Urban Table DIY

It’s been a while since I’ve showed off a DIY project, but my heart yearns to have more time for projects like this. Creative projects of any type can really soothe the soul, don’t you think? This little table is one of my favorite projects ever, for two reasons. First because it was custom made for a very, very dear client. And second, it’s just so stinking cool. Once I show you, you are going to want to go create this for your space. I almost hate to expose how easy and cool this particular project is.

Have you ever seen a beam? As in, a very thick, laminated beam, the kind that holds up the roof and walls in your home? They aren’t all that pretty. You order the beam from your local lumber yard by the length you need. They will come printed with manufacturing information that you just don’t need.

urban table DIY before sanding

But if you treat them right, with some careful sanding and a LOT of polyurethane, they are really, really interesting.

urban table DIY (3)

Did I say easy? There was a LOT of sanding involved in this project to remove the print on the beam. I mean, no real skill required, but plenty of time involved.

urban table DIY during sanding

There are 6-8 coats of poly on this baby. You can see the difference the finish makes, with the finish on just the left side of the photo below. The poly really brings out the depth of color in the grain.

urban table DIY with polyeurethane

This section of beam, ordered through my lumber yard and cut to my specs, went from ugly duckling to urban lovely. It cost $22.

Once finished, I screwed it onto a metal cocktail table base. Because the beam itself is so thick, the table needed to be a tad shorter than your standard table. This table base happened to be new, but you could just refurbish a base with more of a history. You might have a table at home just begging for a makeover, and all you really need are the legs. The key is that it has to be sturdy since this beam section is heavy. If I were to do this again, I’d use galvanized pipe from the hardware store for a totally trendy look.

Here she is in her new home with a little holiday bling. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Urban Table DIY


I absolutely love the look of the end grain.

urban table DIY

These beams come in different thicknesses and widths, and in just about any length you would want. Remember, they typically are holding up roofs over that open floor plan we are all fond of. A wide beam would even make a great narrow kitchen island alternative to butcher block.

urban table DIY