Update your patio set by whipping up a new tabletop for your existing furniture.  Today I’m sharing plans to both build your own outdoor coffee table, and/or just replace an existing one with a new wood top! 

Do you have patio furniture that has seen better days?

Have you ever thought about updating it instead of buying new?

I built this patio coffee table back in June 2018 – out of scrap bits of wood I had in my garage – and I LOVED it!

Loved the shape, loved the narrowing legs, loved the grates and especially loved the price tag.

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I made it with a bit of spruce, some framing lumber, bits of cedar and a whole lot of love.

Click here for DIY patio coffee table building plans to make your own.

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I did seal it with an outdoor stain, but 4 years and Canadian winters had taken their toll:

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The wood was starting to rot and the green mold was a less-than-appetizing surface to put your food on.

I probably could have sanded it down and bought another year… maybe two…  but I’m in cabinetmaking school so I decided to take advantage of the large machinery and access to wood to give it a little makeover.

Wanna know how easy it was?

I ripped down strips of poplar on the table saw; approximately 3 ¾” wide by the diameter of the tabletop I wanted – in this case 40″ (so I could cut it down later)

I ran the boards over the jointer (a machine I don’t have at home) and squared up the face of each board and both sides.  

Using an outdoor-appropriate wood glue, I glued up the boards in sections of 18″ – the maximum width that the planer could handle – and left it in pipe clamps overnight.

The next day, I ran the sections through the planer until they were ¾” thick and then glued them together with biscuit joints – another method I hadn’t tried before, but was SO EASY!

After one more night of drying in clamps, it was time to cut my outdoor coffee tabletop with a plunge router.

If you read the last post on how to build a DIY patio coffee table, then you know how intimidating I find routers.  Table routers are the worst – I have yet to NOT have something shoot back at me when using one and it scares the shit out of me every single time.  The double-handed plunge router is still intimidating, but if you have it attached to a circle jig, then at least it shouldn’t run wild on you and cut all of your limbs off.

I used a circle jig for this cut.  My 40″ square of glued-up and planed-down wood became this beautiful new 38″ tabletop for my outdoor coffee table!

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I used poplar for my tabletop – which won’t withstand the elements for very long – so after a coat of stain, I applied three coats of an outdoor sealer to help protect it from moisture.

The base of the outdoor coffee table was still in decent condition, so all it needed was a light sanding and a new outdoor sealer/stain (Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty in Arborcoat).

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If this sounds intimidating, ignore the large machinery and just use a tablesaw to cut your boards to width, a mitre saw to cut them to length and then glue up without using a jointer or planer.  Your finished product won’t be quite as smooth – but with a bit of sanding, you can still get a beautiful, even finish.

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Look at that!  A new tabletop and a bit of stain and it now goes perfectly with my outdoor side table!

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Truth is, you can add a wooden top to any table legs – even those glass patio tables with metal frames.  Remove the glass and screw the table legs up into the bottom of your new wood top – square, circle, whatever!

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Funnily enough, Article sells a very similar outdoor coffee table for a whopping $839 US!

Article Toba outdoor coffee table

click image to be taken to the TOBA table from Article

Pretty darn close! 

And I built the original table in 2018!  

My awesomeness is ahead of its time! 😂

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~$1,200 US in outdoor patio tables or about $60 CDN to build your own…

Hey, if you have the cashola – by all means – but if you don’t, these DIY’s will certainly make you look like you do!

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Have a great one!