Pallet Coffee Table DIY

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DIY Pallet Coffee Table

DIY Pallet Coffee Table

One of the reasons I started a blog was because of my Pallet Coffee Table.  Once I started to work with pallets and saw the endless possibilities  of building with pallet wood, a pallet coffee table was the next logical step.  At the time I couldn’t find a decent tutorial for what I wanted to make.  That was in 2013. I have now made 3 coffee tables…one for my son in Philadelphia, one for my sisters in Front Royal and another for a friend who saw the coffee table in Front Royal.

I have to say that this is not a  cheap project by any means, it will probably cost somewhere around  $120 but most of that is in wheels.  Having said that, real industrial cart tables cost about $400 and upwards.

First I needed a plan.  I found a fantastic base plan over at  Ana White furniture plans.

   DIY Pallet Coffee Table construction

My overall construction followed her plans but instead of buying cross supports I used the side rails of pallets.  I also used scrap pieces for the bottom that left me with only having to buy the side pieces.   The smaller of the coffee tables I made was 27″ x 44″ (that was for an apartment) so I only had to buy 2 pieces of  1 x 8 x 6ft  pine lumber.

From those pieces cut 2, 44″ inch pieces for the long sides and 2, 25″ pieces for the short sides.   (feel free to make your coffee table larger or smaller depending on your space).

This is the part where you can have some fun…distressing the wood to make it look a little aged.  With a hammer, a chisel, a chain, or whatever you have available, make some nice little dings in your wood.  Go as crazy as you like, I don’t know how much frustration you have in your life.

Once you’re finished getting out all your frustrations, it’s time to start attaching the sides.  This is done with wood glue,and screws.  This will be your joint that gets the most wear.  I don’t know if you can tell by the picture but the long pieces are on the outside of the end pieces.  You should have a nice box with no lid or bottom.  Measure the inside length of your box for the cross supports and cut your pallet wood.   You will need 4 pieces of pallet wood side rails.

Measure the bottom width and that will be the length of your bottom supports.   This piece is cut from a piece of 1×6 or 1×8 pine, whatever you have available.   Attach all your supports with wood glue and a couple of screws on each side.    Take the pallet supports and  space them evenly across the width of the table with the outside supports against the pine sides.  For this project I like the black drywall screws just because the color goes along with the project.  Silver ones would be too shiny. Hopefully, you now have a box that looks like the one above.


Next step is to add a logo of your choice.    This one had the Schmidt’s of Philadelphia  logo since my son lived in Philly overlooking the old Schmidt’s Brewery.   I was able to find a great logo on the internet, downloaded it to my computer then resized it  to the  size I wanted.  After that it was just a matter of transferring the image to my side pieces using a bit of carbon paper.  Note: if you don’t have carbon paper, which I never seem to, use the side of a pencil to scribble all over the back side of your image then transfer your image in the same way carbon paper would work. Finish your logo with black paint and a fine paint brush.  Sort of like paint by number.  A black sharpie may work, I haven’t tried it. Before staining take a piece of fine sandpaper and lightly go over the image in the direction of the grain.  This will make the black paint look not quite as fresh and slightly aged.

You can see my distressed wood a bit from this picture.  I must not have had much frustration that day. 😀 

DIY pallet coffee table logo

Next step is to gather your wood for the top. For this project the pallet should be in fairly good shape since you’ll need a bunch of long pieces.  The heavier the pallet is, the better the wood is generally.  I have actually found some beautiful oak buried under the graying outer coat on a couple of pallets. Once you’ve assembled all your wood, cut the pieces to about 2 inches longer than the length of your box and 2 inches wider than the width of your table which will give you an inch overlap on the sides.  The number of pieces you use will vary on how wide your wood is.  Pallet wood varies pallet to pallet and while you can use varying widths, try to find similar thicknesses to make a flat top.

With a sander, sand each of your pieces to remove bumps and splinters and to make a nice smooth finish. Lay out all your wood on your table top and attach with finishing nails to the side rail supports.

Finish your coffee table with stain, followed by a semigloss varnish.

DIY Pallet Coffee Table

The corners are a wood trim corner piece painted black.  Fairly inexpensive since you’re using less than a yard.  Tack or glue them into place.

The wheels are from the Wholesale Tool Company (make sure you find a coupon code online before ordering).  These are the 8 inch rigid casters  spray painted black found here.   I wouldn’t even start my coffee table before I found these!  These will get screwed onto your bottom supports. This handle was found  buried in dirt near an old abandoned house.  Since I only have found one of these , my other coffee tables used handles from Hobby Lobby which had a sufficient amount of a rusty look to them.

DIY Pallet Coffee Table

This was the logo on the third coffee table, they wanted a slightly lighter stain. 

Need more recycled coffee table inspiration?  You may like..

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Carpenters Toolbox Coffee Table

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