DIY Modern Console Table


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This simple modern console table is gorgeous and something I had wanted to make for a long time. It was fun to make something that didn’t have a deadline and was just a passion project! Another bonus is that this table is a great beginner project that will save you money. Console tables can get pricey at the store, and the wood for this table only costs about $30. Gasp! 

With a little time and effort, you can make this table for yourself following the tutorial below. Make sure to read all of the steps and utilize the proper safety equipment!

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What you’ll need:






Step 1: Cut your boards to size

  • Here is the cut list you will need:
    • (4) 2 x 4 x 46” – Table Top (2)-(2 x 4 x 8)
    • (4) 2 x 2 x 45” – Top & Bottom Long Braces (2)-(2 x 2 x 8)
    • (6) 2 x 2 x 12” – Top & Bottom Short Braces & Stretchers (1)-(2 x 2 x 8)
    • (4) 2 x 2 x 30” – Legs (2)-(2 x 2 x 8)
  • You can make these cuts with your miter saw. BEFORE you cut make sure to label each board with the pieces you’re going to cut. If you do that will be able to take advantage of your wood and have a minimal amount leftover.
  • If you go the table saw route and buy all 2×4’s, rip all but (2) directly in half, then rip about ¼” off the rounded side to make the board 1.5” all around.

Step 2: Square up the top boards

  • The 2×4 top boards (for the console table top) should currently be 3.5” wide each. They need to get down to about 3.25” wide each. In order to do this, you can either rip 1/8” off each side with a table saw, use a planer to take off about 1/8” from each side, or rip 1/8” off each side with a circular saw.
  • Note: 1/8” is usually the width of the blade on the table saw and circular saw, so you’re not taking off much!

Step 3: Drill pocket holes

  • Set your pocket hole jig to the 1.5” thickness and set the stop collar up on the drill bit to the same.
  • Here is a list of where you will need to drill pocket holes:
    • (2) in each end of the top & bottom braces and stretchers (40 total)
    • (3) in one edge of (3) of the tabletop pieces (9 total)

Step 4: Assemble

  • The Base:
    • When assembling the base, make sure all pocket holes are facing down so that they stay hidden.
    • Attach (1) long brace and (1) short brace to each leg with wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws to form the bottom rectangle.
    • Next, do the same thing for the top braces, making sure the pocket holes are still facing down. Also add the (2) stretchers between the top braces. You don’t need to measure out how far apart they will go, just try to evenly spread them out.
  • The Top:
    • Using wood glue along the edges and the pocket hole screws, attach the tabletop pieces together. Make sure that the boards are sitting flush with each other while attaching. Clamps (especially this Kreg face clamp– in pictures below) make that job so much easier!

Step 5: Round over the top (optional)

  • If you want to make a nice rounded edge on the top of the table, put in a ¼” or ½” roundover bit into your router and just go around the perimeter of the top. Of course, this step is optional, but I love how it gives it a more finished look!


Step 6: Fill and sand

  • Fill any imperfections or voids in your console table with wood filler, and then get to sanding!
  • I love my orbital sander and use it for just about every project. HERE is the link for it.
  • Start with a rougher grit, like 80 or 120, and then move up to about 220grit to get the final product nice and smooth.

Picture is from a different project, but this is the orbital sander I use and love! 

Step 7: Paint, stain, and poly

  • Now you can go ahead and put some color on everything. To make things a little easier, I put about 3 coats (2 cans) of this black spray paint on my base. A while back I also got this nifty little spray can handle (linked HERE) so that my hands didn’t get too tired to keep a consistent spray going!
  • Now for the top! Here is my go-to process for staining, especially when using pine (you can skip the mineral spirits and the pre-stain, but they make a big difference in the evenness of the stain):
    • Wipe all dust with a rag
    • Wipe mineral spirits over the project to remove more dust and find any imperfections
    • Apply a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner (HERE’s what I usually use)
    • Apply stain with foam brush or paper towel – I used Varathane Early American here
    • Apply 2-3 coats of Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane in satin (or matte) with a nice flat polyester paint brush (polyester won’t absorb the water) lightly sanding with 320grit sandpaper between coats
    • After a day or two, spray a little water on your project and use a 320grit sanding sponge to make sure everything is nice and smooth. When you wipe it clean, you won’t be able to stop touching it!!
  • Don’t forget to apply a couple of coats of the polyurethane to the legs as well!

This is my favorite stuff ever!

Step 8: Attach the top

  • Your tabletop should be about 1” smaller than your base all the way around. Make little pencil or chalk marks on your base to mark the corners of where the tabletop will go.
  • Now, set your tabletop to the side, flip your base upside down, and you can drill your pilot holes for the screws.
  • The tabletop will only be sitting on about ½” of the base all the way around, so you want your screws to be as close to the edge as possible (see pictures below).
  • Drill (2) holes in each short end of the base, and (3) in each long end. If you don’t have a countersinking bit (I don’t!), start by drilling a hole with a thinner bit (about 1/8”) and then use a larger spade bit (about 1/4”) to drill a small way down so that when you put your screw in, it will be hidden in the wood.
  • Once your holes are drilled, flip the base over, line your tabletop up on the base, clamp it down in a couple of places, and put in your 2” wood screws to secure the top to the base. Don’t try to overdue the tightening of the screws, you don’t want them to be so tight that you don’t allow for any natural wood movement.

Once everything is assembled, you’re done! You made a modern console table! You can now decorate it to your liking. Good job!

This console table was so fun to make. It’s also cute and sturdy! Let me know if you make this- I love to hear from you all! Pictures are also welcome 🙂


Remember to make a be powerful, friends!


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