Free Furniture | How to Make a Coffee Table

Have you seen Kirstie Allsopp’s TV show, Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free? By using a touch of creativity she transforms homes by using upcycled and free furniture and fittings. If you like the shabby chic style we’ve found a way to create an attractive coffee table from an old wooden door.

Free Furniture - Upcycling Coffee Table Step 1This striking piece of free furniture is crafted by using household items, an old cupboard door and some storage boxes. Try looking in a garage or greenhouse to see what old bits and bobs you can find. With shabby chic furniture a huge hit right now, this rustic style coffee table will be bang on trend and provide an excellent conversation starter.

You Will Need:
  • Old door
  • 2–4 old wooden boxes
  • Coarse-grade sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Satin wood (eggshell) or emulsion (latex) paint
  • Screwdriver and screws

Free Furniture tip: Don’t spend a fortune buying wood, ask your friends and family or check out junk shops, skips, or reclamation yards. You’ll find that hunting for a piece is half the fun!

Free Furniture - Upcycling Coffee Table Step 2Prepping and Painting
Ensure that you remove any sticking out nails from the door and boxes. You may want to leave any fittings as these can add character — but remember to cover them with masking tape when you paint the door. Wash down the wood and then give it a quick rub over with an electric sander or sandpaper, so you have a smooth surface to work with. Apply a coat of paint to the door and boxes. For a distressed finish, use satinwood or emulsion. Leave to dry thoroughly.

Distressing the Wood
Once the paint has dried, distress the wood by using sandpaper to rub it down. Don’t be too thorough or you will end up with bare wood again. You want a distressed, whitewashed (limed) effect to achieve the shabby chic furniture look.

Assembling the Table
To finish, put the boxes in position and lay the door on top. Screw the door to the boxes. You may need another person to help you keep the pieces in place while you drill. You could just nail the pieces together, but screws will hold better.

There you have it — a new, fresh piece of free furniture to brighten up your home!

This project has been extracted from the book Make It and Mend It.

Other Topics You May Enjoy ...


Blog, Upcycling

About Ame

Ame Verso is the daughter of legendary cross stitch designer Jo Verso and has been cross stitching since the age of 10. She also sews and crochets and is the face of the SewandSo YouTube channel.