How to Build a Corner Table

By Pat Olsen ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Measuring tape
  • 1-by-36-by-36-inch finished plywood cut diagonally into a triangle
  • Two 2-by-4-by-36-inch pine boards
  • Miter board
  • Handsaw
  • 1-by-1-by-52-inch decorative molding to measure the diagonal cut of the front
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Drill
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Acrylic finish
  • Disposable foam paintbrushes
  • Stud finder
  • Four 4-inch lag bolts

When space is at a premium, a good table surface can be constructed in a corner. It works for a small dining table or even as a computer work desk. This particular project doesn’t even need legs because it only extends 3 feet along each side of the wall and is braced on a sturdy 2-by-4. This project only takes a couple of hours to build and with few wood-working skills.

Have the lumber company cut all wood to measure or do it yourself at home with a circular saw. Use your own miter board and hand saw to prepare the inside corner 45-degree cut for the corner ends of the 2-by-4 lumber, or ask the lumber company to do it for you. Sand all raw surfaces first with medium and then fine sandpaper.

Stain the 2-by-4-by-36-inch pine boards and the decorative trim to complement the finished plywood table top with the disposable foam paintbrushes. Apply at least two thin coats of stain and dry thoroughly between applications. Finish the table, trim and 2-by-4 brace sections with two coats of acrylic finish. Dry between coats.

Measure from the floor up the corner of the wall to the proper 29-inch height of the table. Use the stud finder to locate wall studs 3 feet along each wall and mark.

Place the 2-inch side of the 2-by-4 in the corner just under the 29-inch height mark. Drill through the 2-by-4 at the point where it will be screwed into the wall stud. Secure the wood to the wall stud with lag bolts.

On the bottom of the 4-inch brace, drill pilot holes at the edges and every 8 inches into the corner. Run a bead of wood glue on top of the 4-inch side of the table brace. Place the plywood top over the braces. Use the drill to screw up through the bottom of the brace and into the table top.

Run a bead of glue across the front edge of the table. Adhere the decorative wood trim and nail it in place with finishing nails. Countersink each nail. The table is now securely screwed onto braces and ready to use.

About the Author

Pat Olsen has over 35 years of experience as a professional journalist in California. She attended San Francisco State and Pacific College. Olsen has several published books, is a staff writer for Mill Creek Living Magazine, and currently writes for Demand Studio. She is a retired educator who still teaches twice a week.