When we started planning our outdoor space, we were both drawn to furniture with modern designs in warm wood tones, but we continually came across the same issue. Many of the sets we loved were too far out of our budget, so here is a set you could build that married form and function to create the look of high-end outdoor furniture at a fraction of the cost.
Why should you make an outdoor coffee table for your house?
Outdoor accent tables are the difference between having a few chairs outside and having a real outdoor living space. Adding end tables and coffee tables to your outdoor seating area make it not only more inviting, but more functional, too. Enjoying a cup of coffee need not be expensive. You can still enjoy taking your caffeine sips right in your own yard with a beautiful outdoor table and chairs.
The outdoor coffee table can greatly enhance the beauty of your home. With a wide selection of designs to choose from, surely you'll find one that complements your unique taste. Moreover, you absolutely do it yourself to be freely creative, budget-saving, and even relax with your project.
How to make a DIY outdoor coffee table?
(3) 2×3 @ 8ft (framing lumber)
(2) 1×4 @ 8ft
2 1/2″ Deck screws
2″ Brad nails
2 1/2″ Kreg screws (weather resistant)
1 1/4″ Kreg screws (weather resistant)
Stainable wood filler
Waterproof Wood Glue
Step 1: Make lumber cuts for the outdoor coffee table
Use a miter saw and make the following cuts from the 2x3s
- 6 pieces @ 14 1/2″
Make the following cuts from the 2x3s with 45 degree mitered cuts:
- 2 pieces @ 42″ from long point to long point
- 2 pieces @ 17 1/2″ from long point to long point
Step 2: Assemble the top frame of the coffee table
Use a Kreg Jig and add one pocket hole on each side of the 2 boards at 17 1/2″.
Because these boards were cut with a 45-degree angle, they are only wide enough to fit one pocket hole that doesn’t show on the side of the board. So, when drilling the hole for each one, make sure to line the board up carefully with drill hole B on the Kreg Jig as shown in the photos below.
Use a Kreg Jig and add one pocket hole to the angled shortboard
Next, add waterproof wood glue between one 17 1/2″ board end and one 42″ board end. Then, clamp them down together to your work surface.
Use a brad nailer and 2″ brad nails and nail through the two boards together. Make sure to stay away from where the pocket hole screw will be going through.
Use a brad nailer and 2" brad nails and nail through the two boards together
Finally, add a 2 1/2″ outdoor Kreg screw into the pocket hole.
Repeat these steps on the other three sides to complete your outdoor coffee tabletop frame.
Tip: Don’t screw the Kreg screws in super tight because that can cause the board frame to not sit flat if the table isn’t perfectly square.
Assemble the top frame of the coffee table
Step 3: Add slat boards to the tabletop frame
Measure the exact distance between the side frames and cut three 1x4s to this size. The measurements should be 37″ but since we’re working with framing lumber, they may be slightly different.
Add two pocket holes to each end of the 1×4 boards. Make sure to adjust your Kreg Jig settings for 3/4″ thick wood.
Also, at this point, if you want to make the staining process easier, go ahead and stain the 1×4 slat boards before attaching them to the tabletop frame. I forgot to do this and it took some extra time to stain between the slat boards at the end.
The slat boards should be attached with 1/2″ spacing between each of them on the tabletop, so go ahead and mark on the sideboards where to attach them. Then, attach with 1 1/4″ outdoor Kreg screws at those marks.
TIP: Put a popsicle stick (or wood shim) under your slat boards when attaching them to the frame, otherwise they may stick up slightly above the 2×3 framing lumber frame once you flip the tabletop over. You can see me doing this in the video above.
Step 4: Assemble DIY outdoor coffee table legs
Use a Kreg Jig and add two pocket holes on both sides of two of the 14 1/2″ boards. Make sure to add them on the side edges as shown in the photo below so that the holes will be hidden. We had to use a clamp to hold the boards in place on our Kreg Jig in order to drill them into the 2×3 side edge.
Mark 3.5″ up from the bottom of one of the 14 1/2″ boards.
Attach the board with pocket holes at this mark perpendicular and flush with the edge using 2 1/2″ outdoor Kreg screws and waterproof wood glue. Repeat on the other side with another 14 1/2″ board to form one of your table legs.
Step 5: Attach table legs to the tabletop
Attach one of the tabletop legs to the tabletop with waterproof wood glue and a 2 1/2″ deck screw. Make sure they are countersunk beneath the wood surface (you will fill them with wood filler later). I used self-tapping deck screws that do not require pre-drilling.
Also, make sure to avoid drilling through the area where the other Kreg screw is underneath from when we attached the side frames together, as well as where the 2″ brad nails went through.
Attach table legs to the tabletop with wood glue and deck screws
Repeat on the other side for the other table leg. And that’s it for the build!
Step 6: Fill holes, sand, and stain the coffee table
The last step is to fill the screw and nail holes with stainable wood filler. Also, finish any needed sanding. For tips on sanding wood, check out my easy guide on how to sand wood. Note, we did sand the tabletop corners to make them more rounded with less of a point.
Finally, stain your easy DIY outdoor coffee table! Just like the matching DIY outdoor couch and DIY outdoor chair and DIY outdoor side table, I used one coat of Valspar semi-transparent exterior stain in Pine bark. This stain is harder to use because it dries quickly and is more of a paint consistency, so you have to work a little faster.
Also, if you didn’t stain the slat boards yet, a foam brush helps to get between the slats for staining.
Make your project easier with metal table legs/bases from Flowyline, why not?
Metal outdoor table legs and bases from Flowyline Design are highly crafted by handmade metal furniture makers, so they are prolonged to use, unique look, contemporary elegance, are budget-saving, easy-setting, and are easy to care for.
These metal table legs and bases are always packed nicely, ready to be delivered to spruce up your living space, and come equipped with adjustable levelers hidden well in the feet. All you need to do is to bolt the base on your table or benchtop and go.