DIY – Driftwood Plank Tabletop

Hello Friends, as promised, today I am showing what I built from the planks that I shared in last week’s post, The Easiest-Ever Driftwood Plank Paint Technique. I updated my two old dark end tables and soon will do the same with the matching coffee table by using the dreamy driftwood planks I made last week! Not only does the new style go better in our lake cottage, the change has magically lifted the entire room (cave) out of darkness.

What a difference…

(Left) Original espresso brown table, (Right) base coat of white Primer

The table was painted with Annie Sloan white chalk paint with a clear wax finish, so when the planked top is removed I am left with a nice distressed white table. Note, I sprayed the table with white Primer paint to minimize the use of chalk paint. In case you are wondering – I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, (custom mix – 1 Cup Pure White: 1 Tbsp Old White) and AS Clear wax over the chalk paint. For tips on chalk paint see my post HERE.

But wait, I’m not done!

To force my dark room into a lighter, brighter mood, I decided to paint all three tables white and add driftwood plank tops. The look is totally on trend with Farmhouse and Coastal style decor. Gray is my neutral color, so the driftwood planks on top of white chalk-painted tables seems perfect.

Uh Humm, STILL not done…

One problem, I want to preserve the simple-line tables for future style changes – you know, I love planks now, but who knows when I may want to change-up my style. These tables need to keep their “changeable factor” of simple lines…my solution…a REMOVABLE plank top. Genius! The new planked top fits tightly enough not to move around, yet can be easily lifted off – no damaging nails or glue to mess up the original table top.

I’m sharing how I built that simple removable planked top in today’s post, you can read about how to get my dreamy driftwood paint effect HERE.

Let’s make a plank tabletop…

Supplies & Process:

  • Purchase a piece of .625-inch thick Press Wood (MDF, Particle Board) for the base of the removable top. Cut to the size of the table, adding an additional 1/2-inch to the length & width of tabletop pressed wood (the new top will over-hang 1/4-inch on all four sides.) I used pressed wood because it is real flat, known for its dimensional stability & affordability, whereas plywood tends to warp.
  • Buy enough hobby/craft wood “planks” (Lowe’s or Home Depot) to cover the press wood (removable top.) I purchased the planks & pressed wood at the same time, so after my fav store “guy” cut the pressed wood top to size, I walked to the craft wood area to lay out various strips of craft wood until they filled the cut pressed wood top. I planned for the tiny gap between each plank as fill-space. The pine planks I bought were .375 thick for the top of the table and .25 thick for the side edge. Top planks were 3.5-inches wide and 2.5-inches wide and the side edge was only 1.5-inch wide. The length of the planks need to match the measurement of your pressed wood length.
  • Do the Easiest-ever driftwood technique, to the planks, including the clear coat, prior to attaching them to the wood.

  • (Above photo) Attach the planks to pressed wood using Liquid Nail or Gorilla glue & finishing nails (long enough to go through the plank into the pressed wood, but not into the original table if you are preserving the table.) Tip: don’t skip the nails, glue is not enough. Trust me ; (
  • Sink all nail heads and let the adhesive dry over-night.
  • While that is drying, measure and cut the Edge wood to fit. Don’t attempt to attach until adhesive on top planks is dry. I did not miter the edge corner cuts, just butted the edges. That is Simple and fits the table’s vibe.
  • Fill the nail holes with Spackle (filler) and let dry.

You can see how I mixed wood widths and planned out how plank grains looked. Nice!

  • Touch-up the nail Spackle (filler) with dots of craft paint. I used paint colors I had on hand, black+white=gray, with some tan mixed in if needed. Wipe away all excess smears of paint.
  • Attach the side edges with finish nails, sink, fill nail holes and touch-up with craft paint. I did hit the corners with a power orbital sander to remove sharp points and to square-up the corners so the metal brace would lay flat. The metal brace hides the wonky : )

(Left) Sharp corners are sanded off & stained and squared-up. (Right) I used an ice pick to mark the hole for the tack.

Metal Corner Decoration…

For the corner decorative brackets (braces) I bought galvanized 90-degree braces at the hardware store. I realized the screws used to attach them would be a Coolness Opportunity, so I bought upholstery tacks (Lowe’s) to get an Industrial look. The galvanized metal was too shiny, so I “aged” it and the tacks with paint. (Yikes) I first tried two (internet) solutions to “age galvanized metal” and they failed (Lysol toilet bowl cleaner & steel wool, and then Vinegar, salt, bleach and ammonia (ugh, nothing darkened it enough no matter what I kept adding and waiting to happen!)

Finally, I went to Captain’s paint cabinet and found two colors of leftover hammered metallic spray paint, Silver and Copper. I gave the metal braces a light swoosh of each and Voilà, rusty age! The tacks were given their “rusty age” by dabbing on craft paint (from my craft closet – I still need to do a Post on that closet.)

The corner metal detail takes the table Over-the-Top…

Two end tables finished, now I need to get crackin’ on the coffee table. I already purchased 3 smaller gray hyacinth grass baskets (Home Goods) to go on its bottom shelf, so I am committed to it.

I feel like summer is almost over and soon I will be making Holiday projects to post before Fall…this Blogger’s calendar keeps me on my toes.

Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!

Note: for Readers who know my house, I moved the table out of the “cave” family room into the living room for better photo lighting.

2 thoughts on “DIY – Driftwood Plank Tabletop

  1. These turned out great! What a fabulous idea to make it removable! Can’t wait to see your craft closet….

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