It’s a beautiful Fall night; 70 degrees, a gentle breeze, the moon shines bright. Your friends are over and you’re enjoying time outdoors before it gets too cold and too late. Just sitting around, laughing, enjoying a glass of wine.
The fire is light, providing a backdrop to your perfect evening and just enough warmth to hang onto this moment a little bit longer.
Sounds wonderful, right? You have the friends and the wine and the perfect weather is sure to come, but you’re missing the one thing that brings it all together.
The one thing that makes it feel more magical than your everyday typical hangout. A fire. Look no further. You came to the right place. We’re going to teach you how to build your very own waterfall table with a fire pit feature so your perfect weather days can be even more perfect.
Let’s start DIYing!
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- Miter Saw
- Kreg Jig
- Wood Glue
- Optional: Electric Sander
- Box Cutter or Cement Board Cutter
New to DIY? Check out our post on beginner woodworking tools to determine which tools to get!
What You’ll Need
- 5 – 2x4x8 Common Boards (Not sure if pine is the right choice for you? Read this before using pine on outdoor projects.)
- 1 – 1x4x8 Common Board
- 80-120 Grit Sandpaper
- Exterior Polyurethane
- Fire Pit Insert
- Bio Ethanol or Other Energy Source (we chose our insert and bio-ethanol after lots of research on safe ways to have a fire on a screened porch)
- Cement Board
- Silicone Caulk
- Optional: Stain and/or Paint (we used dark walnut stain and Sherwin Williams Pure White)
How to build a DIY fire table
Step 1: Cut your wood
Cut your 2x4s. For the first two boards, cut each board into a 35″ piece and two 18″ pieces. For the last three boards, cut each board into a 38″ piece and two 16.5″ pieces. Since this is a waterfall edge, you want to the same board to be used for the top and legs so that the same wood grain continues across the whole piece.
Note: proper cutting is very important for this project. To get the same lengths, cut the first piece of each size and then use that piece and a guide for the remaining pieces that are the same length. You can mark with a pencil. For added precision, you can place the guide piece on top of the piece you are cutting under the miter saw. Bring the saw blade down (it should not be on) and ensure the blade is flush with the guide piece. Remove the guide piece and cut.
Step 2: make the top and sides
Assemble the legs and top using pocket holes and glue.
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
Once all the boards are together, secure with clamps until the glue dries. For the legs, the longer 18″ pieces should be on either end. For the top, the shorter 35″ pieces should be on either end.
STEP 3: assemble
Pre-drill pocket holes on the sides of the underside of the top. Also, pre-drill a pocket hole on the edge of the middle board on each leg.
With the top laying top down, slide the legs into the top. Use glue for extra stability and screw into the pre-drilled pocket holes you made in step 3. You can use a square ruler to make sure the legs are perpendicular to the top.
Step 4: sand, stain or paint, and seal
Sand the table using 80-120 grit sandpaper to remove imperfections. You can also sand again with a higher grit sandpaper for an extra smooth finish.
Stain or paint the table. If you do not want to hear about our whitewashing technique, skip to the next step. We first stained the table with dark walnut.
To whitewash: mix 1 part water with 1 part paint. We used leftover Sherwin Williams Pure White. Work in small sections and paint the mixture onto the table. Wipe the mixture off with a rag after 3-5 seconds. Once dry, sand with 120 grit sandpaper until you achieve your desired look.
Apply the exterior polyurethane.
step 5: make fire pit box
Mark where you want to cut for your fire insert. We chose to add 1″ around each side of the fire insert to allow room for fire glass.
Drill holes in each corner and then use your jigsaw to cut the rest out. You need to drill the holes in each corner to give you a place to insert your jigsaw, so choose a large enough bit to make room for the blade.
Build your fire pit box using 1x4s and pocket holes. We made ours with 2 – 16.5″ boards and 4 – 7″ boards.
Step 6: install the fire pit box
Attach your fire pit box to the bottom of the table. using pocket holes on the inside of the box sides.
Cut your cement board to fit into the fire pit box. We scored it with a box cutter, but a cement board cutter would save time and energy if you have one.
Insert your cement board into the fire pit box.
Apply silicone caulk to the corners and top of the cement board.
step 7: install fire pit insert
Move your fire pit table to the location that it will live.
Center your fire pit insert into the fire pit box and fill excess space with fire glass or rocks. You want to move the fire pit table before so that the glass doesn’t shake up and disperse.
That’s it! The thought of building a fire pit table sounds way more intimidating than the steps, right? Now you know how to build an awesome fire pit table for way cheaper than you would pay for one!
Build it exactly like yours or get creative with it. Try a different fire pit insert, make it bigger or smaller, change the color — we can’t wait to see what you come up with! If you want more outdoor inspiration, check out our screened porch reveal.