Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY: From Door to Coffee Table

This is BY far one of my favorite handmade pieces in my home!  I honestly can't take full credit for the idea.  I have Pinterest and this post (LOTS of great photos/step-by-step) to thank for the inspiration and 'how-to'.

Silly me, I didn't take any photos of the process; all I have are the before and afters!  I never thought that I would be writing about the steps I took to get the table just the way I wanted but I've had so many people ask about it I thought I'd give it my best and put as much detail as I could into words.

  • Table Saw
  • Power Sander
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Drill with various bits
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Disposable foam brush
  • Old t-shirt (use as a rag)
  • Pocket joint screws
  • Set of 4 casters
  • Pine boards for table base
I first started by hitting up our local Re-Use Center to see if I could find a door that could be easily cut into 3 pieces.  I found the most amazing door - solid oak and heavy-as-all-get-out! $25?  SOLD!

The Process:
1.  I took my hand-held power sander to both sides of the door making sure to remove as much of the polyurethane that was on there as I could.  It didn't have to be perfect; to me, less than perfect is the best! 

2.  Next I needed to figure out just how tall I was going to want this table to be.  I measured our current ottoman and it was about 20" tall.  I then measured the casters and thickness of the board that I purchased for the bottom of the table to make sure that I (my hubs) cut the door side panels to the correct height making sure to account for these additional elements.

*the dark lines indicate the cut lines.  We had some scrap from the legs but this just gives you an idea of how we went about cutting it.

3.  Cutting/Gluing/Drilling - Next we used the table saw to cut the door down to size.  We drilled pocket holes where the side legs met up with the table top, glued the seams, and screwed it together. 

4.  Bottom Base - We measured the opening base of the table and cut 3 boards to size.  To join them together we did an edge joint with pocket hole screws which made the 3 boards look like 1 solid piece.

5.  Casters - We used 4 casters on the bottom of the table.  Use your power drill to screw them into the base of the table.

6.  Here's where the fun part began!  I knew I didn't want this table to be oak but rather something more 'antique' and 'distressed' looking.  I bought a quart of Martha Stewart paint from Home Depot in Milk Pail.  Honestly, for the little amount that I used I could have bought a sample!  I then dry brushed the entire door.  Dry brushing is basically the amount of paint on your brush vs. the speed to which you apply it. I barely dipped the tip of the brush into the paint before I took it to the table.  (if you get too much on your brush you can always wipe a little bit off on a rag before you apply it). The true success of this type of finish depends on the wood NOT being completely covered.  I just took my brush to the table and didn't care if some parts were thicker in paint or not.  I wanted wood to show through!  You don't want your brush really wet/heavy with paint at all!! 

7.  Once the paint was dry it was time to stain.  I wanted to stain the top to both mute the color and also make it look 'antique'.  For this process I used Minwax Wood Finish in Jacobean 2750 and used my foam brush to wipe the stain on.  Just as I put the stain on I pretty much immediately took my old t-shirt rag to it and wiped it off. Pretty simple, huh?  I did this to both the outside and inside of the table. For the bottom base of the table I just stained the entire thing - I like the 2-toned look of it!

8.  After the stain was dry I put on 2 coats of polyurethane (letting the first coat dry and then lightly sanding it with a 220 grit paper before the 2nd coat). 

And there you have it!  In words, how I transformed this old door into a new coffee table (with LOTS of storage) for our living room.  The dry brushing/stain paint techinque is BY FAR the easiest method that I've come up with for making my furniture looked 'antiqued'! 

I hope you were able to get a good idea of how I transformed this door.  Maybe next time I'll do a better job at keeping my camera by my side! ;)

If you're looking for other unique and fun DIY coffee table ideas, check out Top Reveal!


  1. SO adorable! I have to try one day! Thanks for linking up girl! xo

  2. Love this idea! We used to have a coffee table made from a window, but one of the panes broke, so we have another one.

  3. Such a great idea! Love it! I am your newest follower, love your blog! Hope you will come check mine out :) have a blessed day!