How to Make a Wooden Table Top

Having a wooden table top in your home has a certain charm and warmth. It adds character and personality to any space and can even become the highlight of your interior. Have you ever thought of making your own wooden table top? It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. In this beginner-friendly guide, we’ll take you through how to make a wooden table top from scratch.

How to Make a Wooden Table Top

Can You Make a Wooden Table Top?

Creating a wooden tabletop may seem daunting to some, but with the right tools and patience, anyone can make a beautiful piece of furniture. Choosing the right type of wood is key to ensuring the longevity and durability of your table. Hardwood such as oak or maple is a popular choice, as it is sturdy and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

From there, it’s all about measuring and cutting your wood pieces to fit precisely together. Sanding and finishing techniques can help bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er or a first-time woodworker, making your own wooden table top is a satisfying project that can add warmth and charm to your home.

Why Should You Make a Wooden Table Top?

There’s no denying that wooden furniture has a certain charm and warmth that simply can’t be replicated by man-made materials. If you want to add a touch of natural beauty to your home decor, creating a wooden table top may be just the project for you. Not only can a wooden tabletop add character and texture to your living space, but it’s also a practical and durable choice that will last for years to come.

Allows You to Customize the Size

Plus, making your own table top allows you to customize the size, shape, and color to perfectly fit your personal style and existing decor. So why settle for a generic piece of furniture when you can create your own one-of-a-kind wooden masterpiece?

How to Make a Wooden Table Top: A Beginner’s Guide

1. Choosing the Type of Wood

The first step in making a wooden table top is choosing the type of wood you want. There are many options on the market, but select a wood that can withstand everyday wear and tear. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, or cherry are excellent for durability. Once you have your wood picked out, cut it into the desired size and shape of your table top.

2. Planing and Sanding the Surface

After cutting your wood, it’s time to work on the surface. Use a planer to even out the thickness of the wood and flatten any curves or rough areas. Next, sand the surface with coarse sandpaper and gradually move to a finer grit. This process will give the wood a smooth and polished finish.

3. Assembly and Joinery

Now, it’s time to join the pieces together. Many joinery options include dovetails, biscuits, or mortise and tenon. Pick the one that works best for you and your skill level. Make sure to clamp the pieces together tightly and let the glue dry for at least 24 hours.

4. Staining and Finishing

Once the glue is dry, it’s time to add color and protection to your table top. Staining the wood is optional but can add depth and character to your piece. Use a wood stain that complements the wood grain and let it fully dry. Afterward, add a protective finish like polyurethane or oil to increase the longevity of your table top. Apply multiple coats and sand in between each layer for a smooth finish.

It's Time to Add Color

5. Mounting the Table Top

Now that your table top is complete, it’s time to mount it onto your chosen base. If you’re using legs or a pedestal, make sure to measure and mark where the screws will go before drilling. Use wood glue and screws to attach the top to the base securely.

6. Sealing and Protecting

Before using your wooden table top, it’s essential to seal and protect it from any potential damage. Use coasters or placemats when placing hot or wet items on the surface, and wipe up any spills immediately. Regularly clean and polish the wood to maintain its shine and prevent scratches.

7. Maintaining Your Wooden Table Top

Maintenance is key to keeping your wooden tabletop looking its best. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or extreme heat, which can damage the wood. Use coasters under drinks to prevent any stains or marks. Clean up any spills immediately, and use a damp cloth to clean the surface. Every six months, condition your table top with wood oil to maintain the surface’s shine and protect it from water damage.

Use a Damp Cloth to Clean

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to make a wooden table top from scratch. With a bit of effort and patience, you can create a beautiful and unique piece of furniture that will add warmth and charm to your home. Get creative with different wood types, stains, and finishes to truly make it your own. So roll up your sleeves, grab some tools, and get started on this satisfying DIY project today!

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Make a Wooden Table Top

1. Wood Type

The type of wood you choose for your table top will greatly impact its appearance, durability, and cost. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and cherry are popular choices for their strength and beauty. Softwoods like pine or cedar may be more affordable but may not hold up as well over time.

2. Grain Pattern

The wood’s grain pattern can also affect the look of your table top. Some woods have a straight grain, while others have a more pronounced and unique pattern. Consider the aesthetic you want to achieve and choose a wood with a grain that complements it.

