How to Build a Coffee Table Using Wood Pallets

Woodworking is an easy feat and even a beginner can learn how to build a coffee table. It makes a great starter project since the steps are purely basic depending on the design that you are aiming to build. But for beginners, it would be advisable to opt for the uncomplicated versions.

Wood Pallet Coffee Table

True enough, there are plenty of wooden coffee tables offered by your local furniture stores and also by online sources. But why spend much on something that you can do on your own? Aside from the monetary savings, you will also have the chance to customize the table according to your needs. Read on to know how to build a coffee table.

First, you would need to secure all the materials required for your project. For this particular design, you will need to get the following:

  • Used pallets
  • 4 casters
  • Sandpaper
  • Soap and scrub brush
  • Wood glue
  • Screws
  • Varnish or paint
  • Paint brush
  • Measuring tape
  • Power drill/screwdriver
  • Saw

When looking for a pallet, make sure to look for something decent and not too worn out. You may get a new one if your budget will allow it. But a pallet that has been used only once or twice will already make a great material for your table. If you are planning to use fresh made pallets, then you have to cut all the pallet woods in the same length. In my opinion this is a tedious task, as opposed to buying used ones. The pallet woods are easily available in the house or you can buy used ones at pretty reasonable rates, so it will cost you mush less as compared to buying new ones.

You have to clean the used pallet using soap and water. This step will take away the dust and black dirt that you will see on the surface of the wood.

Then decide on the dimensions of the table. This is indeed a fundamental step when you are following instructions on how to build a coffee table. If the pallet is too big to your liking, cut away the portion that you no longer need using a saw (manual, jigsaw or saws-all, anything will do provided you are comfortable with the tool). Since the wood used for pallets are usually rough, you can start sanding the wood to make it free of splinters.

Sanding Pallet Wood

Add blocks of wood to the corners if you want more elevation for the table. Glue the wood together to make your coffee table sturdier. Then, use a power drill to make small holes and a screwdriver to fix the wood blocks into position. Measure the attached blocks to ensure that the table has a uniform height at all 4 corners. If you are already satisfied with the height, invert the table and install the casters to the corners.

In order to make a unique coffee table you can choose different style of legs. For example you can join them making a “V” shaped leg or you can use pipes as legs and add flanges. 

You now have a self-constructed coffee table to brag about. Just a little more finishing touches and it will be all set to grace your living room. And if anybody will ask you how to build a coffee table, you can already proudly say that it is just as easy as 1-2-3!


You can paint this coffee table with any color that will complement the room’s color scheme or just simply varnish it. And if you want a smooth top, you may order a perfectly cut glass with the same dimension as the coffee table surface.

There are many other tips and tricks that you can find online. Some designs are more straightforward while others have more intricate details. Depending on the level of your DIY skills, you can decide which designs to create for your home. And whatever finished product you can come up with, there is no doubt that you will be proud of the result because not everybody knows how to build a coffee table with their own hands.

Author: John Clax

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