January 28, 2015

DIY Balustrade Coffee Table

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I'm so excited to finally share details on our DIY balustrade coffee table. This was our first building project, and I'm elated with how it turned out. When I was searching for a coffee table that I wanted to purchase, I immediately fell in love with the Restoration Hardware Balustrade coffee table. Only problem was, it cost $1495 which was way more than what I wanted to spend. That said, when I came across Jen Woodhouse's tutorial and Ana White's building plans  on how to build a look alike version of the Restoration Hardware coffee table, I was literally jumping up and down and couldn't wait to get started on this project. I will be sharing a link to her building plans at the bottom because they are the reason I was able to create this beauty! Also I changed up her original building plans of a rectangle coffee table and made mine a 38.5" x 38.5" square coffee table and a little taller, so if you're interested in the rectangle version make sure to check out her plans .

Like I mentioned earlier, this was our first building project ever, so I can say with complete honesty that this is a great project for beginners who want to try building something for the first time. This project took us several weeks, but only because we broke it up over many weeknights. It took us about 7 hours to build it and then it took me 5 additional hours to do all the sanding and staining. This was my first time sanding or staining anything, so for people who are more familiar with both of these this time could definitely be reduced.

Let's get started!

Buying List:

  • (3) 2 x 6 @ 8ft. long
  • (1) 2 x 6 @ 6ft. long
  • (3) 2x4 @ 8ft. long
  • (3) 1x6 @ 8ft. long
  • (1) 1x6 @ 6ft. long 
  • 4 Wood Pillars from Osborn Wood Company 
  • 1 1/4" pocket hole screws 
  • 2" pocket hole screws
  • 2" wood screws
  • Wood glue 
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Kreg jig  (I used the R3 Kreg Jig Kit) 
  • Random orbital sander 
  • Drill
  • Clamps
  • Flux brush 

Cut List: I had all my cuts done at Lowes. For $0.25 per cut, it was much easier to just get it done there.
  • (7) 2 x 6 @ 27.5" (center panels on top)
  • (2) 2 x 6 @38.5" (bread ends on top)
  • (8) 2 x 6 @ 5.5" (blocks that get attached to Osborne pillar legs) 
  • (2) 2 x 4 @ 38.5" (square base on bottom)
  • (2) 2 x 4 @ 31.5" (square base on bottom)
  • (4) 2 x 4 @ 3.5" (legs on bottom) 
  • (4) 2 x 4 @ 25.5" (Aprons which connect top part of legs together and secure top) 
  • (7) 1 x 6 @ 38.5" (panels on bottom) 
To begin, within this project there are A LOT of kreg jig holes that have to be drilled, so I just wanted to show you our little set up of how we drilled them. We did all of this in the unfinished part of our basement, since it's winter out, and we used a clamp to secure the kreg jig to both the wood and our make shift work bench so that the wood wouldn't move while drilling. Paul still helped hold down the wood as I drilled every single Kreg Jig hole. I had never used a drill before so after I was done drilling every hole I was feeling like Wonder Woman/ Ms. Independent. 

We started by assembling the bottom of the coffee table by joining the (7) 1 x 6 @ 38.5" pieces of wood with  3/4" pocket holes and 1 1/4" pocket holes screws. We also helped join the wood together with wood glue, and to apply only a thin layer of glue I used a flux brush to help spread it evenly. We made 5 Kreg Jig holes per plank. To help make sure that everything was aligned right, we used both a square and spare pieces of wood on the sides to make sure everything was straight.

Here is what the underneath side of the bottom of the coffee table looks like after you have drilled in the pocket holes screw. (Note: make sure to stagger the pocket holes to prevent the boards from splitting.) 

Now use the (2) 2 x 4 @ 38.5"  and the (2) 2 x 4 @ 31.5"  to create the square base on the bottom. Secure the 2 x 4's using 2" wood nails. 

Secure the (4) 2 x 4 @ 3.5" to the corners of the bottom base to create the legs on the coffee table by using wood glue and 2" wood nails. We originally tried to use 1 x4"s but the wood cracked when we tried to attach them. (Note: drill a pilot hole in the center of the wood before drilling in the wood screw to prevent the wood from splitting) 

Now to the semi tricky part: centering the beautiful posts to the blocks. How we did this was by securing the bottom side of the post to a block by using the flux brush and wood glue. Once we both agreed that the post was centered, we then put a kettle bell on top and let it dry overnight (Yes, I only use a 10 Ib. kettle bell when working out and yes I know that means I'm pretty weak. ). Once the glue had dried over night, we flipped it over and secured the block to the post using a 2" wood screw. 

