Sunday, August 7, 2016

Factory Cart Coffee Table

Today, I'm bringing you another great project made with a pallet!  This was a fun project that I actually made in 2 stages. Sometimes when you live with something for a few days, you get inspired to finish it off differently.

This little coffee table was born out of a need for a small, low table that was also easy to roll out of the way when we need more floor space (like when our grandkids come to visit!).

It all started about a year ago, when Hubs brought home a small, square pallet. Not the normal size pallet, this one is only 22-inches square!  The pallet sat in the garage for several months, until I came up with a plan.


  • small wood pallet (or build one using lumber)
  • 4 industrial metal wheels (I found these at Home Depot)
  • scrap pallet wood and an old wood shelf (or you can purchase 1"X 4" lumber)
  • angle brackets (these from Home Depot)
  • screws: sixteen 1/2" for the brackets, and fifty 1-1/4" for construction
  • wood glue
  • sander and sandpaper in various grits
  • wood stain (your choice)
  • spray paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze color
The first thing I did was remove 3 boards from the bottom of the pallet and one from the middle of the top of the pallet, and spaced them out evenly along the top and secured them using screws.  Thankfully, these boards were all the same thickness and length, so no cutting was required.

I wanted to add some height to the pallet, so I added some wood around the perimeter of the base, and secured everything with wood glue and screws. (that's where the scrap pallet wood and old wood shelf came in )

Next, I sanded the entire piece.  Pallet wood can be tough to sand, so start with a 60-grit sandpaper and work up to a 150 grit. You don't need it "baby's-bottom-smooth", if you want it to look rustic and industrial.  Finally, the stain went on, but surprisingly, it came out a LOT darker than I expected! 

At this point, I added the wheels and thought I was done, but after living with it for a while, I wasn't fully satisfied with the look.  I  checked around on the internet and Pinterest for inspiration ideas, and then knew exactly how to finish it off!
I had some leftover pieces of 1" X 4" lumber in my stash, so I cut them to wrap around the outside of the pallet. Perfect; however, that too-dark stain was still bugging me.  I took my orbital sander with 80-grit sandpaper, and lightly sanded some of the stain off of the top. I just kept dusting it off to check, until I felt there was enough stain taken off.  Now it looks like it was actually used instead of just one solid,  dark color. ↓  I recommend you take the time to do this step, simply for aesthetic reasons; it made a huge difference in the appearance.

The brackets I found were plain, galvanized steel, so I spray painted them with the oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  (Let the paint dry completely before putting them on the coffee table.) I even took a little brown paint to color the heads of the screws to match the brackets. **What I DIDN'T do was paint the wheels, even though they are a silver color.  We are currently renting a house, and the living room has light carpeting, so I didn't want to take any chances that the paint would come off with use.

Now that I have quite a bit of the dark stain sanded off, and the added wood and brackets, it's exactly the look I wanted for our home!  And the wheels make it so versatile, because I can use it as a low coffee table, or next to the fireplace as part of a vignette.

 There it is!  If you decide to build your own little Factory Cart Coffee Table, I would love to hear from you, so be sure to leave me a comment below or email me using the Contact tab at the top of the page.  You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook

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