• Thomas Price

Kmart Coffee Table Herringbone Hack

Do you have any drab looking flatpack furniture laying around? Here's a super simple guide to dressing it up, using an old pallet!

This idea could be applied to almost any flatpack furniture, so the sky's the limit!

Ok, let's start!

First you'll need a basic coffee table.

Next I got some old wood I had laying around. Some were offcuts from when I'd built the deck, and others were from an old pallet I'd pulled apart for the kids cubby.

Then, I played around a little bit with a herringbone style pattern. Nothing too fancy, just tried to minimise the amount of wood I'd have to cut off.

I held the boards on one by one with a clamp, and drilled holes where I wanted the nails.

I figured two nails per board would do. I just made sure to make the drill holes a bit smaller than the nails were, so that it was a nice snug fit.

Started mixing the deck offcuts with the old pallet wood. At different lengths to mix it up a bit and not waste too much wood. Going for that rustic vibe! (but you could just as easily use lovely store bought wood for a sleeker look)

I found it easier to start roughly cutting them to shape as I went. At first using a jigsaw, but eventually found it easier with a circular saw. Doesn't matter if the edges are super rough, we can take care of that in a bit! (plus "rustic" right?)

Nearly there. As you can see, the pattern is pretty run and gun. But I'm digging it!

All the boards on! Then finished roughly cutting around the edges. As you can see it's super rough, it's amazing how easily that cleans up in a few more steps.

The nails I used were old spare nails I had laying around, they were enormous and left me with this horror-show. I unscrewed the legs and used a grinder to grind them off. Just so there were no hidden surprises underneath. As you can see it doesn't look pretty, but who see's the underneath anyway right?

After using a normal metal grinding disc on my Ryobi grinder, I switched to probably my favourite attachment ever. They are called "flapper (or flap) discs". They are essentially grinder discs made from glued together bits of sandpaper. It's a lot more aggressive than just using a sander, and allows you more control. They're cheap, and I love them!

I ran it over the top lightly, the difference is amazing.

You could leave it like this if you wanted to keep it inside and don't mind the gaps. But I thought I'd put some timber gap filler in the cracks for a more finished look and so I could use it outside as well.

It's like a smooth peanut butter consistency, and starts to dry reasonably quickly. It goes hard like plaster. Once it dries, the idea is to sand it off again with the flap disc (or sander, but it would take a bit longer). As you can see, I was pretty rough and ready with it.

After it had dried, it was time to sand it off! It's such a nice feeling seeing how it looks underneath.

I also used the flap disc to round off the edges, it does a great job and after a little bit you get the hang of it. That "handcrafted" look really lends itself well to a flap disc, as it doesn't really matter if it's a bit lumpy or if you make a mistake.

I put a few layers of clear varnish on top with an old cloth. Though if you don't want it on your hands, maybe use an old paintbrush. It gets pretty sticky, but mineral turpentine gets it off.

You let the first coat dry, on a hot day it doesn't take too long, and then put as many coats as you'd like to again on top. If you're keeping it outside I'd go for three coats, but really it's up to you.

Finished! The varnish can smell pretty strong for a couple of days, but if you can put it somewhere like a garage or a shed while it fully, properly dries you're sorted. I don't mind so much so I just brought them inside.

We also took the legs off the little one (on these they just unscrew) and spray painted them black.


Enjoy, I can't wait to see what you do!

Love cuteness? Love chickens? See also!


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