 In order to secure the other side of the block, I used Ana White's trick of using clamps and spare pieces of wood to make sure everything was aligned. Once the glue had semi dried we released the clamp and put a weight on top to keep things for sliding around. Once the glue dries, use a 2 inch wood screw to secure the block to the post. Now, you should have 4 fine looking legs that are all done! 

 Set the legs in 1" from the sides and ends and use wood glue to set the legs in place. We then put weights on top to keep things from moving.  Before securing the legs to the table with glue, we also used the (4) 2 x 4 @ 25.5" aprons for guidance to make sure that the aprons would fit. 

Once the glue is dry, flip the table over to secure the legs to the bottom of the coffee table using 2" wood screws. 

The circled nail is where we inserted the 2" wood screw to secure the leg to the bottom of the table.

Now we built the top of the table using the (7) 2 x 6 @ 27.5"  and (2) 2 x 6 @38.5". Secure the pieces of wood together using wood glue, 1 1/4" pocket holes and 2 /12" pocket hole screws. On the center planks we used 4 pocket holes and on the side planks we used a total of 14 pocket holes per board by drilling double pocket holes. (Note: when gluing the wood together try your hardest not to get any of the glue on the top part of the table. If it seeps through and gets on the top, make sure to wipe it down while the glue is still wet.  Dried wood glue won't stain which is problematic when you get to the staining portion of this project. To help prevent this, I like using a flux brush to spread a thin layer of glue which helps prevent the glue from oozing over the edge. ) 

Now attach the (4) 2 x 4 @ 25.5" aprons to the top part of the legs. Attach the aprons to the inside corners by using 1 1/2" pocket holes and 2 1/2" pocket hole screws on the top part of the board. We also used clamps and a level to help make sure everything was leveled. 

Here is a better image of what the pocket holes look like on the aprons. 

 Attach the top of the table to the aprons by using 2" wood screws and drilling the screws from underneath into the aprons and upwards. Now do a happy jig because the table is completely built!!

Now to the very tedious part of the whole project which is the sanding and staining aspect. I did this entire part of the project by myself, and boy was it frustrating at times (only because this was my first time ever sanding or staining)! At least it gave me a lot of great practice for future projects. 

First, I sanded the entire top and bottom using my Ryobi random orbital sander. I first sanded it down using the 120 grit sand paper. In order to make sure that I was sanding everything evenly, I drew light pencil marks over the entire top and bottom so that I knew I was removing the same amount of wood all over ( I wish I could say I came up with this genius trick myself, but of course like everything else I found it on Youtube). Make sure to continue moving the random orbital sander so that it doesn't create any uneven holes. After I used the 120 grit sanding disc I went back with a 150 grit sanding disc, then 180 grit sanding disc  and finished with the 220 grit sanding disc. The 220 grit sanding disc is what really gives the table that smooth and almost buttery type feeling to it! Since I couldn't use the orbital sander on the sides, I used 180 grit and 220 grit sanding blocks. Once it was all sanded, I wiped it down and removed all of the sanding debris. 

Now to the staining portion! This is the part where you could make the table look a hundred different ways. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the post where I started staining it and then decided that I hated the color I was using which was the Minwax Water Based Stain in American Walnut. Luckily I had only stained the bottom of the table at that point, so it was fine to use a different color stain on the remaining portion of the table. Also, I suggest that you test the stain on a spare piece of wood before staining the table. Although I followed my own advice on this,  I still ended up not liking the color of the stain once it was on the entire bottom side of the table. I tried doing some gray wash on spare pieces of wood and although I did like the look of it, it wasn't the look I was going for in our family room. Since it's winter out and my husband doesn't want me using oil based stains in our house this time of year because the VOC in the stain and the little ventilation in our basement, I decided to just use the Minwax water based stain that I already purchased.  Since its water based I was able to dilute the stain with water. I ended up using approximately 1 part water to 1 part stain. Then I wiped on the stain and immediately wiped off the stain, working in smaller areas at a time and ultimately feeling like Daniel Son from Karate Kid. Many people recommend that you use wood conditioner prior to staining, but when I tried doing that it seemed like the wood was having trouble absorbing the stain, so I decided to skip this step.

After I was done staining, I then applied 3 coats of the Minwax water based polycrylic. The trick with this product is to apply it with a nice synthetic brush and keep your paint strokes slow and few. Do not apply this product like you would paint or else you will end up bubbles. Between each coat I sanded it very gently with a 330 grit sanding block. 

