Recently we've been on a mission for a new coffee table, one large enough to accommodate the many people we cram into our living room to watch Game Of Thrones every Sunday, sturdy enough to survive the many moves we make with the Navy, and affordable enough to fit in our budget. Hint: it doesn't exist. So we decided to DIY our own. Thanks to blogger Ana White, we found plans for the Tryde Coffee Table and got to work.
This is the unfinished coffee table top. I fell in love as soon as I looked at it. Thankfully one of us is super handy and actually allowed to touch the power tools with sharp blades.
After the coffee table was built I took over the wood filling, sanding, staining, and finishing process. Using simple 2x4, 2x6, and 4x4's meant there were quite a few imperfections like cracking and rough texture. Through stainable wood putty, 150 grit sandpaper, and extremely important pre-stain wood conditioner (I used MinWax Wood Conditioner) the table was smooth and ready for stain.
Finding the perfect stain color was the hardest part of this process. Experimenting on spare wood I decided on an initial coat of Early American by MinWax followed by two coats of Dark Walnut also by MinWax. Through both the pre-stain wood conditioner and the first coat of a slightly lighter stain it was easier to achieve a uniform finish for our last coats of a darker color.
Next up was three coats of MinWax Helmsman Spar Urethane in satin with a light sanding in-between each. The texture was a bit like thin honey and went on smooth. I recommend three very thin coats as thick coats can drip and leave marks. This method was more work than a one-coat-and-done urethane but gave us a beautiful soft and durable finish.
We absolutely love our new coffee table and love that we built it together even more! Next we are tackling new side tables and a media console. Stay tuned.