DIY Restoration Hardware Balustrade Coffee Table

I have been fascinated by Restoration Hardware with their design and products. They have a Balustrade Coffee Table that is rustic and simply beautiful. Luckily, I was able to find DIY instructions online and made my version of the coffee table!

Lumber Buy List:
2x6x8 (13) SPF (Spruce/Pine/Fir)
2x4x8 (9) SPF
1x6x6 (11) (Pine or Whiteboard) *Spend time looking for the straightest and least warped boards*

You should be able to find all of this lumber at your local hardware store or lumber yard.

Cut List:
2×6 (60.5 inches (2))
2×6 (49.5 inches (11))
2×4 (Cut to fit while building for bottom shelf framing and table top support framing)
1×6 (60.5 inches (11))
2×6 (5.5 inches (8))
1×6 (Cut to 3.5 x 3.5 inches (4)) *recommend using left over 1×6 scraps to make these*

Tools & Supplies Recommended:


Step 1: Measure, Buy Supplies, Planning

Figure out the size Coffee Table you want to make for your space. Calculate how much lumber you need to buy and then start measuring and cutting. My living room is fairly large so I decided to make a monster size coffee table at 60.5 x 60.5 inches.

diy restoration hardware balustrade coffee tablerh coffee table

  • Table Top: 2x6x8 lumber is used for the table top (actual measurements 1.5 x 5.5 x 96 inches)
    • Cut (9) 49.5″ length and (2) 60.5″ length
    • Use left over scraps to create (8) 5.5 x 5.5″ Squares for the coffee table legs
    • Table Top Framing: Cut to fit once everything is assembled
  • Bottom Shelf Framing: 2x4x8 lumber will be used for the bottom framing to hold up the 1×6 boards (actual measurements 1.5 x 3.5 x 96 inches)
  • Bottom Shelf: 1x6x6 lumber will be used for the bottom shelf of the coffee table. (actual measurements 0.75 x 5.5 x 72 inches)
    • Cut (11) at 60.5″ length
  • Use left over scraps from the 1×6 boards to make your 3.5×3.5″ sqares for the feet of the coffee table

Step 2: Planing to your desired thickness

If you want a thinner profile for the tabletop and squares that attach to the balustrade coffee legs you can use a planer or belt sander. I thinned mine out to 1.25 inches thick instead of the 1.5 inch thickness.

Step 3: Putting Together Table Top 

Take your 2×6 lumber and drill kreg jig holes (depending on the length of your coffee table I would use a minimum of 5 holes to attach each piece. Make sure to stagger 2-3 points on each side of the lumber you are attaching. Use wood glue and then use 2.5inch kreg screws to attach. This is where clamps really come in handy. Wipe off excess glue (dried glue will not stain).

Optional: Use kreg wood plugs to hide the kreg screw holes.

Step 4: Sanding

Next use an orbital sander with 120 grit to smooth both sides and edges. I recommend using 240 grit sand paper on the open ends of the wood. This should help close off the pores of the wood, allowing for a more even finish when stained. Another tip is to saturate the open ends with Wood Conditioner. This will help prevent too much stain being soaked up on the open ends.

Step 5:

Start the same process with the 1×6 boards for the bottom shelf of the coffee table. Attach all the boards using a kreg jig and 1.25inch kreg screws. Next use the 2×4 to frame out a square on the underside of the 1×6 boards. Following the same process sand both sides and all the edges with 120 grit sand paper, and 240 grit on the open ends of the wood. 1×6 boards may vary slightly in size thus it is best to cut the 2×4 framing to fit. Use wood glue on all attached edges and make sure to wipe off excess glue.

Step 6: Staining and Wood Conditioner

Use stainable wood filler to fill in all the cracks and imperfections on the table top if you decided to create a seamless table top.

Once all the wood pieces are sanded pre-condition all the wood with Minwax Preconditioner Stain. This will improve your stain on the finished product. Use extra preconditioner on the open ends of wood to help with a better even finish.

This coffee table had 4 different Minwax stains.

Step 7: Putting Together Coffee Table Legs

Attach the squares (5.5 x 5.5 inches) to the Table Legs using 2.5 or 3 inch wood screws, don’t forget to use the wood glue on every attachment point when building this. Then using clamps I attached the legs to the bottom of the coffee table using wood screws. Remember to pre-drill before attaching with your wood screws.

Step 8: Attaching the Coffee Table Legs to the Bottom Shelf

Attach the table legs to the bottom shelf (1×6 boards w/ 2×4 attached) by having about a 1 inch set in from the edge. Clamp table leg into desired location. Pre-drill holes for the screws. Attach from the bottom using 2 inch wood screws on 3 corners, 1 corner will have to be a 1.25 inch screw attached (see picture).

Step 9: Attach Table Feet

Attach 3.5×3.5×1 inch squares to each corner of the bottom shelf using 1 inch or 1.25 inch screws. You can even use regular brad nails with wood glue and wipe off excess.


Step 10: Table Top Support Framing

Attach 2×4 framing to all the coffee table legs using 2.5 inch kreg screws. I attached a middle support bar for extra support given the size of this coffee table. This will have to be cut to length and fit once coffee table legs are attached to the bottom shelf of the coffee table.

