How to Build a Farmhouse Style Coffee Table

I needed a new coffee table for the living room and this design fit the bill perfectly. I came across a table from that I loved, but modified it a bit because I wanted a breadboard style top. To see her plans click here. The difference between the table in this post is that I cut the top pieces to 41″ (vs 52″) and added the 2×6 pieces to each end, making it come to 52″ with a breadboard style top.


Level – Beginner to Intermediate – The hardest part is cutting the angled pieces

Lumber Cost – $45.00     Additional costs: Screws, Sandpaper, Stain, Poly

Overall Dimmensions: 52 x 27 x 18

Tools Needed

Mitre Saw – I use a Dewalt Mitre Saw – A circular saw will work if you don’t have a mitre saw
Orbital Sander
Sanding Block
Drill – I use a Dewalt
Kreg Jig – My favorite tool in the shop (Makes Pocket Holes)

Lumber from Home Depot

Shopping List



4     2×6 x 8 foot long Pine Boards for top
2     2×4 x 8 foot long Pine boards for legs and end supports
3     2×2 x 8 foot long Pine Boards for side stretchers
1      1×12 x 8 foot long Pine Board for lower shelf

Cut List


5 –  2×6   41″ long for top
2 – 2×6    29″ for breadboards – Trim in later step to around 27 or 27.5″

4 – 2×4    16 1/2″ long for legs
2 – 1×12   41″ for shelf
4 – 2×2  41″ side rails (upper and lower)
4 – 2×4  22 1/2″ end rails
2 – 2×2  22 1/2″ – both ends cut at 60 Degree Angle – See video for detailed instructions
4 – 2×2   11 1/4″ – 60 degree angle for outside end and 30 degree angle for inside end

1 box 2 1/2″ Kreg Screws
1 box 1 1/4″ Kreg Screws
16 – 2 1/2″ wood screws for attaching base to table top


120 and 220 Grit sandpaper for Orbital Sander
400 Grit sandpaper for sanding block
Semi-Gloss Polyurathane
Vinegar/Steel Wool – Optional for a distressed finish
Stain – I used Walnut Minwax
Couple Brushes

Complete Plans from

Lumber for Coffee Table

Step 1.

Make your cuts using a miter saw or circular saw. To cut the 60 degree angle for the “X” support you will need to make a jig similar to the one below.


To cut a 60 degree angle safely I built a jig. I simply nailed 1×4 boards together in a triangle shape. The back 1×4 rests flat on the miter saw fence. You can use the side that runs straight towards you as your new fence. Set the 2×2 board against the fence and slide it into place. Cut the angle at 30 degrees on your miter saw (it will actually cut it at 60 degrees because of your jig.


I explain the jig in this video.

Lumber for Farmhouse Table

Step 2 – Assemble Sides of Table

Once your cuts are made it’s time to assemble your table. For complete plans visit My table’s top has been modified by doing breadboard style ends.

In this step take your 2×2 rails that are 41″ long and drill  2 pocket holes on each end using a Kreg Jig. Then take 2 1/2 kreg screws and attach the side rails to each 2×4 end piece. Measure 2 1/4 inches up from the bottom to hang your lower 2×2 rail. Note that in the photo my pocket hole screws are pointing inward. The top rail’s pocket holes can face inside the table or to the ground. No matter what they won’t be seen. Make sure to have the lower rail’s pocket holes facing the floor so you’ll be able to attach the shelf to them later.


Step 3 – Assemble Ends


Drilling pocket holes with a Kreg-Jig

Attach the 22.5″ 2×4’s to each top end. Drill 2 pocket holes in each 2×4 end prior to attaching with 2 1/2 inch Kreg screws.

Step 4 – Attach lower 2×4 rails

Attach the lower 22 1/2″ 2×4 rails on each end. Measure 2 1/4 inches up from the bottom leg for placement.


Step 5 – Assemble lower shelf

Drill pocket holes to attach the 41″ 1×12 pieces to each other. Do them about every 8-10 inches.  After you’ve attached the boards to each other using 1 1/4″ Kreg screws drill more pocket holes around the perimeter of the entire piece. It will look like the photo below.


