How to Build a Pallet Coffee Table Step by Step

How to Build a Pallet Coffee Table Step by Step

Hello, my dear Upcyclers!

I’ve finally managed to make another pallet project. Yay!!! It’s taken me much to long and I promise you won’t have to wait that long for the next one :)

So in this post, I’d like to show you how to build a pallet coffee table from just only one pallet plus some scrap pallet wood and blocks.

Tools and Materials

  • a circular saw
  • a hand saw
  • a random orbital sander and different grit sandpaper (40,60 ,80, 120, 150)
  • a hammer
  • nails, and wood screws (I used single thread 12 x 4″ wood screws)
  • a pencil
  • clamps
  • a wood glue
  • some rags/cloths for wiping
  • paint brushes
  • a wood stain and top coat
  • a measuring tape


Step 1 – Choosing a Pallet



I chose a pallet that was medium weight and had wide planks. The idea is to use whatever you’ve got to fit the project. This pallet was pretty much square and was roughly 4’x 4′ (1.2 x 1.2m). The coffee table I wanted was going to be 1.6’x 4′(0.55x 1.2m) so it fitted perfectly. All I had to do was cut it in half.

So I thought…

Step 2 – Cutting to size 




Because of the pallet size, I was planning to cut the middle plank out altogether with wooden blocks underneath (as shown in the picture above) . This way I’d had 2 roughly the same size parts that I’d stack up to make the table.


Pallet coffee table in the making



I didn’t want to move any planks because the nails used were very difficult to remove. This way I didn’t have to. The only thing I had to do is to detach the wooden blocks that were nailed to this plank. I was going to use them later on.





That was the only problem I came across – detaching the blocks. In the end, 2 out of 3 split and I had to use something else.


Step 3 – Sanding

To sand the wood I used a random orbital sander with 40 grit sandpaper to start. I wanted to remove as much material as i could. Then I moved to grit 60 and 80.

pallet before after


I also attached the missing wooden blocks.

The pictures below show results after sanding and before staining.


pallet sanded




The left part was going to be a top and the right the bottom.


pallets after sanding


Step 4  – Staining


pallet coffee table before stain


Now the parts were ready to stain. I didn’t have a regular stain that you apply with a cloth and wipe the excess. Funnily I didn’ realize that and used the varnish/stain as a regular one. So after wiping there was barely anything left on the wood.

My excuse was that my brother was helping me with that and he didn’t read the label. The result was poor and that only meant I had to use more of this stain and apply it with a paintbrush.

The plus side is that it has a lovely glossy finish and it’s waterproof. Not the outside-left-in-the-rain-proof but good enough for water/drinks spillages.


stained pallet


I applied 3-4 coats altogether sanding with 120 grit in between coats. My sander was a bit too powerful even on slow speed so I did it mostly by hand. I didn’t want to sand trough the stain. Before the last coat, I used grit 150 to smooth the top surface.

This table is not “perfect”. It’s not meant to be. I wanted it to have a character you get when using used pallets.

At the end, all that was left was to stack  the 2 parts on top on one another and join them together. The simplest solution is to glue them and I used simple door hinges (I haven’t received them yet so you won’t see them here) to make it more secure.


The Final Result


Pallet Coffee Table


pallet table_1


coffee table reclaimed wood


Do you like it? You’re more than welcome to leave a comment below and tell me what you think. For more ideas on Pallet Coffee Tables check my Inspiration Section.


5 thoughts on “How to Build a Pallet Coffee Table Step by Step”

  1. I never would have thought in a million years to turn a pallet into a coffee table like this. Now that I see how its done, I really want to take some of the pallets at my home and try this out. I can’t wait to see if I can do this and surprise my wife with it.

    • Hi, Jorge!
      Thanks for stopping by :) It’s amazing, isn’t it? Thr first time when I came across the idea of upcycling pallets I was very surprised what you can do with them. And I’ve been hooked ever since. I have some many ideas and only lack of time prevents me from making more projects. This project is pretty easy but you can even simplify it more by getting 2 “newish” pallets of the same size, sand them without taking them apart and stain them. Then just stack them on top of one another and it’s ready. You could also attach some wheels so it’s easy to move around. For my next table project(for my garden/patio), I plan something like that actually with a wine/beer cooler in the middle. When it’s done you’ll definitely see it here:)
      If you make one for your wife send me a picture please :) I could put it up here for everyone to check it out.
      Have a great weekend!

  2. I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to decorate my yard. I didn’t know that you could make benches with wooden pallets! I’ll have to see if I can find some. Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re very welcome Braden! You can make a lot of different projects with them. I’ll be making sofas and a coffee table and sofas for my garden soon so stay tuned:) I’ll also try to make a patio decking whenever I can find some spare time. I hope you enjoy decorating your yard and feel free to send me some pictures when you’re done, so I can share them with my readers :)
      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. This is a great idea to find some wooden pallets for sale and the projects are endless. I’ve wanted patio furniture for a while and this would be the perfect project for my husband and I to do together. I love how you reinforced it by making more wooden blocks to go on the other side. We’ll be sure to refer to this as we design our own ideas to our wooden pallet furniture.

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