When I saw the price of a live edge coffee table in a high-end furniture store I knew I would have to win the lottery. And then I realized I won the lottery years ago when my husband showed me his DIY skills. It is the foundation of our shared passion for saving money and taking our builder-grade brownstone in the suburbs home into something on the Upper West side (of our neighborhood).
HOW TO MAKE A LIVE EDGE COFFEE TABLE
For a few hundred dollars (yes hundred-not thousands).
Do you want in on a little secret about how to make a live edge coffee table? It looks incredibly fancy and expensive, but it was so easy to make it almost feels like I cheated.
Seriously, this finished live edge coffee table rivals many high-end furniture stores’ live or raw edge side and coffee tables. And the best part? The only power-tool needed to make this live edge coffee table was a drill to attach the metal legs. Seriously!
My inspiration for this live edge coffee table came from the Arhaus catalog. I shared how I use catalogs for inspiration here.
LIVE EDGE TABLE DETAILS
- Start with a Google search for “live edge slabs” in your area. We found our Russian Olive “species” at a Denver store appropriately named Denver’s Wood Slabs.
- We visited the wood slab warehouse to find a slab that worked best for the dimensions we wanted for our coffee table.
- Tip: Before purchasing make sure to map out the dimensions in the room. We went a little too big with our slab.
- In the warehouse, each slab included details on species and where the tree was located. Most of the Denver slabs are from parks and city streets. The Russian Olive slab we chose was salvaged from a Denver park.
- The Russian Olive wood slab was salvaged from a Denver park. We provided the staff with the approximate dimensions for the coffee table. We arranged to pick up the wood slab after it was cut, planed, and sanded on both sides.
And, that is the best part. For the cost of the slab, the company did all of the work on the front end for us. And, we did not pay the price of a semester’s meal plan to pay for this live edge table.
The table looked beautiful when we picked it up.
Tip: These finished slabs are very heavy. Plan accordingly for transport.
The hardest part of this project was transferring the slab from the back of our car to the table saw stands in our garage.
The second hardest part was we only had one shot at getting the stain right! #wink
This was the hardest step for me because I tend to rush through the staining step to get to the finished project.
Do we really need five coats of stain?
Apparently, we do need five coats of stain.
Tip: Do not rush through this process.
I used my go-to stain for this coffee table. Jacobean is my favorite because it brings out the grain and adds a rich finish to the barn doors and mantel in our basement. I even used this stain on my tiniest stain project.
Together, over the course of several nights, we applied five coats of stain. In between each layer of stain, we completed a light sanding and patiently waited 24 hours to apply the next coat of stain.
Finally, I finished the coffee table with two coats of a water-based clear coat. Between application and dry time, it took almost a full week to stain and seal the table.
I ordered the table’s legs from an Etsy shop based in Utah.
As promised, the only power tool needed for this coffee table was a power drill to attach the legs! I do recommend pre-drilling the holes.
Line up the table’s legs based on the dimensions of the table.
We love the finished look of our live edge coffee table! Now, I think I need an end table to match!
Our Russian Olive, live edge coffee table is a little piece of Colorado history in our living room, family room and basement. We love it so much it is in a rotation throughout the house.
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