Step 6 – Attach Shelf

I’ve found that it is easiest to attach the shelf by attaching the 2×2 side rails prior to connecting it to the table. To do this you’ll sort of take a minor step back by removing the two lower 2×2 side rails (only 8 screws). Then drill the shelf to the 2×2’s as shown below. Lift the shelf into place and attach each end of the shelf to the lower end rails using 2 1/2″ Kreg Screws. Once that is secure flip the table right side up and add the cross supports.

Attaching shelf of coffee table

Step 7 – Attach cross supports

Use a nail gun or hammer and finish nails to connect the cross supports to the upper and lower 2×4 side rails. All outside angles are 60 degrees. The two shorter pieces have an inside angle at 30 degrees. The long piece is 22.5″ from outside edge to to inside edge. The 2 shorter pieces are 11 1/4″ from the inside to outer edge. Click here to see a video I made explaining the angles.


Step 8 – Assemble Table Top

Attach each 2×6 ( 41″ long ) to each other using 2 1/2″ pocket screws. The Pockets holes should be spaced about every 8 inches from each other. Use clamps to help hold boards as you attach them to each other if needed. Note that you will drill the two boards on each side into the center. Thus, the center board will not have any pocket holes drilled in it.


Step 9 – Attach Breadboard Ends

Take your breadboard ends and place them against the table top. Trim the end of the breadboards so they are flush with the width of the overall table. You will trim them down to around 27 1/4″ to 27 1/2″ most likely. Drill pocket holes so they line up to go in all 5 boards as shown below. Attach to the table top using 2 1/2″ Kreg screws.


Step 10 – Attach table top to base

Flip the table base upside down and set it on the bottom side of the table top. Center it and then screw through the bottom of the 2×2 into the table top with 2 1/2″ torque screws.  Use about 3 to 4 screws on each side of the base.


Flip the table upright and you are finished assembling the table!

Part 2 – Finishing

Distress, Sand, Stain, and Finish

Watch video for detailed instructions

The first step after completely assembling the table is to sand the project. I typically use an orbital sander with 120 Grit paper. Sand the top and all sides until everything is very smooth. Don’t sand too deep if you want to keep some of the wood’s original texture.

Step 1 – Sand

Use an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper to smooth the table. Sand the top and base.


Step 2 – Distress table with tools

Mark the table up with various tools to give the table character. I like to use a hammer and a small bit to punch holes in the top that resemble worm holes (see Episode 3 -Part 2 video). You can also run a circular saw blade across to give it individual saw marks (without it being plugged in). Hammers, scraping tools, bolts, pipe wrenches, crow bars, and other tools can be used to mark up the table and give it a unique look. Make sure to keep marks random so they look natural and don’t overdo the distressing!
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Step 3 – Use Vinegar / Steel Wool Mixture – Optional

A vinegar and steel wool mixture will distress your wood and give it more of a barnwood look. The mixture reacts with the tannins in the wood to bring out grey and black colors. It also brings out the grain and distresses the wood. The solution works very well on fir. White pine does not react as well.

How to Make a Vinegar/Steel Wool Solution:

Put a handful of steel wool in a plastic cup and add vinegar. Do not cover the container. Let it sit for 24 hours or more. The vinegar will eventually disintegrate the steel wool. The longer it sits, the more potent the solution. To dilute simply add more white vinegar at anytime.


Once the mixture is made, simply brush the solution on the wood. It won’t immediately turn colors, but over a few hours you’ll notice a considerable difference. Check out the photos of my farm table project to see how well it worked using fir boards. You’ll notice the fir 2×2’s used in this project really took the solution well. The other boards had a little coloring and grain enhancement, but white pine doesn’t have many tannins in it so it is less reactive.


Step 4 – Stain Table

Once the vinegar solution dries (or if you decided not to do the solution) you can go ahead and stain the project. First use a rag or air compressor to remove any dust from the table. Then use a clean rag to apply the stain of your choice. Don’t forget to wear gloves and ventilate the area. Have a brush in your other hand to stain hard to reach areas.


