DIY farmhouse coffee table topper

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
The thing about having a house with a finished basement and no garage is that there is no “someday” when it comes to furniture. It’s just “use it or lose it.” There is nowhere to store anything that is not an integral part of your decor.

So when it came to our living room coffee table, I had to either make it work or kick it (back) to the curb. Yes, this is the same coffee table I rescued from a curb one spring. I painted it white and my handy husband built two little benches that slide perfectly underneath.

DIY coffee table benches {Heather's Handmade Life}

It worked well for a long time, but then our living room underwent two dramatic adoptions: a puppy and a rug.

Our new living room rug!

Both new additions meant that our children (ages four and six) are no longer allowed to eat in the living room. (Partially because I don’t want the puppy to get sick from errant chocolate chips from their pancakes, but mostly because this rug was hella expensive and the idea of it being stained with chocolate makes me feel faint.)

(EDITED TO ADD: Ohhhhh, but look what happened to the dog anyway.)

The white-painted coffee table with its modern lines didn’t look right against the vintage-looking Turkish rug (which, by the way, is from Wayfair and I love it). The coffee table was suddenly a yucky cheap (well, free) eyesore and we weren’t even using the benches anymore.

DIY coffee table benches {Heather's Handmade Life}

We’ll likely sell the coffee table (and benches) at some point, but for now I wanted a temporary solution.

I love the look of planked farmhouse coffee tables so I decided to create a “topper” that would slide onto the existing table — a giant upside-down tray, essentially.

I bought a couple of 1×4” boards to use as an “apron” that would wrap around the entire coffee table. There was absolutely no measuring involved — just holding the boards up against the sides of the table and marking my cuts with a pencil.

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
Measuring? Nope! Just holding boards up to the table to see what length to cut them.

Once I had a simple rectangle that was slightly larger than the coffee table, it was time to cut the planks. I cut six 1×6 boards to fit across the apron, with a few inches of overhang on all sides. I attached them quickly with my brad-nailer and the construction process was done. (Plus, now I know how to build a tray if I ever decide I need one!)

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
Planks = done!

Whoops, not quite done. I flipped the whole thing over and noticed some of the boards weren’t quite flat, so I nailed a few scrap pieces to the underside for stability.

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
Hush, husband!
“This feels like something you would do,” I announced to my handy husband, who was nearby playing video games.
He glanced over. “Yeah … but I would use longer supports that ran from one end to the other, not just little scraps in the middle that—”


After a quick sanding session in the backyard …

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
Smooth as a baby’s butt

I brought the table-topper back inside for staining. Since this was the first woodworking project I’ve done that was going to be used every single day, I wanted it to be perfect. I brushed on wood conditioner so the stain would go on evenly, followed up by two coats of stain and a couple of layers of poly. (I picked “Golden Oak” by Minwax so the table would match our hardwood floors as closely as possible.)

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
Minwax’s “Golden Oak” stain
The very next day, the table-topper was snugly in place. It looked like we had a brand-new coffee table!

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}

The topper is easy to remove if we ever decide we want the simple white table back, and I could even turn it into its own table by adding legs in the future. Now that’s a hard-working piece of furniture!

DIY farmhouse coffee table topper {Heather's Handmade Life}
Pin this post for later!

And here’s the original coffee table bench tutorial, if you liked it better the old way …

DIY coffee table benches {Heather's Handmade Life}
DIY coffee table benches: FULL TUTORIAL

UPDATED TO ADD: Here’s our current coffee table — nabbed from a curb AGAIN (woohoo) — and cut down to a more manageable size.

FREE coffee table makeover {Heather's Handmade Life}
Our current coffee table

2 Comments on “DIY farmhouse coffee table topper

  1. Pingback: My big FAT nightstand makeover – Heather's Handmade Life

  2. Pingback: Easy DIY sofa tables - My Hub List

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