metal pipes and a table top can come together to
make a stylish coffee table.
foggy Saturday afternoon I found myself looking
critically at the house, as if seeing for the first time
in months all the niggling tasks that lay in wait: walls
to paint; floors to scrub; laundry to fold. I was so
overwhelmed by my growing chore list that I almost got
up from the couch and set down my sandwich and plate of
chips. ALMOST. That was yet another problem: how could I
loaf in front of the TV, effectively cataloging all the
chores that awaited, when I had no place to set down my
that’s when it hit me: There was no way I could take
care of all my life’s problems without a coffee table.
It was just humanly impossible; anyone could see that.
the diligent, focused person I am, I carefully balanced
my plate on a sofa cushion, grabbed my laptop and began
perusing Pinterest for coffee table ideas. Finding a
coffee table that would fix my ENTIRE LIFE wasn’t just
some simple folly; it required research.
some time and some more chips and maybe a cookie or two,
I found a table style I loved that I could also put
together myself. A DIY coffee table? PERFECT!
quick trip to the hardware box mart and I had all the
makings of a wood and metal pipe table. The project is
relatively simple and takes about three hours, start to
finish — and most of that time is waiting for paint to
24" x 48" table top
8, 6" pipe nipples (3/4 inch diameter)
6, T shaped connectors (3/4 inch diameter)
4, 10" pipe nipples (3/4 inch diameter)
8 flanges (3/4 inch diameter)
1, 36" long pipe (3/4 inch diameter)
36 wood screws
Rust-Oleum metal spray paint (optional)
4 cups vinegar (distilled white or apple cider)
4 cups water
pipe tables are made with aged or painted pipes. The
pipes you’ll find at the hardware store are likely
made of a galvanized steel and are silver in color. If
you like this color, go with it. If you’d like your
pipes to have an aged look, instructions for that
process can be found on the Internet.
however, you think you’d like to paint the pipes (as
in my version), there’s some necessary prep work.
hardware professional I spoke with advised me to first
clean the pipes with a one-part vinegar, one-part water
solution. Such cleaning removes a factory laid coating,
which will then allow for the paint to adhere to the
quick removal: In the bucket, mix a 1:1 solution of
water and vinegar. In a well-ventilated area, submerge
all the pipe nipples and fittings in the solution for
about a halfhour. (NOTE: Chemistry is taking place in
the bucket, and a slightly nasty smell may arise.)
the fittings soak, thoroughly rub down the long center
pipe with a solution-soaked rag. Remove the fittings
from the vinegar solution and wipe all the pieces dry
with a clean rag. (SUGGESTION: Wear a pair of latex
household gloves during this process.)
vertical table leg is composed of a flange, a 6"
nipple, a T connector, a 10" nipple and topped with
a flange, all in that order.
horizontal bars, then, are composed of is a 6"
nipple, a T connector and a 6" nipple in that
order. Each horizontal bar connects 2 vertical legs.
this point, you have 2 separate sets of legs, each
connected by a horizontal bar. Screw the long, 36"
pipe to the T connectors in the center of the horizontal
bars, thus connecting both sets of legs.
all the pipes are dried and fitted together, your table
base is now ready for painting. In a well-ventilated
area, lightly spray the pipes with the metal spray
paint. Let the pipes dry and repeat the process until
the desired look is achieved.
dried completely, connect your table top to the base via
wood screws, screwing from the underside of the table.