The table will look similar to this when the stain is dry. I usually only apply one coat.


Step 5 – Poly the table

Use a polyurathane ( I used a Minwax Semi-Gloss ) to seal and protect the finished coffee table. Apply the 1st coat of polyurethane to the entire table. Once dry, add a second coat to the table top. I only generally do one coat of poly on the base. Once the second coat has dried take a sanding block with 400 grit sandpaper and lightly sand all areas you’ve poly’ed. Then take a clean damp rag to remove the dust and prepare for your final coat of poly.


Fresh coat of Polyurethane


Sanding with 400 Grit Sanding Block

Step 6 – Apply Final Coat of Poly

Use a clean rag to apply the 3rd coat of poly to the table top. Using a rag/cloth will allow the coat to go on smooth and thin. Let your table thoroughly dry and then move it into your home.


Step 7 – Sit back and Enjoy!

Relax, put your feet up, and enjoy your new table. It will be a great conversation piece that will last for years.
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Please connect on facebook and post photos of your own projects. We’d love to see them! If you’d like to start a website like I did please check out my DIY Blog video about buying a domain and setting up a blog or website cheaply and easily. I used Bluehost and WordPress to create this website!

  • Jeremy Lynch

    I am about to start this table based on your plans. The only thing I haven’t decided on yet is the breadboard ends. You still haven’t had any trouble with the wood moving too much causing splitting, etc? I keep reading comments where people are worried about it, but I don’t know that it’s that much of an issue in all realty… it looks like you built this about three years ago, is it still holding up well?


      Hey Jeremy, this is a very simple beginner technique for woodworking. My table still looks like the day I built it — this technique doesn’t allow for much if any expansion / contraction and so there is a chance of shifting etc. I live in an area without much humidity and that certainly helps. You could certainly look into floating tenons or dowel techniques that allow breadboard movement if you have a little more advanced woodworking skills. Cheers!

      • Jeremy L

        Thanks for the reply. Looking forward to building it.

        • Chris S

          Also dont screw the table top into the base.. pick up some table top fasteners (about $3) or you can make your own tenon type if you have a router. Look on youtube, you will see some good DIY

  • Eric Alan

    My biggest issue is not being able to find quality pine boards for an inexpensive cost. It seems like all the lowes and home depots around the area only carry very cheap construction grade douglas fir with all the knots missing.


      Hey Eric! Bummer the boards are in such poor condition. You might see if a local lumberyard is able to supply some better boards. Cheers!

    • Chris S

      personally, home depot has better wood stock than lowes. Home Depot has a special section with some really good Pine boards. I would still run them through a planer/ jointer but I am OCD and want it looking 1000000% perfection. Especially the tabletop. But check Home Depot and they will be by the premium woods.. not in with the stud and common stock. Usually the next isle to the left.

  • Angela Rkrt

    Hi Pete, how long did this project take? Also is there an alternate option for the Kreig jig as I don’t have one?

    • This project took about 4 hours to build and a few more for the finishing portion. You could use biscuits to connect the boards or dowels. Cheers

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  • Nathan

    Just curious where you found the metal accessories that you put on the corners of the coffee table

  • Leanne Wingenbach

    Hi Pete, thanks for the plans! This was my very first woodworking project and thanks to your instructions, it turned out great! I’m wanting to make matching end tables next, do you have any plans for these?


      Hi Leanne, your table looks great! I don’t have any matching end tables, but I’d think Ana White has something that might coordinate well. Cheers!

  • Justin Manglallan

    I originally built this table according to the plans given, and it came our great. The only issue was it mas much to big for our home :/ I would like to do it over again except using 4 2×6’s across and 2 2×6’s for the bread boards, do you have any plans or suggestions on how I might go about doing this? especially with the “X’s” ?

    Thank you.


      Scaling it down in width / length is pretty straight forward. You’ll basically need to adjust the angles and lengths of the crosses. This will be a little trial and error but I think you’ll be able to figure it out for sure Justin!

