How To Easily Build And Paint A Table With No Nails


I know, I are expecting another holiday post today...right? Well taking a mini break from that and if you are a DIY type of woodworking and constructing person...we have an updated post today on making your own table with a twist. The twist will mean that you can easily move it, easily paint it and take it apart with virtually no tools! So let's get started and if you aren't into doing furniture things from scratch you might want to move on in to another one of my posts instead...

before DIY television table

Do you remember the SUPER LARGE and SUPER UGLY projection screen televisions that were popular not too long ago?, So many us had them...bleck! The kind with the large box behind them that were a bear to move and usually housed in oversized wall units that became useless when we switched to flat screens. We had one of those  in the living room at our beach home and I was so happy the day that we decided that the beast television was a goner 👍.  Finally I won the war that we had the ocean to look at and didn't need anything like this in the living room. He has his very own man cave he caved in to the cave. 
I sketched out a simple console table that I had in mind to take it's place. 

How To Easily Build And Paint A Table With No Nails 

  • 6 - 2 x 6 x 8' 0" for top & shelf
  • 3 - 2 x 4 x 8' 0" for sides & apron
  • 2 - 4 x 4 x 8' 0" for legs
We used clear fir or you can use southern yellow pine. Choose your pieces by how much grain you'd like to see showing through the paint/stain and obviously what is available in your area.



Cut four 4 x 4's with preferably a chop saw as shown to the desired height of your table. Remember that you will be adding an 1 2/2" top to the legs, so cut the legs with that in mind for your desired finished table height. 


Notch the 4 x 4's an inch and a half deep, approximately 6" to 8" from the floor for the bottom shelf to sit on top (see photo). 

Cut two 2 x 4's exactly 6' by 4" long and cut two 2 x 4's exactly 7" long and cut two 2 x 4's exactly 15" long. These pieces will be for the frame top and legs. Then lay the legs on the floor parallel to each other fifteen inches apart with the notch up and screw the 15" piece of 2 x 4 into the notch. *NOTE: the notch isn't completely necessary but it looks better. Another option would be to surface mount the fifteen inch 2 x 4 on to the surface of the 4 x 4. 

Using the two 6' 4" pieces and the 7" pieces attach them to the 4 x 4's using 4" by 1 1/2"" inside metal angle brackets with 1 1/4" screws. 

Take the three 8' - 2 x 6 pieces and lay them upside down. Cut five 2 x 4's - eleven inches long (approximately). These boards will be attached to the three 2 x 6's and will form the structure of the top. The eleven inch 2 x 4's should fit between the 6' 4" - 2 x 4 frame or adjust accordingly.  This will complete the top. Turn the frame and the top over and place the top on top of the frame (see photo).  


To construct the bottom shelf, use the remaining 2 x 6's and notch two of the 2 x 6's to fit around the 4 x 4 legs. The notch should be approximately an inch and a half deep. This will form the outside pieces of the shelf. The center piece should fit between the two pieces that you have notched. If not, cut accordingly. 

There are no nails used to construct the table and it can be easily disassembled for moving purposes.



My goal was to give this table a softly distressed beach house look that would blend into the existing furnishings of the room unobtrusively. I have used milk paint before and enjoy the fact that it can be watered down to any consistency desired. I decided to use Miss Mustard Seed French Enamel blue first and then topcoat with MMS Ironstone

There are several ways to mix milk paint. The paint comes in a powder form and you mix it with water. I used a Mason jar to mix with the shake method (shake, shake, shake!) but the best way is really with a spare blender jar just for paint...which unfortunately I did not have.


In this project, since the table came apart easily for transporting...I took the top boards off for painting (optional). Milk paint does have some small lumps in it but they settle after application in any project that I have worked on in the past. I mixed about 25% paint to water and applied two thin coats. The watered down paint dries quickly and I was able to apply the second coat around an hour after the first coat was finished.




After the blue paint was dry I painted a thick coat of the Miss Mustard Seed Ironstone Milk Paint. You can see how it covers but some of the blue shows through as well as the wood grain.


Next came a light sanding with a small orbital sander to reveal some of the grain. The photo is greatly enlarged to show detail and I prefer just to hit the areas that are naturally raised up by the very nature of the wood.



Waxing the table was the final step and gives the paint depth, sheen and protection. I used Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax and applied this with a rag and buffed with some more rags when dry. We decided that since this table would be in a beach environment that two coats of wax would be best. I allowed the first coat of wax to dry overnight before deciding on the additional coat.


We super really LOVE this table and the color seems to get better over time too. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most difficult) we rate the build and construction to be about about a 6 or 7 and the painting is more time consuming than difficult (so a 4 on that:-).

Total Spent On Project = $75 
  • Lumber and hardware $75
  • I was happily provided with the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint for this project
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