Making a coffee table from an old door is a 3 step process:
- Marry a handsome man with 2 sisters.
- Make sure one of those sisters is married to a talented carpenter/sand sculptor/physical therapist.
- 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!