  • David Snyder

    First wood project for my son and I. It came out great, we love it. Now for an end table to match.


      It looks beautiful David! What a fantastic way to spend time with your son. Job well done.

  • ryan stallings

    Hey Pete what are your thoughts on using Minwax’s Water Based Polyurethane? Would it affect the durability or look?


      Hey Ryan! I’ve used the water based poly by Minwax and it is real durable. An oil based will give you more rich colors, but a waterbased will still bring out the colors of the wood (just not quite as much).

  • Natasha

    Hi Pete I am making this exact coffee table and have already made my end tables with no problems. My problem which has turned into my vain of existence is those darn 60 degree angles. My miter saw goes up to 50 well actually 52 and I know you said you made a jig! How to I make that same jig and do I place it where the miter would normally read 90 degree to get my 60 degree angle? Your help is very much appreciated!!!

    • Hey Natasha! I’ve been out of town but when I get back I’ll take a look at the jig and do measurements. In the meantime — if you have a circular saw — you can easily cut the 60 degree angles that way. Mark the angles with a protractor and then cut the lines. This is what I’ve been recommending to make it simpler, and so a jig isn’t needed. 🙂

      • Natasha

        Thank you for your help and quick reply! I prefer the miter saw cuts as they are cleaner and more accurate at least for me anyways!! I plan on making several other pieces from this collection and of course they call for the same angle so I will patiently await your measurements on your jig????

        • diypete

          I forgot I did a video on this back in the day on making a simple jig. Let me know if this helps!

          • Natasha

            I watched the video last night and that’s how I seen the jig and I saw light at the end of my tunnel! I know you said it was around a 12 x 12 jig but what angles do I cut to get the triangle? Would it still work if I were to make a square one? And where exactly do I place the jig in the saw fence to get my 60 deg angle?! Thanks again for your help!

  • Andrew Ezinga


  • Andrew Ezinga

    Thanks for the plans Pete. Since I don’t have a kreg jig I put the 2x6s on top and the bottom shelf together with biscuits. I have everything completed except putting a coat of polyurethane on. I think I like the way it looks right now but maybe I will add a dull finish. What do you think?

    • Hey Andrew! It looks great, and good work with the biscuits! I really like the look of it. A matte style sealer would probably be good to protect it from stains a bit. You could always do a waterbased poly to keep a similar look since oil based will darken it a bit more. Nice work!

  • Christian Jackson

    Hi Pete, first I want to thank you for providing help to newer people. But I do have something to add here. I understand you didn’t design these plans and may not even know this yourself. However, the method you use to secure the table top of the table base (or table apron in other words) is very flawed / faulty. Using the method of driving screws in every 8 to 10 inches upward, you eliminate the tabletop’s ability to contract and expand width wise. when it expands (and it will at some point) the restriction will cause the table top to split the joint where the legs join with the table rails and apron. Try using a cleat system to secure it, or even elongated pocket holes or something that allows for expansion of the wood table top. the table top can only expand width wise (side to side) wood doesn’t really expand length wise so the bread boards should be fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if peoples tables are seriously warping or cracking that were made only 4 months ago or a little more perhaps less in some climates. With that said I did make this table just to see if using construction grade lumber would turn out horrible later on for warping and cupping of the boards with the pocket hole construction method. I’ll post a more detailed review later on. Haven’t stained or poly’d it yet though.

    • Hi Christian, thanks for reaching out! I appreciate it. Yes, this is a very beginner type technique using pocket holes and it isn’t obviously the best method nor an advanced technique. Especially for allowing for expansion / contraction as you know. I built mine using Ana’s plans a couple years ago. I do live in a dryer climate. Nonetheless, mine still looks like the day I made it, with no issues. I love to see more advanced techniques, but this is something doable for the average joe, and that many have found success with. Would love to hear how yours holds up and deals with the climate in your area. Please let me know! Cheers man. – Pete

  • Mike

    Hey Pete, thanks for the great plans and video. Fell upon your site and just finished my first ever project below. Never tried anything like this before and turned out better than expected. Maybe even too good as now the wife is asking for matching end tables! Thanks for the help and looking forward to more projects from you.


