How to make an art-deco style coffee table
Set the scene for coffee and conversation with this DIY art deco-style coffee table. The finished size is 570mm wide and 400mm high, making this piece perfect for a side or coffee table.
1. Measure 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.
2. Cut 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.
3. Measure 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.
4. Apply 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.
5. Continue 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.
6. Screw 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.
7. Sand 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.
8. Paint 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.
9. Attach the tabletop
To attach the tabletop, apply adhesive underneath, centre it over the top of the table, push down and leave to dry.
Photography credit: Cath Muscat, Natasha Dickins
Health & Safety
Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.
Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.