quick and dirty farmhouse coffee table

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Project by jamsomito posted 05-07-2019 01:43 AM 1127 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife wanted a coffee table a little bit bigger and a lot less… cheap than our $20, 10-year old, rickety IKEA table. I’ve had it on the list for a long time, but we had something that worked so it wasn’t a priority. That is, until she couldn’t take it anymore and promised I could make a “good” one later if I could just make something quick that would better suit our needs right now. I agreed, but I didn’t get it in writing… The result is the table you see here.

She loves the Joanna Gaines farmhouse style, so I did some quick internet searching and put together this design based on a number of different ones I’ve seen online, probably mostly Ana White, but a couple others too. Size was dictated by 1) space and 2) preference. Otherwise, here are a few design decisions I made.

1) My goal on this project was speed. Quick and dirty. Easy joinery – pocket holes. Simple design – frame and tops. Simple materials – all 2×6 from home depot; I actually wanted pine for the “rustic” qualities it brings to the style with age. The kids are doing a wonderful job accelerating the natural patina timeframe :D.

2) I made the x-bracing two complete, separate pieces. All the designs I found online had one functional angled piece and the other was chopped in two and brad nailed on. This thing wasn’t coming apart any time soon, but I didn’t want to sacrifice quality/ strength when leaving them whole and offset would be just as easy and stronger, so that’s what I did there. I originally wanted to do half-laps on these to put them in the same plane, but it went against the quick and dirty approach I wanted here.

3) I tongue-and-grooved the tops because I just can’t leave well enough alone. Had I the time, I would have done breadboard ends, but way too complex for this project. I couldn’t glue the tops together because I didn’t want to account for wood movement when attaching the top to the frame. I didn’t like the deck-board look where you could see through gaps between each board if I screwed them down and left room for movement between them. So, I did tongue-and-groove and screwed each board down in the center. There is room for expansion and contraction between each board and it looks like one solid piece (you can’t see between the boards). Yes the grooves attract crumbs, etc, but it’s easy enough to vacuum out IMO.

In the end, this construction lumber really is terrible. It felt pretty dry but alas was nowhere near it. I’d have been pretty upset on any other project, but it fit the bill for this one. I actually like how it made the tops a little uneven here and there. But it was baaad…

Also, leave it to me to screw up the easiest joint in the craft (facepalm)...

I used a mix of sunbleached and weathered gray stain by Varathane and 3 coats of water based poly (GF high performance) for the tops, a coat of shellac primer and a couple coats of white paint for the frame.

4 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16415 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 05-07-2019 05:52 AM

Awesome colours. I love this table – real classic, rustic, barn design. Realy profesionaly made joinery of top table.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View awsum55's profile


798 posts in 1432 days

#2 posted 05-07-2019 06:00 AM

I think it looks great for being made with construction lumber. I think the design is attractive and so is the color combo.

-- John D, OP, KS

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 05-07-2019 09:22 AM

Like the style and the color combination. Pocket holes are actually pretty strong but often get a bad rap because of their simplicity. The dual “X” looks cool and will be sturdy, especially with kids around.

Nice work on this!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View bp2878's profile


20 posts in 699 days

#4 posted 05-07-2019 09:30 PM

very nice!

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