      Wow Mike, I would have guessed you were a professional in the industry! Amazing job for your first project ever, kudos! Best of luck on continuing the different projects, keep it up. You’ve obviously got a knack for this type of thing. Would you mind if we shared this photo to our Facebook audience? Cheers!

      • Mike

        Thanks Pete, appreciate the nice feedback. Absolutely, feel free to share on your Facebook page. In fact turns out we may have a mutual friend Dustin who already mentioned you in a post I made last night. Small world and thanks again!

    • diggie

      Hi, what did you use to stain it? Is that pine?

      • Mike

        Yep, it’s pine. I basically followed Pete’s instructions step by step. I first applied the vinegar and steel wool solution. Then used Minwax Dark Walnut stain and finished with the Minwax clear semi-gloss polyurethane.

        • diggie

          I ended up here looking for stains for a twin bed frame I built for my son (builders pine). I hope I have as much luck on the grain as you did. Everywhere else I look, the hard yellow grain(?) of pine doesn’t really absorb stain, so the grain stays yellow, while the softwood gets dark. They call it grain reversal (or something). Thanks for replying.


      Mike that turned out beautiful. Great job!

  • dpunusaf

    Hey Pete, great instructional video! This was my first build and it came out great! I’ll be building more. Thanks!!


      That looks amazing, thanks for sharing your completed build! Very good work – Keep it up.

  • Broc

    Hi Pete. Awesome looking table. I have decided to use this as a Christmas gift for my wife. I wondered though. She likes to have drawers on the coffee table. Is there a way you could suggest how to implement a drawer into this design? Could you increase the height of the table a bit and create a second shelf? That way the two shelves serve as the top and bottom of the drawer? I have a feeling that this would interfere with the cross members but do you think the second shelf would provide enough support to not need the cross members? Any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • TMK

    Made it to step 7 of assembly and cross members are too short. Inside to inside corner where cross members should go is 25″ long and pieces are cut exactly to the mentioned 22.5″ and 11.25″. Side 2×2″‘s are 41″ like mentioned with the 16.5″ 2×4″ legs attached to the ends of those. 22.5″ 2×4″‘s were added in between the legs as ends. Shelf with the 2×2″‘s along each side fits perfectly flush with the legs on both sides. The bottom side of the 2×2″‘s that the shelf is attached to is exactly 2.25″ from the bottom of the legs (or the floor). Angles were done correctly used miter saw (not that that should matter, overall length is the issue). Can’t determine where I went wrong after reading through both DIYpete and AnaStory’s directions and measurements. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

  • Laura

    When you screw the breadboard to the ends of the tabletop, do you have problems with wood movement over the course of time? Thanks!


      Laura, if you make sure to glue the joints and add enough screws, there should be no movement. Cheers!

  • david

    Hi pete I am in the process of making the coffee table. Great videos and thank you for the complete instructions.


      David, best of luck to you! Share finished photos and cheers!

      • david

        Hi Pete, Here is the table. I used 4×4 for the legs and ceder for the top. My wife loves the table but not the color. It came out a bit darker than we wanted. Can I sand it all and re stain it?

        • DIYPETE

          David, I personally think that looks great! Once that stain works into the wood, its going to be hard to sand it out. You could possibly do a really aggressive sandpaper grit just for the top surface to lighten it up a bit. That stain has worked in pretty deep by now, though.
          Did you seal this in polyurethane? Best of luck, let me know how it goes!

  • jaycuse

    My second project and it turned out great. The girlfriend loved it and I had many requests for the se coffee table from friends.


      You did a great job, wow! Keep it up – looks amazing. Cheers

    • KD

      Jaycuse, what was your staining process? I love the colors of your table

      • jaycuse

        Thanks, I basically just did the same thing as Pete in the video. Used the same stain, Minwax, Dark Walnut and applied one coat with a clean rag. After that I finished it with Minwax Satin finish Polyurethane (1 coat with brush all over and for the top 2 coats with brush and one last coat with clean rag, sanding with 400 grit between coats). I also did the steel wool vinegar solution thing before the staining process.

