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When we got new couches in the living room, our old coffee table looked really small. Like awkwardly small. So we needed to build a new one. This time we decided to add some hidden storage to the DIY coffee table plans!
The top lifts up and it’s perfect for storing seasonal decor, blankets, or board games.
The coffee table is 60” wide, 36.25” deep, and 16” tall, which means there is plenty of storage inside.
Overall it cost us about $250 to build, which is fantastic, especially considering the size!
Alright, let’s start DIYing and build you a DIY coffee table with hidden storage!
P.S. Looking for an ottoman coffee table? We have plans for that too! In fact, we’ve also rounded up the 21 best DIY coffee table plans, so you can have all the design options.
- Miter Saw
- Circular Saw
- Kreg Jig
- Nail Gun
New to DIY? Check out our post on beginner woodworking tools to determine which tools to get!
What You’ll Need:
- (2) ¾” 4×8 sheets of plywood (we used oak)
- (3) 1x3x8 boards (we used oak)
- ¾” edge banding
- (1) 1.5” 30” piano hinge
- (2) folding support hinges (make sure to get one right and one left side!)
- 1.25” nails
- 1.25” Kreg screws
- Wood glue
- 120, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper
- Minwax Stainable Wood Filler
- Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
- Minwax Wood Finish in Honey
- Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin
Cut List for DIY Coffee Table
|For What?||Wood Size||Quantity||Size (inches)|
|Top||¾” plywood||1||34.75 x 58.5|
|Bottom||¾” plywood||1||42 x 21.75|
|Long Side||¾” plywood||1||42 x 15.25|
|Long Hinge Side||¾” plywood||1||42 x 15 1/8|
|Short Sides||¾” plywood||2||23.25 x 15.25|
|Long Side Frame||1×3||2||58.5 (short side measurement, both sides cut at 45-degrees)|
|Short Side Frame||1×3||2||34.75 (short side measurement, both sides cut at 45-degrees)|
The cut list results in a coffee table that is 60″W x 36.25″D x 16″H. If you’re looking for another size, be sure to check out the printable plans!
How to Build a Coffee Table with Hidden Storage
New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Make your cuts according to the cut list above. We used our Kreg Accu-Cut and Rip Cut saw guides to get clean and accurate cuts with our circular saw.
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
On the ¾” setting, drill pocket holes into the following boards:
- (3) pocket holes on either short end of the (2) long side pieces, making sure that the pocket holes are placed at least 2” from either end.
- (4-5) pocket holes on each end of the bottom
STEP 3: ADD EDGE BANDING
Apply edge banding to the short ends of the short side pieces.
Note: we did not add edge banding to the tops of each of the sides. In hindsight, I would recommend it so that you have a nice, finished edge when you lift the coffee table top to access the storage.
STEP 4: ADD 1×3 FRAME TO TOP
Cut your 1x3s for the top frame. You can either use butt joints for ease or cut them at 45 degrees to create mitered corners like we did.
Using 1.25” nails, attach the 1x3s to the plywood top, making sure the top is flush.
STEP 5: ADD WOOD FILLER
Fill any gaps between your 1×3 frame and the top with wood filler. Let dry for at least 30 minutes before moving onto the next step.
STEP 6: SAND
Sand all of your boards with 180 grit sandpaper and then sand again using 220 grit sandpaper to prep the wood for staining.
If you have areas that you need to sand a little extra (maybe like the 1×3 frame and top to make it flush), start with 120 grit sandpaper.
Be careful not to over-sand your plywood, or you might sand through the pretty veneer that’s on top.
STEP 7: ASSEMBLE
We’ll assemble the entire structure using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws.
Start by attaching the bottom to the long side piece. The bottom should be flush with either side of the long side piece.
We decided to attach the bottom ½” from the bottom of the sides rather than having flush. We just think it’s easier to move around when the bottom isn’t completely flush, but you can install it either way.
Next, attach a short side piece. Again, the bottom of ours was ½” from the bottom of the short side piece. The long side was flush with the end of the short side.
Now attach the long hinge side piece. The bottom should be ½” from the bottom and the top will be just a hair below the top of the short side.
Finally, attach the second short side.
STEP 8: INSTALL THE HINGES
Center the piano hinge on the long hinge side and screw it in with the provided screws.
Next, we need to attach the piano hinge to the top of the coffee table. Place the tabletop on the ground, bottom side facing up.
Grab some painter’s tape or a pencil and mark where you need to place the bottom: 7.5” in from either side and 5.75” from one of the long sides.
Those measurements are from the end of the plywood and do NOT include the 1×3 frame.
Line the coffee table bottom up with the tape, tilt it back so that it’s resting on the top frame, and screw the piano hinge in.
Finally, we need to install the folding support hinges. The measurements on the packaging are going to differ slightly from the measurements we will use since our coffee table won’t open to a 90-degree angle.
We placed ours around 7”, but you might need to troubleshoot it a little.
STEP 9: APPLY PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER
Using a clean white rag, apply Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to the outside of your entire coffee table. Wipe it on and then grab a dry clean rag to wipe off any excess after waiting 5-15 minutes.
Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner is the first step in any great stain finish as it prepares the wood to accept the stain as evenly as possible.
We chose to leave the bottom of the top and the inside natural, but you could stain these areas as well.
If you are choosing to leave the bottom of the top natural as we did, grab some painter’s tape and tape where the top meets the sides of the coffee table.
You likely got pre-stain on the top as you were applying it and that’s great. When it dries, it’ll be like it never happened, but for now, it will be our guide on where to place the tape.
STEP 10: STAIN YOUR WOOD
We chose Minwax Wood Finish in Honey for our coffee table. It’s a warm and timeless color that I’ve been excited to use on a large project after trying it out on this ombre wall art.
To apply your stain, open the can and give it a stir. You want to make sure you stir it around in case there are any color pigments that have settled to the bottom of the can.
Using a clean rag, wipe the stain onto the wood. Typically I like to wipe with the grain, but when I am applying stain to oak, I like to wipe it on in a circular motion as well to make sure it gets deep into the groove.
Make sure you’re applying enough wood stain here! A common pitfall people run into when staining with a rag is trying to “stretch” the stain. It can end up looking uneven when not enough stain was applied to certain areas.
After waiting 10 minutes, I wiped off any excess stain with a clean rag. Between pre-stain and staining, it took me a little over 30 minutes to stain our coffee table.
And even after accidentally spilling a little bit of the stain, we still had about half of a can of the stain left to use on a future project.
STEP 11: PROTECT YOUR FINISH
After waiting 4 hours for the stain to fully dry, it’s time for the final step: protecting our project with Polycrylic. Polycyclic is my go-to top coat because it dries clear and it dries quickly so I can knock out all three coats in a day.
We chose the Clear Satin finish for this project.
To apply the Polycrylic, I used my Purdy® XL brush. I brushed it on in the direction of the grain and then waited 2 hours for it to dry.
I lightly sanded with 220-grit sandpaper and wiped the surface with tack cloth between coats.
I applied a total of 3 coats and sealed the inside of the coffee table as well.
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own DIY coffee table with storage… because who doesn’t need more hidden storage?!
Do you prefer printable plans? Grab yours here!