How to Make a Concrete Pub Table

Hey DIYers!  This Concrete Pub Table is a great project for anyone who needs a modern table that looks great on the patio or in the house.  The concrete top is a solid  tabletop that will last for years and give a modern look to any setting it is placed in.  The LED lights under the clear coasters brighten up the table and provide great ambiance!  And the ice cooler in the center is beyond convenient for chilling beverages without getting in the way or taking up table space.  The Concrete Pub Table is a very approachable project for beginners who have never worked with concrete and want to give it a try. It’s also a great project for those more experienced concrete folks out there. I built this with my friend Leah from Be_Uncaged. Give her a follow on Instagram to help support our fellow DIY’er and friend 🙂

Gather supplies, materials, and tools

Tools Needed

Miter Saw​– I’d recommend a 12 inch miter saw
Table Saw OR Circular Saw
Drill
Impact Driver (Optional)
Orbital Sander​– Ryobi makes a nice one.
JigSaw
Respirator mask
Concrete Trowel
Kreg Jig
Bolt Cutter
Rubber mallet or something to vibrate concrete
Trowel (or putty knife ) – to help smooth underside of concrete
Chisel or flat blade screwdriver to remove sidewalls of mold
Flat pry bar to easily remove foam (optional)

Tape measure, straight edge, pencil

Respirator/dust mask, eye, ear, and hand protection
*Please note some of the links in this tutorial are affiliate links. By using the links to purchase products, you’ll help support more projects on DIYPETE.com. Thank you 🙂

Shopping List

Concrete Part of the Project: 
4×8 Sheet of Melamine (¾ inch thick)
1/4 inch thick clear acrylic sheet
Concrete Mix (Countertop or 5000 PSI  bag mix)
Portland Cement for paste to fill in voids (mix with water or acrylic fortifier)
Cheng Concrete Sealer and Cheng Concrete wax
LED Lights ( Optional )
Battery Powered LED Lights ( Optional )

Wooden Base Table
2×4’s
4×4’s
Wood Screws
Wood Glue

LED Light Strip
LED Battery Pack (optional, can plug lights in)
Outdoor Velcro

Approximate Total Cost for Concrete Top and Wood Base: $243
Approximate weight of concrete: 200 pounds

Detailed Downloadable Pub Table Plans

Diy pub table plans

Cut the melamine to form the mold

The first step in this project is to cut base piece and side strips. This step will use up about half of the 4×8 sheet.

Using a table saw to cut Melamine

Cutting the Melamine

Assemble and prepare the melamine form

Next we will need to assemble the form.  Use screws every 6″ to 8″ to get a tight fit between the walls and the base of the frame.  Be sure that the walls are all square to each other and to the base as this will form the shape of the table.  Next you will need to use masking tape next to all the seams leaving 1/8″ to 1/4″ of space next to the seam.  Then use a caulk gun to lay silicon on the seams.  Dip your finger in water and go back over the silicon, making sure it covers the seam and is smooth.

Assembling the Melamine Form

Assembling the melamine form

Laying tape on the seams

Laying tape on the seams

Cut the acrylic coasters

Cut out the acrylic coasters so that to prepare them for the mold. Lightly sand the coasters so they diffuse the light from the LEDs.

Cutting the acrylic with the Mitre saw

Cutting the acrylic with the miter saw

Sanding the Acrylic

Sanding the acrylic

Cut foam and layout table inserts

Use a square and tape measure to lay the coasters evenly.  Next, trace around them with a pencil.   Do the same thing for the bucket that will be in the center of the tabletop. Center the bucket and then trace its outline.

Next, create the foam knockouts that will create spaces for the bucket and coasters through the tabletop.  Use a jigsaw to cut out a foam circle the size of the bucket top and then use a belt sander to clean up the foam.  Once the foam is cleaned up and smooth you will need to use tape (packing tape or duct tape) around the outside of the of the foam cylinder so the surface is perfectly smooth against the concrete.

Use the same process to create rectangles that will be attached to the coasters so there is a space all the way through the concrete for the LED lights to shine through.

Use the silicon to glue all the coasters and foam inserts to their marked spots in the form.

Remove the tape around the seams so there is a smooth small coat of silicon around all the seams

Tracing Mold Layout

Tracing mold layout

Foam Cut and Glued to Layout & Removing Tape

Foam cut and glued to layout & removing tape

Cut steel reinforcement

Now with all of our inserts in place we will need to take the steel reinforcement mesh and cut it to fit the melamine form.  Use a bolt cutter to cut it down to size and then cut out sections for the foam inserts to fit through.

Reinforcement Cut to Size

Reinforcement cut to size

Mix concrete and pour base layer

Wear gloves and a good mask or a respirator so you don’t breathe in the concrete dust. Mix the concrete (1 or 2 bags at a time) and get it to an oatmeal like consistency.  Pour the concrete into the form using a bucket so it fills the form a little more than half way.  Tap the sides of the form with a hammer to get and air bubbles out as best as possible.

