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We’re Officially Obsessed With This Fluted Coffee Table DIY


From tables to vanities to accent walls and beyond, fluted furniture has taken the decor world by storm. To achieve this ribbed look on a budget, wooden dowels are the perfect DIY solution. In this Paint School DIY, learn how to transform any old coffee table you have at home. Don’t be intimidated by wood staining! This fluted coffee table DIY is surprisingly simple when you have the right products and a little imagination. 


Before: A plain wooden round table with three levels, sitting in a workspace with the tools used in this DIY sitting on the floor in front of it.

HGTV Canada

Materials Required: 

  • BEHR® Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner 
  • BEHR® Fast Drying Water-Based Wood Stain in Golden Pecan  
  • BEHR® Fast Drying Water-Based Polyurethane 
  • ¾ inch half round wood pine dowels  
  • MDF round form as the bottom base of the table 
  • Carpenters glue 
  • 220-grit sanding paper and sanding block 
  • Brad nailer  
  • Brad nails  
  • Cloth 
  • Paint brush  
  • Wood filler 
  • Gloves 
  • Goggles 

Step One: Flute the Base 

Start by measuring and cutting a round MDF piece the same size as the top of the coffee table and nail it to the bottom. Cut your dowels down to the height of the table. Play around with the dowels and your table to estimate how many dowels are needed to cover the circumference of the coffee table’s base. Add a tiny bit of carpenter’s glue to each dowel and attach one by one, fixing them in place with a brad nailer. Cover the nails with wood filler, let dry and sand down imperfections.  

Related: This is How to Paint Vintage Furniture 


Step Two: Condition The Wood Before Staining 

Condition the wood using BEHR® Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. This product will allow deeper penetration of wood stain and prevent blotches, promoting even staining. 

With a clean cloth, wipe the table to remove all dust from the surface. Don’t shake the conditioner! Stir it. Then, apply it to the wood using a paint brush. Let the conditioned wood dry for up to 10 minutes and wipe off any excess with a new clean cloth. 

Related: How to Build a Modern Bathroom Cabinet (for Less Than $100) 


Step Three: The Fun Stuff – Wood Stain! 

Before we jump into the wood stain, make sure you wait 20 minutes for the conditioner to set, and then gently re-sand the table.  


Remove the dust with a clean, dry cloth. Apply BEHR® Fast Drying Water-Based Wood Stain in Golden Pecan. Make sure to paint with your brush in the direction of the grain. This BEHR® product is truly great to work with – it provides rich colour and application control. Allow the stain to dry evenly for at least one hour. 

TIP: It only takes one coat of the BEHR® wood stain to achieve amazing coverage. The longer the stain penetrates, the darker the colour will be. You can use a clean cloth to soak up any excess stain not absorbed by the wood.  

Related: How to Stain Your Deck in a Single Day 


Step Four: Protect Your Handiwork 

BEHR® Fast Drying Water-Based Polyurethane is the perfect shield for this refinished coffee table. I used the matte sheen, but you can find the polyurethane in satin, semi-gloss and gloss sheens as well. 

Same as the other two BEHR® wood stain products, don’t shake the can! Instead, stir as soon as you open it. With a high-quality nylon/polyester bristle brush, apply a thin coat of wood polyurethane following the direction of the grain. Lightly sand between coats. I recommend a maximum of three coats for better durability. The process will take about an hour to dry to touch or sand/recoat. 

After: The finished wooden coffee table with walls DIY'd using long wooden dowels.

HGTV Canada

And you’re finished your fluted coffee table DIY! With the help of some dowels and BEHR®’s wood staining tools, you’ve crafted your way into the hottest furniture trend of the season.

Check out Paint School for more genius DIYs. 

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