Cheap DIY Table Top Ideas: Transform Your Space on a Budget


  • Selecting the right table top can enhance its functionality, making it more durable, smoother, and easier to clean.
  • The right table top can create a more welcoming environment while boosting both your productivity and enjoyment of the space.
  • There are countless table top ideas, but pallet wood and concrete are my favorites as cheap DIY table top ideas.

Intro to Cheap DIY Table Top Ideas

Have you ever found yourself in need of a new table but unable to find the perfect one to fit your budget and style? Or, maybe you already have the structure of a great table but you want to give it a shiny, new face lift? Whatever the reason, you’re going to need a table top. And, why not make it affordable? You’ve come to the right place for the best, cheap DIY table top ideas.

Not only is building your own table a fun and engaging DIY project, but it is also a great way to learn new skills and techniques that can be used on future projects. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you created a functional piece of furniture with your own two hands!

Upgraded Countertop in Kitchen

Background of Cheap DIY Table Top Ideas

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to try your hand at woodworking, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting materials, designing your table top, and putting it all together. But we’ll spend the most time on the best, cheap DIY table top ideas considering the table top is the best part (and most visible) of the whole thing!

Our List of Cheap DIY Table Top Ideas

Pallet Wood Table Top

Pallet Wood as a Table

Benefits of Pallet Wood Table Tops

Unique Aesthetic

Pallets are our first choice for creative DIY tabletop ideas, as they are made from a variety of woods, which means each piece of pallet wood is unique. This can create a beautiful, rustic aesthetic that is perfect for a DIY table top. Additionally, the rough texture and imperfections of pallet wood can add character and interest to the finished product, especially if you are going for a farmhouse style.


Using pallet wood for a DIY table top is an environmentally-friendly option. By repurposing pieces of wood that would otherwise be thrown away, you are reducing waste and giving new life to an old material. This is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Easy to Work With

Pallet wood is relatively easy to work with, even for beginners. It can be cut and sanded just like any other type of wood, and its unique characteristics can actually make imperfections less noticeable. Plus, the natural color and texture of the wood can make staining and finishing easier, as it already has a beautiful, rustic appearance.


Pallet wood is typically made from hardwoods, which are known for their durability. This means that a table top made from pallet wood can withstand wear and tear and last for years to come. Additionally, because pallets are designed to hold heavy loads, the wood is strong enough to support the weight of a table top.


Because pallets are versatile, there are endless ways to customize a DIY table top made from pallet wooden boards. Whether you choose to leave the wood in its natural state or stain it to match your existing décor, the possibilities are endless. You could also make many different types of tables, from a picnic table and many other pieces of outdoor furniture, to a wooden dining table top, to even your own coffee table! Here is the step-by-step guide:

Project Instructions


  • Pallet wood planks
  • Stain or paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue


  • Table saw
  • Planer
  • Clamps
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • Circular saw

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Gather Pallet Wood Planks

The first step is to gather pallet wood planks. You can find these for free or at a low cost from construction sites or industrial areas. Make sure the pallet wood is dry and free from any contaminants like chemicals or nails. You will need enough wood planks to cover the size of your table top.

Step 2: Cut the Planks to Size

Use a table saw to cut the planks to the desired size for your table top. It’s important to measure twice and cut once to ensure accuracy. If you don’t have access to a table saw, a circular saw will do the job. Once you have all the planks cut, arrange them in the desired pattern to create the table top.

Step 3: Plane and Sand the Planks

Using a planer, smooth out any rough edges or imperfections on the planks. Once the planks are smooth, use sandpaper to further sand the wood until it’s silky to the touch. Sanding will not only make the wood look better but also ensure the glue bonds well to the wood.

Step 4: Glue the Planks Together

Apply wood glue to the edges of the planks and press them together, making sure they’re aligned. Use clamps to hold the planks together while the glue dries. Leave the clamps on overnight or as directed on the wood glue instructions.

Step 5: Trim the Table Top

Once the glue has dried, use a jigsaw to trim any excess wood from the edges of the table top. This step is important to ensure the table top is straight and even.

Step 6: Router the Edges

Using a router, smooth out the edges of the table top. This step is optional, but it gives the table top a professional look and helps protect against splinters.