Step 11: Attaching Table Top to Frame

Pre-drill holes on the 4 corners of the 5.5 x 5.5 squares. This will be used to attach the table top using 2 inch screws. Use wood glue on all contact points. Wipe off excess. If you are placing the coffee table on hardwood flooring, I would recommend placing furniture pads on the bottom. This will prevent damage to your floor. Consider moving all your pieces to desired location and then attach to frame (since this coffee table is so massive and heavy).

Next pre-drill holes and attach 2 inch wood screws around the 2×4 table top framing, I suggest using at least 3 screws per section.

Step 12: Clean everything up and enjoy 

Disclaimer: I am not a professional woodworker, use all power tools with caution. Do not copy what you see in the video / instructions without proper safety precautions.

what major should i choose for my bachelors

What Major Should I Choose for My Bachelors?

Question from Reader:

What Major Should I Choose for My Bachelors?”

My answer to this common question is simple. It does not matter what major you choose for Pharmacy School. Pharmacy schools do not really care what major you chose for your bachelors degree. They just want to make sure you fulfilled all the prerequisite courses required to apply. The only time I see this being of any significance is when you have an extremely competitive applicant pool to choose from. In these rare cases, a pharmacy school might pick and choose different majors that diversify the background knowledge of students in the classroom. However, as stated before, this would be rare.

The ideal situation is to get into pharmacy school without a bachelors degree. Why is this? By getting into pharmacy school earlier you saved 1, 2, or even more years of your life. Why waste additional years of your life in school, accruing more debt, and not earning income? That bachelors degree will not do you any good if your ultimate goal is to become a pharmacist. All you need is your doctorate of pharmacy and a pharmacist license to work. The best use for that bachelors degree will be decoration on your wall.

“What if I don’t get in and I no bachelors degree either?” If you fail to get in your first try, pick yourself up and try again! Do not fear failing. My suggestion is to talk to the pharmacy school and ask them what you can improve on for the next round of applications the following year. If you do not get in, just continue pursuing your bachelors degree. You have nothing to lose by applying early without a bachelors degree. If anything, it will give you more experience with interviews.


  • Does not matter what major you choose for Pharmacy School
  • Apply early as possible, do not wait to complete your bachelors degree
  • Also Read: Pre-Pharmacy

I hope the recommendations above will help guide, motivate, and inspire you to achieve your goals. Follow my blog for more tips and advice on finances and being a pharmacist. What are your experiences? Please comment below and share your thoughts.


Is the Pharmacist Market Saturated

Is the Pharmacist Market Saturated?

Starting as early as 2008, there were whispers going around about the pending pharmacist market saturation. I had concerns back in 2009 and started to question whether I would graduate with a job. There have been studies suggesting an impending doom for pharmacists in the future. Is this true? The answer is “maybe“. We can use data and history to make projections, however, projections do not equal outcomes.

Example: History tells us there is a major earthquake due in Seattle, WA within the next 300 years. It could easily stretch several thousand years from now, there is no way to predict the actual outcome. Another example would be the current bull run in the stock market is due for a correction. Every 7 years there has been a major correction evinced by history. Will it happen this year? Maybe. Thus projecting pharmacy saturation is a best guess estimate and does not equate to outcomes. There will be many factors contributing the overall pharmacist job market.

Is the Pharmacist Market Saturated?

Arguments for Pharmacist Saturation: Dr. Daniel Brown, PharmD wrote an article “A Looming Joblessness Crisis for New Pharmacy Graduates and the Implications it Holds for the Academy“. To break it down Dr. Brown suggests there will be a 20% unemployment rate for Continue reading

how to network in pharmacy

How to Network in Pharmacy

Thousands of pharmacists will graduate in the coming months. They will all join the work force either through residency programs or look for a new job. Often times we hear the advice to “go out and network”. There is no guidance or instruction on “How to Network in Pharmacy”. Many YouTube viewers and subscribers to this blog have asked this very question: “How do I Network in Pharmacy?”

How to Network in Pharmacy

The key approach to networking is being able to ask for help. A common misconception to asking for help is feeling that you are bothering someone. Some may feel that people will think less of them or it could be their own pride preventing them from asking for advice.  Research from University of Pennsylvania Behavioral Science found that asking for advice is beneficial to networking. Why? It is a method of ego stroking. Asking for their advice makes the adviser feel important or smarter. Not only do you gain valuable insight and knowledge, this will help establish a network connection. This is the foundation to networking in pharmacy. Here is a 5 step process on how to network in pharmacy: Continue reading

is a pharmacy residency worth it

Is a Pharmacy Residency Worth it?

Pharmacy residencies are optional coming out of pharmacy school. They are programs that expand a pharmacist’s skill set and experience at an accelerated rate. A pharmacy residency is highly recommended if you want to give your resume a slight edge, work in a hospital setting, or specialize in a specific area. It has been increasingly difficult for new pharmacists without residencies to get jobs outside of community pharmacy (retail pharmacy). Here is a link to the ASHP Residency Page:

Is a Pharmacy Residency worth it for Community Pharmacy?

Continue reading

Tips for a new pharmacist graduate

Tips for a New Pharmacist Graduate

It is officially 3 years since I graduated from Pharmacy School. It is crazy how fast time passes by once you start working. When I was in school it felt like an eternity. Every single day I dreamed of the day I would finally graduate and start working. Given the amount of hours I put in at work, my experience level is close to that of a 5 year veteran pharmacist. There have been ups and downs along the way. Learning from my mistakes and failures I want to share tips for a new pharmacist graduate: Continue reading