1 Side Table 3 Ways

Whether you choose a painted, stained, or natural finish, you’ll love having this table by your side.



Build the top and shelf

Step 1: From a 3/4″×24″×48″ [1.9 cm x 60.96 cm x 121.92 cm] sheet of birch plywood, cut the top and shelf (A) to size. Cut the front and back edging (B) to size, making sure the length matches the width of the panels. Cut the side edging (C) 1/4″ [.64 cm] longer than listed (Cutting List and Cutting Diagram).

Step 2: Glue and clamp the front and back edging (B) to the bottoms of the panels (A) with the ends and edges flush. After the glue dries, carefully cut the side edging (C) to fit between the front and back edging. Glue and clamp the side edging to the panels with the edges flush (Project Diagrams).

Step 3: Fill any voids in the exposed plywood edges with wood filler. Once the filler dries, clamp the top and shelf together face to face and sand the edges smooth.

Add the slats

Step 1: From 1″×2″×8′ [2.54 cm x 5.08 cm x 1.83 m] poplar boards, cut the slats (D) to length. From leftover plywood scrap, cut 12 3/4″×3/4″×3″ [1.9 cm x 1.9 cm x 7.62 cm] slat spacers.

Step 2: To mark screw-hole centres along the side and back edges of the top, place seven slats on your workbench with the 3/4″ [1.9 cm] spacers between each slat. Align the slat ends flush, and lightly clamp together the slats and spacers. Place the top panel, with its bottom face up, on the workbench, and position one edge against the slat ends. Align the front and back edges of the top with the edges of the front and back slats. Mark lines on the edge of the top, centred on the width of each slat with one exception. To avoid drilling or screwing into the front and back edging (B), offset the screw-hole centres for the front and back slats. Rotate the top and mark screw-hole centres on the back edge and other side. Repeat with the shelf.

Step 3: Drill 5/32″ [.4 cm] screw holes in the side and back edges of the top and shelf. Drill from the outside, starting the bit at the glue joint between the panels (A) and edging (B, C) and angling the bit so it emerges centred on the thickness of the edging on the inside.

Finish and assemble

Step 1: Finish-sand the top surfaces and edges of the top and shelf and all faces, ends, and edges of the slats. Remove all sharp edges by lightly hand-sanding all edges with a sanding block and sandpaper.

Good to know: To avoid accidentally rounding the slat edges and ends when sanding the faces, ends, and edges, place three slats face to face on a flat surface and clamp them together with the edges and ends flush. Insert wood scraps between the clamp and slat faces to prevent marring. Sand the edges, swivel the clamps out of the way, and sand the ends. Repeat with the remaining slats.

Estimated cost:
Painted table: $87*
Stained table: $82*
Natural table: $78*

Skill level: Intermediate

Time Estimate: 1–2 days depending on the finish used

Project resources:
Cutting List
Project Diagram


  • Table saw
  • Mitre saw
  • Electric drill
  • 5/32″ [.4 cm] twist drill bit
  • #2 Phillips driver bit or #2 Phillips screwdriver
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Electric sander and sanding discs
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Clamps
  • Framing square
  • Paintbrush

Get it at Lowe’s**:

All tables
7 – 1″×2″×8′ [2.54 cm x 5.08 cm x 2.44 m] poplar boards (#1078)
1 – 3/4″×24″×48″ [1.9 cm x 60.96 cm x 121.92 cm] birch plywood (#6209)
Gorilla wood glue, 18 ounce [532 mL] (#288495)
Minwax stainable wood filler, 6 ounce [177 mL] (#164701)
1 – 75-pack #8×1-1/2″ [3.81 cm] yellow zinc flathead wood screws (#272164)
Shurtape 1-1/2″ × 42′ [3.81 cm x 12.8 m] indoor/outdoor carpet tape (#15140)

Finish for painted table:
1 quart [946 mL] Valspar MP latex primer (#164759)
1 quart [946 mL] Valspar latex enamel, Satin White (#282238)

Finish for stained table:
1 half-pint [236 mL] English Chestnut WF stain (#74469)
1 half-pint [236 mL] polyurethane, satin (#45860)

Finish for natural table:
1 half-pint [236 mL] polyurethane, satin (#45860)

*Does not include taxes, which vary by market, or the cost of tools. Pricing for commodity items may vary due to market conditions. **Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Products and prices may change; check your local Lowe’s store for details

Almost any do-it-yourself project involves risk of some sort. Your tools, materials, and skill will vary, as will the conditions of your project site. Lowe’s Companies Inc., and its subsidiaries ("Lowe’s") have made every effort to be complete and accurate in the instructions and other content contained in this publication. However, neither Lowe’s nor the publisher will assume any responsibility or liability for damages or losses sustained or incurred in the course of your home improvement or repair project or in the course of your use of the item you create or repair. Always follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions in the use of tools, check and follow your local building codes, and observe all standard safety precautions. Prices and supply may vary, so check the cost of materials and labour in your area before beginning any home improvement project. We strive to be accurate, but unintentional errors may occur and we reserve the right to correct any error. See a Lowe’s store for information regarding product warranties and any available protection plans. All prices, products and promotions are limited to Canada locations only.