Build It

DIY Console for Under $40

This post is a bit of a combination fix it/build it. I was at the Salvation Army and saw this thing.

Some kind of church-carpet-upholstered coffee table/soap box? hybrid. I named it Beast.

My original plan was to cover it with planks and make a coffee table. After drawing out the plans, I quickly realized that this would be an incredibly large coffee table. Since I plan on selling this, I worried a bit at this point because I knew this project would end up breaking even at best because of the relatively few people who had a room that would fit this size coffee table.

I turned the table on it’s side to remove the legs (you know, to be able to remove the carpet, which was inexplicably attached to a coffee table), and a new idea hit me…If I turned the legs vertical this could become a console! A console has a way better chance of selling compared to a very specifically sized coffee table. A console can turn into a place people put a tv, an entry table, a sofa table. Much easier to resell. This is something to keep in mind if you are building/ repurposing. And even better, I would spend less in lumber making a console compared to making the monstrous coffee table.

SUPPLIES:

  • Two 1″ x 6″ x 8′  boards – that’s all the lumber you need!
  • Wood conditioner
  • Stain or paint for tabletop – Minwax Special Walnut
  • Minwax Finishing Wax
  • Spray paint for legs – Rust-oleum Metallic in Flat Iron
  • Kreg Jig and screws

*Note: I realize that not everyone is starting this project out with legs from the Beast. You can buy a couple 2x4s and construct the legs as well (2x4s are pretty cheap, so this won’t increase the cost by much. I’ve seen them lots of times for free on curbs or craigslist, as well).

STEP 1: CUT AND SAND BOARDS

Cut first board in half so you have two 4′ pieces. Cut the second board in half, as well. Save one of those pieces, and don’t cut it yet – it will be split to create the breadboards. Wait until you’ve connected the other boards before measuring and cutting the breadboards.

Sand them well and wipe the dust off.

STEP 2: CONNECT YOUR BOARDS

The order or your boards may matter. Sometimes when I arrange my boards there’s a space created between a couple of the boards, then I try a different order and they fit flush. Play with it and find the best configuration. (If all the arrangements look good to you, I’d arrange them based on how the top will look the best – the knots and grains may look better when the boards are in a certain order).

Use a Kreg Jig to drill holes and screw together the three 4′ boards.

STEP 3: ATTACH BREADBOARDS

With the last 4′ section, measure the sides and cut accordingly to make your breadboards the perfect size.

NOTE: I cut these just slightly longer than what I want them to be because the raw edges will be facing the front of your console and will need to be sanded down a lot, which takes some of the length off. It’s always better to end up with it longer than shorter because you can always cut or sand down, but you can’t add wood back. I know, obvious, but just wanted to add that so it’s on your mind when doing this project.

Attach using Kreg. Make sure you take the time when measuring, cutting, sanding and attaching so you get the breadboards on flush. Having one shorter or sticking out farther than it should really kind-of messes up the whole look of the top.

View from underneath
Top

STEP 4:  WOOD CONDITIONER AND 2 COATS OF STAIN

Whenever you’re going to use stain on bare wood you have to start with a wood conditioner. Here’s my favorite one on Amazon.

I really love the look of the Special Walnut stain.

Minwax Special Walnut

First stain underneath. The easiest way I’ve found to apply stain is taking a rag or piece of a t-shirt and wiping it on. I use a thin layer, so there’s not much to wipe off — on the first coat I completely rub it in so there’s nothing to wipe off. On the second coat there is a little extra that I wipe off, but not much. It’s easier to work with if you apply lightly.

I only wait about 10 minutes before I flip it and stain the other side. You can wait longer if you are a patient person.

Stain the top.

1 coat of stain

This time I do wait a little longer because I don’t want to ruin the top. I can’t give you an exact time. Not longer than an hour.

2 coats of stain

Now you need to wait for it to dry completely before you top with wax.

I put it on a couple of barstools to dry overnight and waxed the next day. I actually think this could be a good-looking sofa table just like this. So if you have some extra barstools, use those as legs and you’re done.

Find my favorite wax here on Amazon.

STEP 5: ATTACH THE LEGS AND TRESTLE

Spray paint the legs. I used Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint in Flat Metallic Soft Iron. You can order it from Amazon here.

Drill holes, then use glue and 4 screws to attach each leg. Make sure to measure and center the legs.

Measure and cut the trestle piece, sand, then drill holes on the edges.

Spray paint and attach.

 

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8 Comments

    1. Thanks Donna:) It really doesn’t take any special skill. When I first tried building things I didn’t even know how to use a drill…I’d just seen my husband use it and thought I might be able to figure it out, haha. If you can figure out how to use a drill, Kreg Jig and saw that’s all you really need to know to be able to build something!

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