DIY Coffee Table with Storage

wicker basket with tray tabletop

We recently got a new sofa and love seat. They have recliners in them and while we love that there is one problem. The coffee table we have is now too big for the space. We cannot fully open the recliners without hitting the table, and when they are open it just feels claustrophobic. It is time to get rid of the coffee table. I wanted something to set things on though, and it really needs to be attractive since it will be a focal point in our room.

I took a look around the house to see if there was a solution we already owned. It did not take me too long to realize that an old large wicker basket was the perfect base for my table. I love the basket, it was given to me by my aunt and has been bouncing around room to room without ever quite finding it’s use or place. It had also been painted a few times and with years of use, the paint had chipped in different areas so that several different colors appeared on the basket.

An idea quickly started forming… the top of the basket needed to be removable so we could still utilize it for storage. Therefore a tray would be the perfect solution, but I still wanted it to look like a tabletop. With that idea in mind I headed off to the store to grab a the supplies I needed.

Supplies for Wicker Basket Tray Table

Painting the Wicker Basket

I started by cleaning the wicker basket using soap and water and letting it drip dry overnight in the bathtub. Once it was completely dry I took it out into the garage to give it a base coat of the Rust-Oleum Chalked Spray Paint in Serenity Blue.

Crackles in cold spray paint ~ Rust_Oleum Serenity Blue

The weather up here in Indiana is not conducive to using spray paint in the winter as it will freeze, crack, and just not dry in cold weather. That is exactly what happened with this base coat, but that was just perfect for the aged look I wanted in the basket, and if I had not wanted the blue to be the base coat I could have stopped here and been really happy with the result. I allowed it to set up until it was just tacky and carried it into the house to dry completely.

Once the wicker basket had a chance to dry I painted a layer of the Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White over the basket, first painting it on, and then wiping it back off to give it a whitewashed look. I went over the basket twice with this technique. I love chalk paint because it is a very matte finish and you do not need to use a sealer over it unless it will endure heavy use.

Assembling the Tabletop Tray

While the basket was drying I took the 24″ unfinished wood tabletop and the Varathane Wood Stain in Sunbleached and stained the tray.

Using a lint-free rag you want to dip it into the stain and rub the stain into the wood, going with the grain. Once done you want to go back over it and wipe off any extra stain you have on your wood to ensure a smooth looking finish. If you don’t have any stain you can water down some acrylic paint and get a very similar look. I then set the tabletop tray aside for an hour to dry.

Polycrylic Clear Satin on Tabletop tray

After the stain was dry I put two coats of Polycrylic Satin Polyurethane, allowing it to dry completely between coats.

Once the tabletop tray was dry I took a drill and measuring to center the handles I drilled the holes. Because the screws were not quite long enough to fit through the tabletop I needed to use a spade bit in order to fashion a countersink for the screw in the bottom of the tray.

recessed screws on tabletop tray

This worked out perfectly and the screws are completely embedded in the wood. To do most projects around the house I use my cordless Black and decker drill and my Kobalt 106 Piece Power Tool Accessories Set. I love this set because I can get almost everything I need to do completed with it.

Here is the Finished Wicker Basket Tray Table

Well, here it is, the finished wicker storage basket tray table. I love the way it came out. It is definitely multi-functional, with lots of storage for toys, blankets, magazines, pretty much anything you need to stick out of sight.

I love that the tray is removable, we can set it between us on the couch for a late-night snack, or just set it easily out of the way for easy access to the basket.

It also has the benefit of being small enough that we can raise the recliners without bumping into the table. This project would make a perfect end table or bedside table as well. This piece will be in our home for a long time as it came out very sturdy and is so versatile.

Oh, and that cool candle in the pics? I will be showing you how I made that later this week.

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