How to Make a Coffee Table from a Door

by Kimba on August 11, 2009

in Do it yourself

Making a coffee table from an old door is a 3 step process:

  1. Marry a handsome man with 2 sisters.
  2. Make sure one of those sisters is married to a talented carpenter/sand sculptor/physical therapist.
  3. Let the carpenter do the hard work. His name should be Bob.

Since I didn’t do the heavy lifting on this project, I can’t give you blow-by-blow instructions on how to make it (I know. I know. I set your expectations way too high), but I can give you a general idea that you can use for inspiration.

I found the door for $20 at my favorite junk/salvage store. I practically squealed when I saw it’s 1-panel design. Perfect for a coffee table! (Oh fine. I DID squeal…and I clapped too. So there.)

I purchased those glorious, chunky legs from an online shop. They’re made of pine so they’re less expensive than the high-end wood ones. Try here and here for different styles. Prices vary greatly depending on the type of wood.

The apron (the part that goes between all the legs) is made from pine 1″x4″ boards.

The door looked like this in the beginning. It was an old-fashioned swinging door…probably from a kitchen. That meant that there weren’t many hardware holes and no door knob holes. There are holes in the top and bottom where the swinging mechanisms were located but they don’t bother me. I fully expect that they’ll be filled with peanut butter or Legos very soon.

Bob used a table saw to cut the top and bottom down so that it was symmetrical and he used some other fancy tool to round off the square edges. Then he did all sorts of carpentry magic to construct the apron and attach the legs.

The table came back to me structurally complete. I just had to finish the top and the bottom. I sanded edges of the door with my power hand sander and used Minwax Gel Stain in Mahogany to get a spot-on match with the center of the panel. If you’re afraid to try staining a piece of furniture, you definitely want to try the Gel Stain. It is my new best friend. Soooo easy to use. You just spread it on with a sponge brush, leave it for a few minutes, then wipe it off. Works perfectly every time!

Then I used the Minwax Wipe-On Poly. My other new best friend. I used an automotive buffer to wipe it on and then let it dry. You can do a second (or third) coat in a couple of hours. LOVE IT!

For the bottom, I used Minwax Water-Based Wood Stain in an earthy green color (Botanical). I wanted to be able to see the wood grain and a colored stain is a great way to get the color of paint without hiding the wood. You get the colored stain mixed at the paint counter and there are probably 40 colors to choose from.

After I saw the first two coats of stain, I wanted the legs to be more brown-green, so I used a little of my Caromal Colors toner on top of the stain. This stuff is so useful! After the stain and the toner, the legs and apron got a couple of coats of the wipe-on poly too.

If you’re looking to build a table like this for yourself, here is a great tutorial on building a coffee table. You can find all the supplies that you need at Home Depot or Lowes.

If you want to see more of the “after” pictures, click here for yesterday’s post. Lot’s more pictures there!

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1 Anonymous August 11, 2009 at 4:57 am

Oh Kimba I love this. Our living room at our house is 24 x 20. I have been looking for a good size coffee table for years and I think this would be just perfect. Awesome idea.

Also wanted to let you know of an auction I seen on another blog this morning. It really touched me what the blog world is doing for this family. Thought you and your readers might want to check it out.

2 Kitty Scraps August 11, 2009 at 5:17 am

I love your coffee table! I've been so wanting a new coffee table and have been on the look out for possible candidates to rehab. Now I can broaden my search to include old doors! Love your table, it's amazing and absolutely perfect for your family room!

3 Blushing hostess August 11, 2009 at 6:12 am

Oh, boy. This suddenly went waaay over my head. Did you mention a carpenter int here some where? 🙂

4 Jaime @ A Place Out West August 11, 2009 at 6:14 am

Such a great project! Thanks for those links for the table legs; I have this crazy idea that I'm going to talk my husband into building me some kind of a side table for my dining room.

5 tales from an oc cottage August 11, 2009 at 6:40 am

Now THAT'S the way to get a project done!!!

m ^..^

6 Amy @ Living Locurto August 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

You are SO crazy crafty! This turned out wonderful:-)

7 Beansieleigh August 11, 2009 at 6:56 am

Hi Kimba! First time to your blog, and I just LOVE this! I have two large couches that face each other, and have been struggling with whether I want to coffee tables or one BIG coffee table to share between the two… So I am very excited to have this as an option now! Love your colors too! ~tina

8 Joy August 11, 2009 at 6:56 am

Looks Great! I love the character an old door brings to a new piece of furniture.
We've built a lot of furniture pieces out of old doors.
To see what we've done, I'd love you to visit my blog at:
and click on the label:
furniture I-a-door

9 Amy August 11, 2009 at 7:08 am

We have to go junking together! That door rocks!

10 duchess August 11, 2009 at 7:30 am

Great project & not too difficult.

11 Runner Mom August 11, 2009 at 7:34 am

I just love your tutorials!! Thanks so much for all of these tips! When I find a cool door, I'll get back with you!!