And voila here is the coffee table finished and up in our family room! 

Cost Breakdown: 
Wood: $64.82
Osborn Legs: $28.03 each
Water based Stain: $10.47
Water based polycrylic: $13.67
Total: $201.08

So what do you think, does it look close enough to the Restoration Hardware Balustrade coffee table? If I missed any details on the building process of if you have any questions at all please leave your questions in the comment section below and I will try to respond to them as soon as possible. Also, if you're interested in building this please feel free to pin and share it! I'd love to see your own version of this table!

Also, here is the link to Ana White's coffee table design! She also has many other great DIY furniture builds. Make sure to check her out!. 

If you would like to follow along and stay up to date on more of my home decor, DIY, lifestyle and other posts, I'd love to have you follow me along on any of the following: 


  1. Megan, this looks fabulous!!! It turned out so awesome and I love that you worked on it together! This is definitely a special piece you guys will cherish forever and it doesn't hurt that its absolutely gorgeous!!

    1. Thank you so much Courtney! My husband and I already joke about one day when we are much older we can tell our grandkids about the time we were young and built the table hah!

  2. Love, love, love, loooove, loooooooove this! Did I mention that I looove this?! Great job! It's beautiful. :)

  3. Just Gorgeous! Great first build, "Brag Post of the Day" on our Facebook page!

    1. I owe it to you, Ana, thank you so much for the building designs! Also, thank you so much for the "Brag Post of the Day" feature, I'm absolutely flattered:)

  4. Megan, the table came out amazing, can you tell me how it was to ship the table legs

    1. Thank you so much Jeannie!! I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how nicely the legs were packaged when i received them. The shipping didn't take too long, I'd say a week or less, and when they arrived they were individually wrapped, and the box was full of packaging materials so that they couldn't move around in the box. Hope this helps!

  5. I love this table. I would want to build a 60 x 60 inch square. Does anyone have plans for that?

  6. This is beautiful! Can you please tell me what color you had the paint counter mix your Minwax Stain to? Thanks for sharing your awesome build!

  7. This blog post has been incredibly helpful as I wade through the waters of building this table myself. Thank you ever so much! I fell in love with the original (until I saw the price, and THEN add Canadian conversion!) so when I searched and found you... well thank you! I have my turned legs, which I had made locally at a Seniors Woodworking Center (the shipping to Canada with Osborne was GAAAAAAAAAAA), I went about other options. For the record, I love the guys at the center. So. Dang. Helpful. And they charged me (while apoligizing for the cost) $25 a leg. SCORE But, I digress...
    Your picture tutorial is insanely helpful, Thank you SO MUCH (mountain top again). I have perused your blog and I think you are amazing.
    Thanks, Katrina

  8. AHHH... apologizing, that spelling mistakes makes me sad, sorry

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Hi Megan. This coffe table looks awesome. What wood did you use, both for the legs and the table? Thank you.

  11. Did you trim the edges from each side of the wood to make it straighter??

  12. I don't understand where in the process all those kreg jig holes become necessary? I don't work with wood at all so maybe I'm missing something obvious but...why?

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  14. The most beautiful DIY coffee table I have ever seen!! The color is gorgeous! What was the stain color you used?

  15. LOVE YOUR TABLE!!! You did a fantastic job�� A small little FYI about that wood conditioner: some woods, like pine, have a hard time absorbing stain evenly. Many times pine pieces tend to look “blotchy” without the conditioner, so don’t rule it out totally. Lol! Your table turned out beautifully though!!!

  16. Hello Megan, Loved your Coffee table. Ordered the legs! I always wanted a 42 inch by 42 inch but, thought u have good measurement list so planning to go with yours.
    But, I was confused at one part
    " Now we built the top of the table using the (7) 2 x 6 @ 27.5" and (2) 2 x 6 @38.5". "
    7*6 = 42 " but how is a 38.5" acted as end without any difference of 4.5"?

  17. What type of wood did you use for the pillars and planks?

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  19. Love your table! Dying to know what stain color you used?

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  21. Which wood pillar material was it? Knotty pine?

  22. i bought 2" pocket hole screws per your supplies list but the instructions say 2 1/2" pocket hole screws?! does anyone know which is correct?

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    1. Just go to Osborne Wood's page and order them directly... the 10" knotty pine legs are $35.99 a piece. Hope this helps!

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