How to Build a Coffee Table from an Old Window


Article Posted By: Liberty

DIY Window Coffee Table

This DIY project from Liberty repurposes an old window to be the top of a rustic-looking coffee table on wheels.

Just follow our step-by-step tutorial to build one yourself.

DIY Window Coffee Table

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Step 1: Measure and Cut Wood

I used 2 x 8 wood for the sides of the coffee table. You can go with smaller (or even wider) boards depending on how high you want your coffee table to sit from the floor, and how much storage space you would like inside of it.

Measure the length and width of your window. The window I had was 36 x 30 ft., so two boards are cut to 36 in., and two boards are cut to 27 in. (30 in. minus the depth of a 2 x 8, which is 1½ in. per board). I also had the ¾ in. plywood cut to 36 x 30 in. so that the base matches the size of the window.

I had my local Home Depot store make all of my wood cuts for me because I don’t have any saws at home. If you prefer to cut it yourself but don’t have your own tools, Home Depot has a great tool rental service, which is the perfect way to try out tools at home before purchasing your own.

Step 2: Sand, Prime, and Paint

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My old window had several coats of paint built up on it. Because I’m going to paint it a new color, I didn’t completely remove the layers of paint. Instead, I used a medium grit sanding block to sand off any flaking paint. Lightly sand the 2 x 8 wood cuts as well.

To help ensure that the paint would adhere and have a rich color, I used paint primer on the 2 x 8 wood. I used a small roller to apply KILZ Original Primer to each wood board.

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Before painting, use painter’s tape to tape off the glass panes of your window. This will help minimize any paint you get on the glass. If you do accidentally get some paint on the glass, let it dry and carefully scrape it off with a blade.

Apply your paint. I used a small foam brush for the smaller detail work, and then used the small roller brush for the larger areas. By using a roller brush rather than a paint brush, I was able to get my wood and windows painted quicker.

I used two coats of BEHR Premium Plus in Nouveau Copper to achieve the beautiful copper color.

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It’s not necessary to paint the bottom of the plywood base since no one would likely even notice if it was left unfinished, but since I would know that it was unfinished, I went ahead and painted the bottom of it.

You will need to paint the sides of the plywood. You can do that now, or you can wait until your table is lifted on casters so that it’s easier to paint the edges.

Step 3: Build Table Box

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Pre-drill two holes about ¾ in. from the end of the 36-in.-long 2 x 8 wood board.

Repeat on the opposite end, and on the other 36 in. 2 x 8 board.

Using your socket wrench, screw in your black lag screws, attaching your 36 in. board to the end of the 27 in. board.

Repeat this step on each corner until your frame is complete.

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Take your correctly sized piece of shelf liner and peel back the bottom side to reveal the adhesive on the top corners.

Start by applying the corners at one end of the drawer, smoothing the liner down with the palm of your hand.

As you work from your top corners, continue to peel back the adhesive towards you while sticking the drawer liner to the desired area.

Once the shelf liner is in place, use the palm of your hand to smooth over the entire surface. Work from the center to the edges to get rid of any air bubbles. If there are remaining air bubbles, pierce them with a pin and continue to smooth.

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Attach the ¾ in. plywood base of the table. Make sure your drawer liner is face down. I used 1½ in. wood nails to screw the base into the sides of the table.

I used four screws on the short sides and six screws on the long sides.

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Attach your 6 in. industrial casters. Position a caster in each corner. Place a washer over one of the caster’s screw hole openings. Drill your ¾ in. wood screw into the base, securing the caster to the table.  Repeat for each caster.

Step 4: Attach Window and Add Hardware

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Carefully flip your coffee table over. I suggest enlisting a friend to help turn it over since it is now on casters and getting heavy. Position the window over your new base. Mark the placement of your tee hinges on the side of the window and base. I used three tee hinges.

Using your drill, screw them into the window and base.

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Your decorative hardware should come with installation screws. You might need to purchase a longer length #8 machine screw in case your window is deeper than the included screws.

Measure and pre-drill for the width of your cabinet pulls. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to install your new pulls.

I used Liberty’s Hammercraft cabinet pull to coordinate with the industrial look I wanted.

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Since I left the underside of the window unfinished, I decided to distress the outside of the coffee table to let some of the white show through.

Using a light duty sanding block, gently sand until you get your desired distressed look.

Step 5: Style Your Window Coffee Table

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Browse our selection of cabinet hardware from Liberty.

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