How To Make A DIY Pallet Coffee Table From An Existing Table
Welcome to Week 3 of the Fall (or beautiful spring here in Perth, Australia) 2017 One Room Challenge. If you are not familiar with the One Room Challenge, this is where 20 invited design bloggers and then guest participants completely transform a room in their home in just six weeks. If you are new here, welcome! I’m Jane and I blog at Organised Pretty Home, which is all about the best organising and decor ideas for your family home. For my first One Room Challenge, I am tackling our family living room. OMG now we are already at the end of Week 3! This week is my DIY pallet coffee table!
The DIY Pallet Coffee Table Reveal
I was thinking of titling this post, “How A Useless Piece of MDF Furniture Is Saved From The Rubbish Bin”. That just about sums up the whole story, I reckon!
“Jane, what on earth happened to your coffee table? I know your kids can be mischievous but don’t tell me, they got to the coffee table?”
Well actually that was me!
I originally purchased a coffee table off Gumtree for $20 (bargain!) and painted the base in white. I then painted the top with layers of blue and white, and it looked kind of beachy. But several years later, some of the paint had gotten scratched or worn from lots of use. No, not this bad! Think Lego play, trains, cars and who knows what else from 3 kids, including two rambunctious boys! It was time for a revamp.
So I thought I would strip the paint off the top and leave it wood this time. Only…
Oh, the disappointment! The top wasn’t actually made from wood. It was… MDF with a thin veneer over the top. So when I started stripping back the paint some of the wood veneer covering the MDF came off with it too.
What is MDF? Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres. It can’t really be sanded and doesn’t look great painted! When it gets wet, it absorbs the water and permanently swells up.
Now the useless MDF coffee table was only destined for kerbside rubbish!
Wait… there’s more to the story of my DIY pallet coffee table.
Around the same time I happened to come across a DIY Farmhouse style coffee table by the Nifty Thrifty Momma.
I had an idea! Where was that coffee table I was about to throw out?
Instead of sanding back and varnishing the top or sanding and re-painting it, I realised there was a third option.
Thanks to some free pallet wood from hubby’s workplace, we could attach a new wood top to the existing coffee table. Effectively, turn the ugly coffee table into a might fine DIY pallet coffee table.
We choice to use pallet wood because we already had some and it didn’t cost us anything. But really you could use any wood you want for this project!
The Quick Easy DIY Pallet Coffee Table Tutorial
1. Paint the coffee table base first. I gave mine several coats of primer and Dulux Antique White USA to neaten it up.
2. Measure your wood and cut it to size. Our pallet pieces were just short of the 125 cm or 49 inches we needed to lay them lengthwise so we decided to cut them to go across the table.
3. Your preference; sand, stain and seal your wood before screwing to the table or afterwards. We decided to sand and varnish our wood after. But you could easily do it beforehand if you are concerned about getting the stain on the paint.
4. Screw the wood to the existing table top. Use as many screws as will keep the pieces from moving at all. We used two screws per wood plank as ours were quite short in length.
5. Finish the top with your preferred stain and sealer. Or go al naturale if you dare, with a coat of wood oil.
For ours, hubby wanted the raw wood look and my preference was to white wash it. In the end, it got a coat of the Australian L’Essentiel Botanics White Furniture Paint thinned to the consistency of skim milk, and a hint of Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint.
NOTE: Using a DIY wash (paint + water) on wood will raise the grain. Make sure to give the wood a light sand when it is dry.
Then I sealed the top with two coats of clear Botanics Liquid Wax. Love that stuff!
The ugly duckling becomes a swan!!
UPDATE – Related Post: Week 7 – Living Room Reveal
What piece of furniture do you have that could be transformed instead of thrown out?
Now, let’s all hop over to Calling it Home to check out what the 20 featured bloggers and other guest participants are working on in Week 3 of this season.
You can follow the progress of my living room makeover, by connecting with me on Facebook or by receiving weekly updates by email.