DIY Herringbone Coffee Table Refresh

herringbone tableherringbone table
  • Worx Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • Old coffee table or end table or any flat surface you’d like to overlay.
  • 3 1x3/8 pine board
  • Enough 1x4s to cover your table’s surface (we used approx 6 1x4x8s for our 24”x46” table)
  • 1 1x2” pine board (for center divider)
  • Sandpaper: 80, and 220 grit
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Triangle
  • Clamps
  • Wood Glue
  • Work rags and clean rags
  • Wood Filler
  • Stain of your choice
  • Water based Poly
  • Paint Brush

Step-by-Step Instructions


1. We wanted to spruce up our old coffee table top that had worn and warped over the years by adding a herringbone overlay. In this DIY we will show you how to update and refresh any table top. (check out the “befores”)

2. After we got the table outside, I started by roughly sanding the top to remove any finish.

using 5 in 1 sander on top of granite table

3. Once the table top has been roughed up a bit, wipe down with a work rag and begin to measure the 1x3/8” boards to create the frame of your table. Cut each board.

using measureing tape to mark spots on wood piece

4. Now, attach the side pieces by clamping them to the table top while using a 1x4” board as the guide for the height of the frame.

using clamp on wood pieces to keep together

5. With the clamp still securing the board to your table, grab the Worx Tools Cordless Nail Gun and nail the board to the table. You can also add a little wood glue first for an extra tight seal.

using orange and black nail gun into wood piece

6. Continue with the other 3 sides until the frame is complete.

7. Next, Measure out the 1x2” board for the center divider of the table and cut to fit within the edges of the frame. Apply some wood glue and attach to the table. Now, measure the exact center of the table on that board and mark.

8. Then Cut one of the 1x4” board ends to a 45 degree angle and lay on the table top against the outer edge of your frame. Carefully mark the center onto that board and do another 45 degree cut to the end. It should line up with both the outer edge and the center mark once it is laid out.

angled cut wood piece

9. This is where it gets fun. Like doing a puzzle you get to make yourself! Continue to lay and measure and cut, tweaking each board as you go until all of the negative space has been filled and your beautiful herringbone design appears.

10. Once all of the design has been cut and laid out, carefully clear one section at a time and wipe down again with a rag.

11. Add some wood glue to the section and lay the pieces back down one at a time until that section is complete. Continue with the other 3 sections until all of the pieces have been glued down.

12. Now, stand back and admire that beautiful work while the glue dries!

13. Begin to fill in any gaps with the wood filler and let that dry too.

wood filler on top of wood pieces with wood filler applied

14. Next, grab the Worx Cordless Detail Sander with the 80 grit sandpaper and sand down the table top removing any excess wood filler and smoothing the entire surface.

using worx sander to sand down top of surface

15. After all of the sanding is done, blow off any excess sawdust and wipe down again with a clean rag.

using worx blower to blow off top surface of table

16. Using a rag or paintbrush, apply the stain of your choice to the wood, following the grain. This part can get a wee bit challenging since there are so many direction changes so watch out! Wipe off any excess stain with a clean rag.

using rag to apply stain to top of wood surface

17. Let the stain dry and add a thin coat of water based poly to the table. We used a satin finish so that it’s wipeable (because, kids) but a matte finish would look fantastic too! Run your MakerX Mini Heat Gun over the poly to remove any bubbles. Let the poly dry completely between coats and do a light sanding with the 220 grit sandpaper in between as well.

herringbone table outside on driveway

18. Once the poly dries, bring your table back into your space and style it however you’d like. We are so happy with how this turned out! (I've even caught myself staring at our table instead of the TV!)