DIY Hairpin Leg Coffee Table

You guys, we have needed a coffee table since LAST November! For some reason I had convinced myself that it was in the cards for me to find a steal of a deal on the coffee table of our dreams – well, nine months later and no such luck. So, this past weekend I took it into my own hands to DIY the perfect table for our little space. Check out the video for the step by step tutorial here.


Decide on Dimensions

Since everyone’s space is different – the type of table and thus the measurements will most likely be different. We have an L sectional in our home that is 76″ long so we wanted to make a rectangular coffee table that was big enough so anyone could reach it when sitting on our sofa. We decided on building a table that was 55×28 but remember that won’t necessarily be the same for your project. If you’re like I was and have no clue how big a coffee table is supposed to be, have no fear, I am here to share my research (that I did in the middle of the aisle at Home Depot on my phone because I am a master at procrastination sometimes, Tyler loves that about me). Ok, so it’s actually pretty simple:

  1. The length should be at least 2/3 of your sofa 
  2. The height should be 1-2 inches lower than your sofa cushion.

It’s important to make sure that you tape off where you will be putting the table so you can be confident in the measurements before you get to the hardware store…Id like to say we did this first, but we learned the hard way and had to space plan with 1×2’s (literally laying them in the aisle of Home Depot) – I don’t recommend it! Also, get creative with your wood purchase to save money. Since we needed 3 1×10’s pieces that were 55″ long we did the math and bought one 12′ piece of wood and one 6′ piece of wood to get the best bang for our buck. 


Next, using 220-150 grit sandpaper, sand the top, bottom and edges of the wood till it is smooth and splinter-less. I made sure to not sand the knots in the wood because I wanted that character to remain. 

Flip & Align 

I picked which sides of the 1×10’s I wanted to use for the top of the table and then flipped them over to build the table upside down and lined up the wood so they were even on the ends. 

Frame the Table

Using the 1×2’s – which we also had precut at Home Depot – you want to make a frame around the outside edge of the table to reinforce it. I used my drill bit to pre drill holes into both the table pieces and the framing pieces. I drilled 6 screws into the shorter sides and about 10 screws into the longer sides of the table. If you have an extra set of hands nearby try to recruit them to help you keep the 1×2’s in place so they are super straight. If you don’t have a wood cutter (like us) and you get your wood precut for you, this will be super helpful. One of our framing pieces was like 1/16th of an inch off and it affected the way the middle 1×6’s fit. It wasn’t too big of a deal, Tyler just sanded them down a bit till they fit, but if you can keep the frame exact that would be better.

Reinforce the Middle

Starting with the middle, you want to pre drill 4 holes through the 1×6’ into the middle board and two holes into the side boards. Drill in the screws. Then on the end pieces, pre drill 4 holes through the 1×6’ into to the middle board and set up the hairpin legs to mark and pre drill their placement.

Reinforce the Ends with Legs

Next, attach the two end 1×6’s by drilling 4 holes into the middle board and then attach the legs on the outer boards. Then, flip the table over for some color!

Stain it

First you want to wipe off any excess dust with a clean cloth. Then I use a foam brush to stain the wood brushing with the grain. I used the color Espresso. Let it sit for about 20 min before sopping up the excess stain with a clean cloth. I did 2 coats of stain.

Seal it

Once the stain cured for about 24 hours, I applied the polyurethane to seal the color and protect the finish. Side note, Im no polyurethane expert, but the instructions on the can said to sand the table after each layer of polyurethane… there are 3 layers needed… a’int nobody got time for that! Also, when I tried to sand it lightly I felt it was taking the stain off the table so I just skipped the sanding and applied 3 coats of sealer and we were good to go!


1 Comment

  1. Hunter Hoium
    August 25, 2017 / 4:25 am

    Where did you purchase the hair pin legs from?

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