Mixing the Concrete

Mixing the concrete

Lay in reinforcement and pour top layer

Lay the steel reinforcement we cut earlier into the concrete so it is flat and just covered in the concrete.  Mix another batch of concrete and pour that into the form so the form is filled to the top.  Continue to tap the sides and underside with a hammer to remove any air bubbles. Next, go across the form using a long board going back in for in a sawing motion to level the concrete.  Once that is done the concrete will need to set for at least 48 hours.

Laying Reinforcement on the First Layer of Concrete

Laying reinforcement of the first layer of concrete

Pour Top Layer of Concrete

Pour top layer of concrete

Cut out legs and supports for table base

Begin assembling the base.  Use a mitre saw to cut the legs and cross supports.

Cutting the legs with the mitre saw

Cutting the legs with the mitre saw

Drill pockets holes and assemble table base

Using a Kreg jig , drill pocket holes into the inside face of all of the cross supports on both ends.  Use the pocket holes to assemble the table, starting with the legs and the top supports laid out on a flat surface so they are all square.  Secure them together with screws through the pocket holes making sure that all boards are square and pulled together with the screws.  Then use a similar process to attach the second set of supports making sure to measure from the bottom of every leg so they are level.

Once the table is assembled put on at least 2 coats of finish. We use a deck sealer from Thompson’s Waterseal.

Drilling Pocket Holes

Drilling pocket holes

 

Laying out the Table Frame on a Table

Laying out the table frame on a flat table

Assembling Table Frame

Assembling table frame

Adding in top supports after Finish

Adding in top supports after finish is applied

Remove set concrete from the form

Once the concrete has set for a couple of days, remove the screws from the melamine form and carefully take off the side boards.

Put finish on the tabletop

After you remove the tabletop from the form, check for any pockets that could be large enough that you need fill them.  If there are no large pockets, you can begin sanding.  Take your time sanding the tabletop, making sure to sand both top and bottom as well as any corner of edge surface that anyone may touch.  You can use 120 or 220 grit sandpaper to do the sanding being.

If there are any large pockets from air bubbles us the Portland cement slurry mixture to fill voids in concrete.  To mix this you simply use water (or acrylic fortifier) and Portland cement. Make this mixture and fill in any spots that you may see. Let this dry and cure before sanding it down again.

Once you are happy with the top, use water and a cloth to wash any dust off of the surface of the concrete before applying the sealer.  Next, apply 4 to 6 even smooth coats of your sealer.

Applying sealer after sanding

Applying sealer after sanding

Lay tabletop on base

Once the table has finished setting and the sealer has dried you can lay your tabletop onto the wooden base.

Laying the Table top on the legs

Laying the tabletop on the legs

Run LED’s underneath coasters and cooler

To finish off the table you can run LED lights underneath the tabletop making sure that they shine through the coasters and through the cooler.

Running the LED's underneath the table

Running the LED’s underneath the table

Enjoy your new table!

Finished Pub Table

Thanks so much for checking out the Concrete Pub Table post and I’d love to hear how your project goes! Please post photos on Facebook at www.facebook.com/diyprojectswithpete and subscribe to my Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/diyprojectswithpete.

 

  • Robbie

    Can you please recommend what sealer and wax should be used on outside concrete countertops?

  • Robbie

    Hi Pete,
    I am making a countertop for my grill outside…first time with concrete! Question, would you recommend the mesh over rebar (#2 – 3/16)? If so, why or would both be equal? I was originally going to lay the rebar (3/16) around the perimeter and double where the necks are for the grill cutout.
    Also, would you recommend wet sander/diamond sanding pads or just using the normal orbital sander/sanding pads (200, 400, 800, 1500 & 3000…overkill)?
    Finally….do you recommend the wet concrete with plastic while drying?
    Thanks in advance!!!

    • DIYPETE

      Robbie,
      If you have access to thinner rebar as mentioned, I’d recommend using it around the perimeter and knock out areas to help increase the strength. You could use the mesh in the larger areas in addition to the rebar.

      An orbital sander will work just fine and give you a natural finish. If you have access to a wet polisher you could go up to 800 grit and get a nice finish. Lastly, I do recommend covering the concrete with plastic while drying to help it cure evenly.

      Cheers

      -Pete

      • Robbie

        Thank you sir!

      • Robbie

        One other important question, how do you recommend moving? I have the mold/countertop on top of the base now but will need to move the base to back deck and countertop from garage. Is it best to transport the countertop in the mold and is it best to cary using a dolly or with friends on its side?

  • Tammy Hickey

    Pete,
    I absolutely love the projects you’ve done so far and can’t wait to try building these for my American Legion Post. I think these tables will be a great hit for our outdoor area. Looking forward to getting the plans when posted. Thanks.

    • Hi Tammy! Awesome! Have fun building!