diy shiplap fireplace coffee table build

See Also: Easy to Build Shiplap Fireplace Tutorial

diy coffee table pottery barn folsom

Why I Built This Coffee Table

I built a similar styled console table here and the 52″ version here (pictured below), and was just smitten with the sleek but rustic design, and just had to build the matching coffee table.  

Pottery barn folsom console

This entire collection is so beautiful!

Watch the Console Table Build Video

While I did not film the coffee table build, I did film the matching console table build, and the build steps are very similar.  Please take a second to watch that video –

How I Built this Coffee Table

This coffee table was a challenge for me, but I enjoyed stretching my skills and creating something I was super proud of in the end.  Do not attempt this project without the right tools and a good amount of building experience.  This is an advanced project.

coffee table building steps

Here’s the lumber I started with.  I did run the boards through the table saw to create the square edges.  My 1x12s ended up measuring 11-1/8″ wide – just make sure all the 1×12 widths are the same.  The 1x3s I actually ripped from 1×6 boards to get that square edge.

cutting with a miter saw

After testing my saw, I cut the face frame boards first.  I am using a 10″ sliding compound miter saw.  This is the smallest saw I would recommend, a 12″ would work better.

face frame boards for coffee table

Here’s the face frame pieces cut.

face frame pocket holes mitered corners

Then I drilled 3/4″ pocket holes on the ends of the shorter face frame boards.  I was careful not to let any pocket holes show on the side edges of the face frame boards.

kreg jig face frame

Then I clamped the face frame boards and attach with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

completed face frames mitered corners

The two face frames need to match EXACTLY.  

Now for the 1x12s.

bevel cut miter corners

It was actually a challenge to make the 45 degree bevel cuts on the saw, the 1x12s wanted to move on me as I was cutting.  Do double check your cuts and make sure they are straight all the way across.  

pocket holes joining panels

Here’s the two top pieces.  I drilled pocket holes to attach the two pieces together, and also pocket holes to attach to the face frames.

attaching panels to face frame

After joining the two 1×12 pieces together, I attached to one of the face frames.

attaching sides to face frame

Then I repeated those steps for the two side panels.

attaching second face frame

Then I attach the second face frame.

nailing corners with brad nails

For the corners, I nailed with 1-1/4″ brad nails.

strengthening top and bottom spans

On the underside of the top (and later the bottom shelf) I added the 1×2 supports to help support the center of the coffee table.

attaching bottom shelf

Then I cut the bottom pieces, attach together and then fit inside the two face frames and attach to the coffee table.  

inside side panels

The inside pieces are 1x12s pocket holed together and set in place.

fitting side panels

I had to use a screw to help me pull the panel back in place when I was setting it (see the screw at the top left?). Then later I removed the screw. 

I nailed the inside panels on with 1-1/4″ brad nails.

unsanded coffee table

Construction is done!

This took about 3 hours to this point.

I filled the few nail holes with wood filler.  I also filled the corners that ended up having small gaps.

sanded coffee table

Then I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper in the direction of the wood grain.


stained coffee table

I stained the entire project with “golden oak” by Varathane.  It was not right…

white wash over yellow stain

So I added a watered down white paint layer,

white wash finish

Wiping it in and off in a very light layer.  So much better!

whitewashed stained wood

To protect the finish and make it wipe clean, I added a layer of clear Polyurethane.

This coffee table was not easy to build, but it was worth it!!  I ended up spending about 8 hours on it and $150 in lumber.  It is gorgeous, and I’m very proud that I was able to take on such a great project.  

finished coffee table photo


Free Plans to Build This Coffee Table

Here’s the free plans to build this coffee table.  Please send us in a photo if you build, we love seeing your work!