How to Make a Pallet Coffee Table

January 31, 2019

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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One of my favorite gifts to give newlyweds or new homeowners is a Pallet Coffee Table. They are so easy to build and take very little time. I have thrown these together, last minute, in just a few hours. The most time-consuming part: waiting for Amazon to deliver the wheels. 🙂 And they’re pretty darn fast.  :0

So, let’s get started on our pallet coffee table….The hardest part about this project is tearing apart your pallet boards. I have found the easiest and fastest way to do this is with a reciprocating saw. If you don’t have one, check with your neighbors, good chance someone close by has one. But if that doesn’t pan out, this tool on Amazon (the Duckbill Deck Wreckerafilliate link) is a great resource for separating your boards.

How to Make a Farmhouse Pallet Coffee Table

Based on the following dimensions: 39.5 L; 27.5 W; 19″ Tall

Step One: Disassemble Pallets

It is helpful to start with 3 pallets. Many times pallet boards are broken or badly cracked, so it’s good to have some extras…just in case.

Separate all of the boards from one another using the tool I linked to above or the reciprocating saw (also called a sawzall).

Step Two: Trial Build

Once I have broken down all of my boards, I like to do a mock-build. This helps me plan out which boards I want to use and how closely I want my boards pushed together for the table top and shelves.

Step Three: Cut boards to size

Use a miter saw to cut all of your boards to the same size. Be sure to wear safety glasses!! Pallets are notorious for having random nails throughout them. Protect your eyes!!

Step Four: Sand!! And sand some more!

Definitely the most time-consuming part of the project. I like to throw in some earbuds and listen to tunes as I sand away with a 60-grit sandpaper, using my Ridgid Random Orbital Sander….affiliate link.

Step Five: Assemble the bottom shelf

Lay out three cross boards. (These are the thicker boards that the pallet boards sit on top of).

Place your boards for the bottom shelf on top of the cross boards (I try to use my rougher boards for this section, since they really won’t be seen).

Drill your horizontal boards (pallet boards) into the cross boards and flip this section over. (As seen in the picture below)…

Paint your bottom shelf boards.

Paint the tops and sides only. No one will see the bottoms (unless they’re laying underneath your coffee table. 🙂 )

Step Six: Assemble middle shelf

Drill each board onto your cross boards (like you did in step five).

My favorite screws to use for most of my projects are GRK FIN/Trim Trim Head Screws...affiliate link. For this project, I used 8 x 1-1/4″ screws.

Paint again….

Step Seven: Cross boards (last set)

Set three cross boards perpendicular to your middle shelf boards (One on each end and one in the middle…as shown below).

Using a Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes and attach these cross boards into your middle shelf. (Sidenote: If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, I highly recommend getting one. It makes projects so much easier. My Kreg Jig is my most used tool)…

If you don’t have a Kreg-Jig, you will have to drill sideways down into your cross boards…not easy to do, but can be done. Or you can easily purchase your Kreg Jig here…I know you will love it!! (Affiliate Link)

Step Eight: Assemble top shelf

Follow the same procedures for Step Six.

Here’s a side view…

Step Nine: Paint and Wax

This is where you give it the character you want.

You can find the steps for this look by scrolling to the bottom of the original post to this project….here.

To get the look of this one…I used a wet brush technique. Apply a different color of stain to each board, then dry-brush white paint on each board. Then use a wrung out wet paper towel to wipe off the paint. This will give it that white wash look….

Step Ten: Add wheels

Last step!! I ordered my wheels through Amazon and spray painted them with Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint. Here’s the link to get the same wheels I used. Purchasing them as a set of four is the less expensive way to go… (Affiliate Link)

And that’s it!! The pallet coffee table takes shape fast and it’s so rewarding to watch it all come together. Definitely a statement piece too!!

Building your own pallet wood coffee table is a super rewarding DIY project to undertake, and its customization potential is massive.

One key consideration to keep in mind is the ultimate objective of ensuring your new piece is cohesive in the overall look of your home.

If you have no other wooden finishes around, your new creation might stand out a touch, so why not take on a wood feature wall DIY project with pine wall planks or leftover pallet wood if you have any?

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

Affiliate Links are included in this post. 

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  1. Niki


    What were the dimensions of your coffee table? Just wanted to see if that size would fit in our space.

    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Niki,
      Thank you for your question. The dimensions are:
      3’4″ length
      2’4″ width
      1’7″ tall
      Hope that helps.

      • Monika

        Hi! Are these measurements including the wheels? I’m trying to figure out the height of the stable without wheels.

        • Nicole Nigg

          Hi Monika,
          Here are the dimensions of the table…39.5 L; 27.5 W; 19″ tall.
          Hope this helps. 🙂

  2. Renee

    What kind of paint did you use?

    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Renee,
      Unfortunately, I did this a while back (in my earlier blogging days) and did not write the process down. I wish I would have, as I have had many ask about it. Sorry! I do know I gave it a coat of black paint first and then add the other colors with more of a dry brush technique. I hope that helps. Thank you for your question. Wish I could have given a more exact answer.

  3. Monika

    Hi! Can you please tell me what size wheels you used. . Much appreciated.

    • Monika

      Nevermind, I found the link. Thank you

      • Nicole Nigg

        Hi Monika,
        Glad you found the link. Let me know if you have any other questions!



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