As usual, when looking for a modern coffee table build, I perused Pinterest for the perfect fit. Usually when I don’t find anything that catches my eye there, I search my favorite furniture stores for ideas. My go-to’s Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, McGee & Co, Arhaus, West Elm….to name a few. When the Folsom Wood coffee table popped up on Pottery Barn’s site, I knew that was the one! I love the chunkiness of this piece. It is such a solid, modern coffee table with clean lines and the finish on it is perfect!
And that $700 price tag doesn’t discourage me…because I’m going to build mine for a LOT less. Can’t wait to share with you how to build one too. So, let’s get to it!
HOW TO BUILD A MODERN COFFEE TABLE
(Instructions are based on a 49″ long x 16 1/2″ wide; 20″ tall coffee table) If building a different size, be sure to adjust measurements accordingly).
Wood Needed for Modern Coffee Table:
2- 3/4″ 4×8 sheets of quality plywood
4- 2x4x8 pine boards
Materials Needed for Modern Coffee Table:
GRK Wood Screws 1 1/2″ (any brand wood screw will work; just sharing my favorite here)
Finish (I.E. paint/stain/poly) (If building for an outdoor space, be sure to use exterior poly)
Here’s a list of the Finish products I used:
Table saw (OPTIONAL)
Affiliate Links Included
NOTE: If you’ve never used a Kreg Jig, here’s a great tutorial. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend buying one. You will use it all the time in the DIY realm! And it makes builds so much easier! Amazon has a great price for them! Here’s the link!!
Step One: Make all of your cuts
Cut four 2×4’s at 13″ each
Cut four 2×4’s at 12″ each
Cut four 2×4’s at 47 1/2″ each
Step Two: Drill pocket holes
Drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes on both ends of all of your above cuts except the longer boards (47 1/2″)….
Step Three: Build sides
Attach two 13″ boards to two 47 1/2″ boards using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. Make sure it’s square.
Repeat these steps with your remaining 13″ and 47 1/2″ boards. You should now have your two sides…
Step Four: Add stretchers to the sides
Attach all four 12″ boards to one side, using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. Make sure pocket holes are facing out. This will make it easier to attach the other side….
Attach the other side to the top of the stretchers (12″ boards), using 2 12″ p.h. screws. Note: this picture shows the frame on its side. Be sure to flip it once to sit it upright, before starting next step (“Wrapping the Frame”)….
Step Five: Wrap frame with plywood
Your coffee table frame should now be in the upright position and look like this. (See picture below). Cut plywood to fit each section and attach using 1 1/2″ wood screws. I found it easiest to attach in the following order:
Ends (front and back)…
It should now look like this…
Sides of ends…
Bottom and top of long 2×4’s…
Top and bottom…
Step Six: Attach edge-banding
Using a hot iron, attach edge banding to all exposed plywood edges. This is a very simple process. Simply, cut the edge banding to fit and iron it on. Press it down for firmer grip…using a wood block, slide it up and down on the ironed-on edge banding.
Step Seven: Ready for stain
Now you’re ready for stain.
Brush on Pre-Stain first and let it dry.
Then apply Tinsmith Gray and wipe off excess. Allow to dry.
Apply Special Walnut next and wipe off excess. Allow to dry.
Give it 2-3 coats polyurethane.
That’s it! You now have a beautiful Pottery Barn-inspired modern coffee table; for a fraction of the price….
Want to build an end table to match? Plans coming soon!
PIN IT FOR LATER….
Until next week,
Happy Building, Friend!!
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POTTERY BARN FOLSOM WOOD COFFEE TABLE (If you would rather buy one than build it 🙂 )
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