work very seriously.

join frame to legs using pocket hole screwsjoin frame to legs using pocket hole screws

See why the pocket holes are so handy??

**if you can’t do the pocket holes, you can drill holes on the inside of the frame and and the legs and join them with dowel pins (if you’ve ever had a piece of ikea furniture you know what I’m talking about).

finished frame of DIY pallet coffee table

Voila! A frame. Now it’s time to add the top. We put wood glue all along the tope of the frame, and then laid the boards on top (this is when the numbering came in handy). We secured each one with a nail as we put them down. Don’t forget to make sure they are centered all the way around before nailing them down.

glue table top pieces to the frame of DIY pallet coffee tablenail table top pieces to the frame of DIY pallet coffee tablenail table top pieces to the frame of DIY pallet coffee table

Last step was adding some paint to the legs so they would match the rest of the table. We added a little bit of gray paint to some white paint to get a similar color, then painted each leg. After it dried, we sanded it down to match the distressed look.

paint table legs with gray paint

And that’s it folks. Move into your living room. Prop your feet up. Enjoy.

DIY pallet coffee table

DIY pallet coffee tableDIY pallet coffee tableDIY pallet coffee tableDIY pallet coffee table top view

And don’t panic when your kids slam their toy cars into the top and stand on top of it to jump off, because you’ve already got the distressed look going for you. A mom must have started this trend, right?

kids playing on DIY pallet coffee table

If you enjoy these DIY tutorials let me know! We always have some kind of project going on and are happy to share it with you. We currently have a bookshelf in the works. What other kind of projects would you like to see?? Leave some ideas in the comments!

On another note, if you love the idea of a DIY table but aren’t so good with DIY, shoot me an email at and Jonathan would definitely be happy to build you something! He loves a project 🙂

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