12 Cheryl August 11, 2009 at 7:35 am

Your BIL Bob rocks and he so needs to go into business doing side jobs like this. Thanks for sharing how it all came together.

13 Sherrie August 11, 2009 at 7:59 am

What a great idea! Layla has so many great ideas. I am looking forward to seeing more changes she suggested. You are doing a wonderful job on this room.
Have a great day!

14 Holly August 11, 2009 at 8:00 am

It's lovely…you really found the perfect door!
I have a coffee table that I'm considering painting or something, and the gel stain may be a good option. Thanks for featuring it.

15 Joanna August 11, 2009 at 8:09 am

Can I borrow that Bob in your family? *smiles* This is such a great project!

16 MaRiN August 11, 2009 at 8:24 am

Fabulous Job! I've always wanted a door table. I'll have to see if I can talk my hubby into making one.

17 michellejohnnie August 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

Great idea and tutorial. I linked to it at

18 Robin August 11, 2009 at 9:10 am

Looks great. Wondering if you have ever used the wipe on poly on a painted surface?

19 thrifty and chic motif August 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

Thats a fabulous idea! You've inspired me to find a some sort of door and make a buffet or side table for my dining room. Let's hope I'm as great as a carpenter as I hope I am 🙂

Your designs are divine!

20 jeanne August 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

Hi Kimba, I'm glad I stopped today. your door coffee table is wonderful. Lucky you to have family genius to help. However, your part in this project finished the coffee table perfectly beautiful. Good job and thanks for sharing.


21 Melissa @ The Inspired Room August 11, 2009 at 10:43 am

I don't have Bob, but I do have some gorgeous original mahogany doors in my old house. If that house doesn't sell soon I might start taking all the doors down and making coffee tables for a living. I'll be in touch with Bob for tips.



22 Melissa @ The Inspired Room August 11, 2009 at 10:44 am

shoot…note to self, next time you try to write an anon. comment click anonymous. It is SO obvious when your picture and link pops up.

23 Jennifer Juniper August 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

Did you get your door at Construction Junction? I've been planning a trip there all summer, and now it's mid August and I haven't gotten there yet. Hubby is happy, he hates this kinds of stuff until he sees it finished. Always the doubter…

24 Shilo August 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Beautiful, Kimba! I have a can of green paint that is waiting to be applied to my hall table, I love your idea of just doing the legs in color. So thanks for the inspiration!
Would love to have you stop by and see pics of our new home when you have a minute!
Blessings, Shilo

25 Amanda @ Serenity Now August 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Laughed out loud when I read the part about peanut butter and Legos. I found a plastic baby bottle in our giant water cooler change jar last night. Why do they do that?

Lucky you to have a carpenter in the family tree. 😉

My Decorating Dilemmas Party will be up tonight after 10 (ET) and all day tomorrow…I hope maybe you can swing by. 🙂

26 Kara August 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I so badly want to make a coffee table out of a door, they are the coolest things. I wish I had a Bob! If I want a table, I'm going to have to do it the hard way. Darn!

27 Julia @ Hooked on Houses August 11, 2009 at 2:29 pm

It looks great, Kimba! Love this idea.

28 Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful August 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Your coffe table is absolutely lovely!

And oh my goodness…i am sooooo excited about my big win! But, hello? The pressure of my project being featured on ASPTL is giving me heart palpitations! As my 3 year old likes to tell my 1 year old…Just take a breathe and count to 3!


29 thebeadgirl August 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm

i am going door shopping tomorrow….and no one can stop me…so there!

30 Lylah Ledner August 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Fabulous post and wonderful idea. Barn doors are fun to make tables out of too. Just yesterday I saw some sweet looking trays made out of barn doors…the price? $110. I gasped and thought how easy it would be to do…if you had a Bob around…

la maison et le jardin

31 Hillary @ The Other Mama August 11, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Love the door turned table! So perfect for an odd shaped area or any area atall! Beautiful! Love the green.
Do they have Bobs at Lowe's or Home Depot?

32 fabulousfinishes August 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Amanda – congratulations! I will e you for mailing info – can't wait to see what you create – dont' sweat it , its all easy peasy!

33 Katie August 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I couldn't find a BIL Bob so I married a DH Dan. 😉 He will be posting some of his DIYs on my blog soon.

I just posted my DIY for DIY Day so I hope that is still happening on Wed. (tomorrow or today depending on when you read this). I swear if I had a tale like a puppy it would be wagging with excitemnt. Can't wait to see everyones creations and share mine.

34 Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick August 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Kimba, this is gorgeous!! I LOVE that it's not paneled — it's user friendly. Just beautiful.

35 Anonymous August 27, 2009 at 9:03 pm

i am a grade 9 woodwork student that is going tech soon and i had a look at your project and it inspires me to do something like that aswell. well done xxx 🙂 xxx

36 Anonymous August 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm

and i love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

37 Paperbella January 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Wow! That is the coolest coffee table I’ve ever seen. The fact that it has been upcycled makes it so cool! It’s the perfect size!

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