DIY Glasstop Dining Table Tutorial

Dining Room | January 21, 2014

Today I am featuring a tutorial by blogger Brooke from the blog Inside Out Design. She has put together an amazing tutorial on how to build your own glasstop table! I feel honored she’s agreed to share this tutorial with my readers today! 
She was inspired by this table I posted from the Parade of Homes
Here’s how she created the look on her own. 
STEP 1 //  We didn’t have to construct the legs or the base ourselves- we were able to buy both from a site called
They have pre-made table leg kits that come with the legs and base, and
they have leg sizes for every size table, from coffee tables to dining
We ended up ordering a custom kit (they do those too!) because the size
of our table was bigger than any of their pre-made kits. They were super
helpful and someone from their site (I’m pretty sure his name was
Charlie) even talked to me on the phone multiple times to help me make a
final decision on the leg and base style that I wanted. I explained my
design idea for the table and he told me options that would be able to
support it. It made it nice when I ordered because then I felt
completely comfortable with my choices. 
The legs and base came ready to assemble and even though putting them
together looked pretty straight forward, Rob watched a video from the
Table Legs site to get some tips for putting them together. The assembly
was really easy and they came with all the holes for the screws and
everything so Rob didn’t have to do any pre-drilling before he could put
it together. 
The wood of the table base and legs comes unfinished so you add your own
stain or paint. I sanded all the pieces before Rob assembled them and
then once he put it all together we stained it. 
STEP 2 // The wood of the table base and legs comes unfinished so you add your own
stain or paint. I sanded all the pieces before Rob assembled them and
then once he put it all together we stained it. 
I already told the story of the first stain we did here but
in a nutshell, when we stained the legs and base for the first time the
color didn’t go on very well (completely because of our lack of
experience with stain). We roughed it up a little with the sander and
actually thought it looked kind of cool so I thought we might leave it.
{More on that further down…}

STEP 3 // Meanwhile we ordered the wood for the top of the table from a lumber
yard- I’d priced it up and we’d decided to go with poplar because that
was the cheapest hardwood they had. I’d actually made sure to find out
the pricing and type of wood we’d get for the top before we ordered the
table legs and base kit from,
that way we could try to match the wood. TableLegs didn’t have poplar
but their closest option to it was soft maple so that’s what we ordered
the legs and base kit in.

I wanted a fairly thick top so we went with 2 inches. I didn’t want
mitered corners; I wanted it a little more relaxed looking so Rob cut
the wood so that the two end pieces were about 3 1/2 feet long (41
inches to be exact) and spanned the whole width of the table and then
the two pieces for the long side were each a little over 5 feet long (62
1/2 inches) and were flanked by the shorter pieces at either end. 
Basically they’d be put together just like they are arranged here on the floor:
 One of the things that the guy from the table legs site had helped me
with was figuring out the measurements for the top so that we’d have a
consistent-sized overhang all the way around the table between the edge
of the tabletop and the base. I decided to go with a two inch overhang
so it was super helpful to have him on the other end of the phone doing
the math and letting me know exactly what the measurements should be for
the table top size to make that happen. 
STEP 4 // Rob put the pieces of wood together for the top by drilling pocket holes
for screws and by making slots at the edges where the wood would meet
up so that he could use biscuits held with wood glue. 
First he would attach two pieces using the biscuits and wood glue:
Then he’d go back and put screws in the pocket holes.
 STEP 5 // While Rob was putting the top together I took care of staining the
inside of the table base. We hadn’t bothered staining it when we’d first
stained the legs and outside of the base but with so much of the table
top being open and just covered in glass, the stuff you don’t normally
see on a table (like the inside of the base) had to look good too since
from certain angles when you’re sitting at the table you’ll get peeks of
it. So I stained the inside and that’s when I figured out that the
stain goes on so much better when you don’t follow the directions on the
can that tell you to wait a minute or three before wiping it off- I
wiped it off right away after applying it and it came out really nice
and consistent. 

I put stain on the insides of all the pocket holes too so they wouldn’t
be totally obvious- I just used a small foam brush to squish the stain
into the opening and then wiped away the drips. 
STEP 6 // Attaching the table top to the base was easy thanks to all the pocket
holes that came predrilled in the base from the Table Legs place- we
just set the top on the base and then after making sure it was lined up
evenly all the way around, Rob put screws in each of the pocket holes
and the top was completely secure. {btw I sanded the table top out in
the garage once it was all put together before we brought it in here and
put it on the table.}
 STEP 7 // At this point we put the drop cloths back under the table and I stained
the top- and with my new-found staining skills that I’d picked up from
doing the inside of the base, the color came out looking amazing. Super
consistent and just the shade of brown I was wanting. (In some of the
finished photos the color of the stain looks kind of reddish but it’s
not at all red in real life. I was super careful to choose a stain that
didn’t have any of my hated undertones for wood- red, orange, or yellow.
So with the top looking fab and the base and legs suddenly looking-
well, not- we lugged the table out to the garage so I could sand it down
to bare wood again and start over from scratch. 
STEP 8 // I re-stained the base and legs using the same quick technique I’d used
on the top- apply to one area and then wipe it off right away. I ended
up doing I think about 3 coats to get the color to match the shade on
After the staining was all done I gave it one last light sanding and a coat of poly-crylic to protect the wood. 
STEP 9 // Then we ordered our piece of glass. I can’t even remember where we
ordered it from but it was from a glass place Rob has worked with before
(he’s in construction). We had it cut to fit over the whole table top.
We got a fairly thick piece for two reasons: one because I didn’t want
to worry about it getting broken if something got thrown at it since you
never know what can happen in a house with two 3 year olds; and two, I
didn’t want to have to use those little rubber bumpers under it to keep
it from sliding. I was hoping that if the glass was thick enough it
would be heavy enough to stay in place on the table without needing
those bumpers. Luckily that was the case- the glass is insanely heavy.
It took Rob, my brother, and my brother-in-law to put it on the table
and then it didn’t move. So I have absolutely no fears of it sliding off
the table. 

This was definitely the longest project we’ve ever done- it took months.
Mostly because we didn’t order all our supplies at once. Since
everything we needed to build this table was fairly pricey, we didn’t
want to risk getting every thing at once and then having measurements be
off and something not work with something else and then have wasted
hundreds of dollars. So we started with the base and legs and then once
that was put together we ordered the wood for the top, then lastly we
order the glass. I’m really glad we did it that way because it gave us
room to make any needed adjustments with the sizing of things and just
gave us a lot more peace of mind and confidence when we’d put in an
order for something. 
This was definitely not a cheap diy either. In all we spent around
$1,000.00 including all the little misc things like stain, brushes,
screws, etc. But that was our budget if we’d bought a table, and before
we got started with building this one I’d shopped around a bunch of
stores to check prices on similarly sized tables (room for 8), and a
plain wooden table of that size would cost us right around a thousand
dollars. Tables with glass tops were quite a bit more. So even though we
could have saved ourselves all the trouble and just bought a regular
wooden table for the same price, we couldn’t have gotten something in
this style (glass) for even close to that. So the cost of building this
was definitely worth it to us to have the exact table that I was
This is definitely, hands down, my favorite thing that Rob and I have
ever made. I want our grandkids to be eating dinner with us at this
table someday. 
And after months of working on it, it sure feels good to have it finished! 

Thanks to Brooke for sharing her masterpiece with us! Go to her blog to see more pictures!