Ever see a piece of furniture you absolutely love but then see the price and wonder if it’s worth re-mortgaging your house for just to have your kids (or pet) mark it up with boogers or whatever they ate for breakfast last week? I have and its name was Folsom by Pottery Barn and it had a price tag of $1900! You know how many eggs I could buy in today’s market for that price? 5,277…that’s how many eggs (I did the math)! With that said, I still wanted a coffee table like the Folsom but for a fraction of the cost – think the price of 1388 eggs ( that sounds insane but realistically, my goal is around $500). So let’s dive into it!
ABOUT THE FOLSOM
When I first saw this table, I knew it would be the right dimensions for our living room with our long sectional. I used the measurements on the Pottery Barn website to create my own plan – I did shrink my table just a little bit and I’ll explain my reasoning further in this post. The dimensions I finalized on were 60in wide x 32in deep x 18.5in high with a 2.5in thickness.
MATERIALS AND CUT LIST
- 5 sheets 3/4in 5×5 Baltic Birch Plywood – $287.80
- 6 – 2x4x8 – $60
- Stain of choice – $30
- Miscellaneous ( wood filler, screws, staining pad, etc) – $50
- Total: $427.80
Cuts (This may vary depending on final size of desired table_
- 2 – 60 x 32 (all edges mitred)
- 2 – 18.5 x 32 (all edges mitred)
- 2 – 56 x 32 (all edges mitred – 2 inside mitres, 2 outside mitres)
- 2 – 14.5 x 32 (all edges mitred – 2 inside mitres, 2 outside mitres)
- 4 – 60 x 2.5 ( 2 mitre edges and 45 degree cuts on both ends)
- 4 – 18.5 x 2.5 (2 mitre edges and 45 degree cuts on both ends)
The frame will be assembled with 2x4s and pocket holes but if you want more supports, makes sure to add them.
- 4 – 2×4 cut to 59in
- 8 – 2x4s cut to 26in
- 6 – 2x4s cut to 14in
Check out my Instagram highlight if there are any questions on how the mitres should look to give that “solid wood” look.
If you have been here a while, you know that I have no idea how to use software to mock-up my design. I sketch EVERY THING out and because I am a very visual person, I usually will either tape out my design or lay out boards to get an idea of scale.
To save on wood (because wood is pricier than eggs….maybe?), I decided to shrink the table from 40in to 32in. This would allow me to use the extra 28in from the 5×5 for the edges and faces of the table. I also debated shrinking the overall length to 59in form 60in because the plywood I was working with was exactly 60in and I knew I’d need to mitre the edges so if I wasn’t exact and the frame was built for a 60in wrap, it wasn’t going to work, but in the end, I decided to take the risk.
As with any build, I try to make sure I have all my cuts ready and “dry-fit” how I want them to be to ensure that my measurements and math is correct. For this build, I chose to go with pocket holes to ensure there were no screw heads sticking up. If you don’t want to go the pocket hole route, ensure your screw head is sunk fully into the wood or you will have problems with mounting the plywood flat later.
First, we need to build the frame. I used 2x4s for this to ensure that the thickness I wanted the table to be was 2.5in after the plywood was attached. *MAKE SURE ITS 100% SQUARE. If you frame is out even a little, the mitres will not line up correctly.
Once you have built your frame like shown above, it’s time to start making your inner and outer shells. Now, I do not have. photo of this but we put the inner pieces in first – put glue on your frame because if you are like us and don’t cut it a 1/16 smaller so the pieces slide right in, it’s nearly impossible to get glue on the frame between the plywood afterwards. Shoot in a couple nails to secure and then use wood filler on an of the interior seams that might be slightly gapped.
For the outer shell, I started by gluing and nailing the two side/waterfall style pieces to the top board. I didn’t have corner samples that worked for a mitred edge so I did come up with a system that worked using my speed squares to ensure it dried square. You can also use tape to keep the mitres tight while drying. Once that is dry – don’t attach to to the frame yet! If you do prior to making sure the bottom lines up, you might have it nailed on in the incorrect position again, causing mitres to not be tight.
I flipped it over, lined up the bottom to the sides, and then nailed/glued the bottom and side mitres together and then attached the sides and bottom to the frame with brad nails. I did later add brad nails to the top but left it till I was finished later as it wasn’t going anywhere anyway. You can add you face frame pieces at this time. If all your mitres line up, they should easily lay flat. If you do notice they are bowing or aren’t sitting flat, use a sander to lessen the thickness and try again.
Here Is how it should look once the pieces are all attached to the frames:
Use wood filler to fill in any gaps and nail holes. I rounded off the edges with the sander because I prefer a softer look but its not necessary. Once you have the piece fully assembled, sand it smooth and stepping up in grits. Start with an 80 grit to get out any imperfections in the wood followed by 120, 220, and lastly 320.
It’s time for staining and finishing! This part of the project is all up to you on how you want to finish it! I always apply a wood conditioner to my wood to ensure an even finish as wood will absorb stain differently. Once that has set for the recommended amount of time (usually 15-20 min), you can apply your stain. I decided to go with Weathered Oak and Early American by Minwax. Make sure to always test your stain on a scrap piece! I did add a little white wash afterward because the table was pulling a little too much orange.
I applied 2-3 coats of polycrylic – make sure to sand lighting with 220 between each coat.
I am absolutely in love with the final result! It is still very heavy, just as a warning! If you use 1/2 plywood, it’ll be lighter but just ensure you have enough supports in the middle to prevent bowing.
- Rug: Loloi Rugs – Polly Area Rug
- Decor: Home Sense
- Couch: Ashley’s Furniture Home Store
If you liked this How-to, feel free to leave a comment below and if you try this project, be sure to tag me on social media. If you want to stay up-to-date to my current projects, head over to my instagram and follow along!