DIY Modern Concrete Coffee Table
John Malecki Builds a Sleek and Modern Concrete Coffee Table
My grandfather and my father both worked on road crews and did an excessive amount of concrete work around their homes when I was younger. As a big kid, I spent half my childhood hauling wheelbarrows full of cement around helping them with their projects around the house.
I’ve always been drawn to concrete projects, so it’s been on my list for a long time to do some furniture that utilizes concrete in the design. When a client asked for some concrete in a custom build, I jumped on the chance to get some practice and I made this Concrete Coffee Table for myself!
As you’ll see in this video, I spent a solid chunk of time on the first concrete slab that I ended up not being able to use. After some research and a long cry, I took another crack at making a slab and my second slab worked like a charm. The end result turned out better than I could have imagined -- so check it out!
Get started by building a mold for your concrete slab. In the first portion of the video, I made a handful of mistakes so you don’t have to. I built the mold with countersunk screws, paste wax, and caulked the edges to avoid leakage. The wax helps release the caulk at the end.
Once the mold is made, I mix my cement. For my second go around, I chose GRFC, which is a glass fiber reinforced concrete: a mixture of portland cement, sand, fiberglass shreds, and an acrylic hardener. I started by spraying a ¼ inch layer of cement into the form then added the fiberglass reinforced mixture by hand. Smooth this over, cover with plastic, and allow it to dry for about 2 days.
Once dry, remove your concrete slab from the mold. You’re likely to have a few imperfections, but you can use a slurry coat to fill in small holes or cracks.
Once your slurry coat is dry, you’re going to want to go in and sand rough areas by hand to 80 grit. Give the whole slab a quick sand with that 80 grit before switching to an orbit sander, working from 150-400 grit.
Once the slab is sanded, it’s time to build up your metal base. Start by cutting your metal tubing to size, beveling the edges where welds will occur. Clamp to the flattest possible surface and tack your welds first to ensure everything fits together nicely. If it does, weld together all the edges. Once cool, grind down unsightly weld lines with an angle grinder until they’re flat.
Once built up, clean all your metal with acetone. Spray a self-etching primer on the metal and choose a matte enamel finish to top it off.
Finally, you want to seal your concrete. I used long strokes of Kilz concrete sealer to give it a nice streak-free finish. Once dry, attach the top to the base with construction adhesive. Boom - you have yourself a modern concrete coffee table.
If you liked this project, check out some other videos and projects!
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.