        It was my first time applying finish to wood so I didn’t really deviate from the video.

  • Luis Rodriguez

    Hi Pete,while applying the solution I forgot to add a little vinegar and the top came out a little too can I lighten it a little

  • Adam Duguay

    Hi Pete! Can you post the size of boards and cutting instructions / measurements to make the jig?

  • myles

    Pete, what is your ratio of the vinegar to one wool pad? Also, how much vinegar did you add when you diluted the mix? Did this have to sit for some time or can you dilute and then apply? I am using cedar so any thoughts on how it will affect cedar vs. pine? Thanks.

    • I take a small handful of steel wool and mix it in a quart of vinegar. When I’m ready to use it I dilute it until it turns an amber color by pouring a little of the solution into a new container and then adding vinegar. It seems to really react with the cedar and age the wood well. Best of luck!

  • Ross E

    Pete, I cut the 2×2 pieces to the length you stated in the cut list. Now watching the video while preparing to make the angled cuts I notice that you said to measure the lengths based on the length from the outside corner to the inside corner of the other cut and it should measure to the length written in the cut list. If I’m understanding it correctly then the actual length of each piece would be slightly longer than the length on the cut list. Do you know what the length of each piece should be BEFORE the angled cuts are made? Or do you recommend using a longer piece, measuring the length before the angled cuts then making the cuts and measuring again? Thanks!

  • Ben Clark

    Pete, your measurements are for a table that’s too big for my living room so I made all the measuring adjustments to Mae the overall size to be 45x22x18 and was successful except for the angle cuts for the x design. How do I adjust for that?

  • Alex Banks

    Hi pete! When purchasing the pine boards, does it matter if the boards are pretreated. Does it make a diffrence when trying to obtain the distress look?

    • Hey Alex, are you meaning the boards are pressure treated? This is when they inject boards with chemicals to help prevent wood decay for outdoor use. (for deck joists, fence posts, etc) – I wouldn’t recommend using those types of boards. — How are yours pre-treated? Thanks!

      • Alex Banks

        Hey Pete, yes i was referring to pressure treated boards. I was not sure if pressure treated boards would react diffrently with the vinagar and steel wool. I did purchase non treated board for the table and it came out great. I just need to use the vinegar/wool solution and stain. Thank you for the great tips!

        • Hey Alex!

          Yep, pressure treated boards would react differently and I wouldn’t recommend using the solution on them as I don’t think it would work well. So glad your table came out awesome. Great job!

  • Peter Varga

    Hi Pete.I would like to ask you how wide is the boards.

  • Bekah

    Pete, do you ever use a pre-conditioner on fir wood prior to staining? I’m looking at using the vinegar solution and I’ve heard that sometimes you can get a “blotchy” look.

    • Hi Bekah! Great question. I do sometimes use a pre-conditioner prior to staining and it really does help and make the stain go on evenly. I’ve never used the conditioner prior to using the vinegar solution though. I’d recommend using a test piece of fir to see if the solution will still react well with the tannins in the wood after a conditioner has been applied. I like things real rustic so I don’t use a conditioner that often, but they are nice to use. If you try the conditioner before the solution could you please let me know how it goes? I think it would be great to know what happens. Thank you Bekah! – DIY PETE

      • Bekah

        Thanks for the suggestion! I’m interested in the vinegar solution both because I like the color it brings out in the wood and also the cost effectiveness. I’ll let you know how things go if I use the pre-conditioner.

        • Sounds great Bekah! Both great reasons to use the vinegar/steel wool mixture. If you check out the episode 7 for the dining table you can see how the steel wool vinegar solution turned out for my table that’s in my house. I love how it took and the variations that happened.

  • Jami

    Wow This is super cool! I own a company called and would love to add something like this to our collection!

    • Hi Jami! Thanks for reaching out and great looking site. Do you make some of the furniture on it at all? Keep up your hard work in building your business! – Cheers – Pete