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Overview

Set the scene for coffee and conversation with this D.I.Y. art deco-style coffee table. The finished size is 570mm wide and 400mm high, making this piece perfect for a side or coffee table.

Photography credit: Cath Muscat, Natasha Dickins

Steps

1Measure and cut the MDF

Using a mitre or hand saw, trim MDF panels to make one 9mm-thick 600mm square and two 16mm-thick 600mm squares. Cut a 9mm-thick tabletop circle 530mm in diameter. Use the tabletop to mark and cut structural top and base circles from the 16mm-thick MDF.

Expert tip: The trick to cutting circles for this table is to use MDF, which is a composite material that doesn't have a grain, making it easier to cut with a jigsaw.

Circular tabletop being removed from timber cutout

2Cut the supports

On the 42mm square pine, measure three 320mm supports and three 50mm feet, cutting with a mitre saw. Use a countersinking bit to drill holes into each third of the top, apply adhesive and secure the supports with 40mm screws. Turn assembly upside down to attach the base, using a builder's square to line them up.

Person drilling holes into circular timber tabletop

3Measure and cut the quad

On a length of 19mm tri-quad moulding, measure 395mm, then use a stopper on the mitre saw to cut 62 strips of equal length.

Tip: To set up a stopper, use the fence on the saw table or use a clamp with timber offcuts, cutting up to three lengths at a time.

Person using drop saw to cut piece of timber

4Apply the adhesive

Working in sections of about 150mm, apply adhesive around the edges of the top and base.

Tip: The top is upside down on the work surface. Position a strip against the adhesive, resting the end flat on the work surface and nailing into the base. Use a builder's square to check the strip is straight before nailing to the top. Position the next strip flush against the first to secure.

Person using nail gun to attach timber to tabletop

5Continue to glue on the quad

Repeat with the remaining strips, working in sections and wiping adhesive drips with a damp cloth. To start each section, use the builder's square to check the strip is straight. At the last section, before applying adhesive, dry-fit the strips to check if they fit evenly or require spacing out slightly.

Person checking level of timber to ensure straightness

6Screw on the feet

Use a countersinking bit to drill holes into the centres of the feet, position them onto thirds of the base, apply adhesive and secure with 60mm screws. Turn the assembly over and check all the nails are secure, tapping any protruding heads with a small hammer.

Feet to table being screwed into base

7Sand and fill holes

Use a random orbital sander with 120-grit abrasive disc to smooth around the strips to ensure they're level with the top, then smooth around the base. Cover nails and the guide hole in the tabletop with timber filler, leaving to dry before sanding lightly using 120-grit abrasive paper with a sanding block.

Person using sander to sand tabletop

8Paint your table

Elevate the table on offcuts, then use a 50mm angled brush to apply three even coats of paint, leaving to dry between each. Use a mini roller with tray to apply three coats to the tabletop, leaving to dry.

Person painting table with paintbrush

9Attach the tabletop

To attach the tabletop, apply adhesive underneath, centre it over the top of the table, push down and leave to dry.

Art-deco style coffee table in a lounge room

Suggested products

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.