3. Size and Shape

Before starting your project, consider the size and shape of your desired table top. Will it be rectangular, round, or square? How big do you want it to be? These factors will determine how much wood you need to purchase and how much work will be involved in creating the table top.

Consider the Size and Shape

4. Finishing Options

Once your wooden table top is complete, you must decide on a finish to protect the wood from scratches and other damage. Options include varnish, polyurethane, or oil-based finishes. Each has its own pros and cons regarding durability, appearance, and ease of application.

5. Budget

Lastly, consider your budget when choosing materials for your wooden table top. Hardwoods tend to be more expensive than softwoods, so factor this into your decision-making process. You may also want to consider purchasing reclaimed or salvaged wood if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option with character.

5 Benefits of Making a Wooden Table Top

1. Durable and Long-Lasting

One of the main benefits of making a wooden table top is its durability and long-lasting nature. Wood is a strong and sturdy material that can withstand daily wear and tear, making it an ideal choice for a table top. A wooden table top can last for many years, even decades, with proper care and maintenance.

2. Customizable Design Options

Another advantage of using wood for a table top is the wide range of design options available. Different types of wood have unique grain patterns and colors, allowing you to choose the perfect one to match your aesthetic preferences. Additionally, wood can be easily stained or painted to achieve the desired look for your table top.

3. Adds Warmth and Character to Any Space

Wooden table tops have a natural warmth and character that can enhance the overall atmosphere of any space. Adding a wooden table top can bring charm and personality to your home or office, whether it’s a rustic farmhouse style or a modern minimalist design.

4. Easy to Repair

Inevitably, accidents happen, and furniture may get damaged over time. However, one of the benefits of using wood for a table top is that it is relatively easy to repair compared to other materials such as glass or metal. Scratches or dents can be sanded down and re-stained, making it look new again.

5. Eco-Friendly Choice

Using wood for furniture is also an eco-friendly choice as it is a renewable resource that can be sustainably harvested. Additionally, choosing locally sourced wood reduces carbon emissions from transportation compared to imported materials. By opting for a wooden table top, you are investing in quality furniture and supporting sustainable practices.

Also an Eco-friendly Choice

6 Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Make a Wooden Table Top

1. Choosing the Wrong Type of Wood

One of the most common mistakes people make when making a wooden table top is choosing the wrong type of wood. Some types of wood, such as pine or cedar, maybe more affordable but are not ideal for creating a sturdy and long-lasting tabletop. It is important to research and choose a durable hardwood that can withstand everyday use.

2. Not Allowing Enough Time for Drying

Another mistake often made when making a wooden table top is not allowing enough time for the wood to properly dry. This can lead to warping, cracking, and other issues with the final product. Letting the wood acclimate to its environment and dry completely before beginning any construction is important.

3. Skipping Sanding

Sanding may seem unnecessary, but it is crucial in creating a smooth and even surface for your table top. Skipping this step can result in rough edges, uneven staining, or imperfections in the final product. Take the time to sand your wood properly before moving on to staining or finishing.

4. Poor Measurement and Cutting

Precision is key when creating a wooden table top, so it is important to take accurate measurements and make precise cuts. Even small errors in measurement or cutting can result in an uneven or unstable table top. Use proper tools and techniques to ensure accuracy throughout the process.

Use Proper Tools and Techniques

5. Not Using Proper Wood Joinery Techniques

Joinery refers to how pieces of wood are connected in woodworking projects. When making a wooden table top, it is important to use proper joinery techniques such as mortise and tenon joints or dovetail joints for maximum strength and stability. Neglecting this step can result in a weak and shaky table top.

6. Rushing Through Finishing

The finishing stage of making a wooden table top involves sealing, staining, and protecting the wood from damage or wear over time. Many people make the mistake of rushing through this step or not properly following instructions, resulting in a less-than-desirable finish on their table top. Take your time and carefully follow the recommended steps for finishing your wooden table top.


In conclusion, making a wooden table top can be a rewarding and fulfilling woodworking project. By considering the size and shape, finishing options, and budget and avoiding common mistakes, you can create a durable and beautiful table top that adds warmth and character to any space. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process of creating your very own custom wooden table top.  So, if you want to add a touch of natural beauty and functionality to your home or office, consider making your own wooden table top. 

Whether you choose to follow established plans or come up with your own design, the end result will be a unique piece that you can be proud of for years to come. Thanks for reading our post about how to make a wooden table top. So go ahead and get started on creating your very own wooden table top today! Happy woodworking!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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