Step 7: Stain or Paint

Apply a stain or paint to the table top, depending on the desired look. If you’re going for a rustic look, a stain may be the best option. If you want a more modern look, consider painting the table top. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the stain or paint.

Step 8: Seal the Table Top

Once the stain or paint has dried, apply a sealant to protect the wood. This will help protect against water damage and staining. There are many sealant options available, such as polyurethane, wax, or oil. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the sealant you choose.

Concrete Table Top

Concrete Table Top in a Workshop

Benefits of Concrete Table Tops


Concrete is known for its durability and longevity. Unlike other tabletop materials such as wood or glass, a concrete top can withstand scratches, stains, and spills. Concrete is a dense material that can resist cracking and chipping, making it a perfect option for high-traffic uses such as a dining room table, an outdoor dining table, an indoor coffee table, an outdoor coffee table, (or any outdoor table), and it is even a great idea for a side table or end table for your living room.


Concrete can be molded into various shapes and sizes, which makes it a versatile option for table tops. It can be customized to fit any design, style, or aesthetic. Whether you want a sleek, modern design or a rustic, industrial look, concrete can be tailored to your preferences.

Low Maintenance

One of the significant advantages of using concrete for tabletops is its low maintenance. Concrete is a non-porous material, which means that it resists stains and spills. Unlike wood or other natural materials, concrete doesn’t require regular sealing or polishing. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth and mild soap is all that’s needed to keep it clean.

Heat Resistant

Another benefit of using concrete for a table top is its heat-resistant properties. Unlike wood or plastic, concrete doesn’t warp or melt when exposed to high temperatures. This feature makes concrete a perfect choice for outdoor spaces, where the tabletop may be exposed to direct sunlight or heat.


Concrete is an eco-friendly material. It is made from natural materials such as cement, sand, and water, which are readily available and renewable. Concrete doesn’t emit harmful gases or chemicals, making it a safe option for indoor use or to liven up any outdoor space.

Project Instructions


  • Concrete mix
  • Melamine panel
  • Melamine board
  • Screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Concrete sealer
  • Concrete stain (optional)
  • Wax or polish (optional)


  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Paint mixer
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Safety goggles

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Planning and Preparation

Before starting your DIY concrete table top project, it is essential to have a clear plan in mind. Determine the size and shape of the table top you want to create, which will obviously be dependent on the size of your table base. Sketch out a design or use a free online design tool to create a blueprint. Once you have a plan, you can begin gathering the necessary materials and tools.

Step 2: Building the Mold

The mold is the frame that will hold the concrete mix in place while it sets. Using melamine panels, cut a base piece that will serve as the bottom of the mold. Cut four pieces of melamine to create the sides of the mold. Screw the four sides onto the base piece, making sure the corners are square.

Step 3: Mixing the Concrete

Using a paint mixer, mix the concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to wear gloves, a mask, and safety goggles to protect yourself from the dust. Mix the concrete until it has a smooth consistency, without any lumps or clumps.

Step 4: Pouring the Concrete

With the mold assembled and the concrete mixed, it’s time to pour the mixture into the mold. Start by pouring a thin layer of concrete into the mold, spreading it evenly with a trowel. Repeat this process until the mold is filled with the desired thickness of concrete. Be sure to smooth out any bumps or ridges in the surface of the concrete.

Step 5: Curing and Drying

The concrete will need time to cure and dry before it can be removed from the mold. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for curing time, which typically ranges from 24 to 48 hours. Once the concrete has cured, remove the screws from the mold and gently lift the mold away from the concrete.

Step 6: Sanding and Finishing

Once the concrete table top is removed from the mold, it may have rough or uneven edges. Sand the edges using sandpaper until they are smooth and even. Apply a concrete sealer to protect the table top from stains and scratches. If desired, you can also add color to the concrete using a concrete stain. Finally, apply wax or polish to give the table top a finished look.

Old Door Table Top

Old Door on a Patio

Benefits of Old Door Table Tops


Using an old door as a table top is an eco-friendly option. Instead of buying new wood, you’re repurposing an existing item. This means fewer resources are used in the production of your table top, and you’re keeping something out of the landfill. It’s a win-win for both you and the environment.


One of the biggest benefits of using an old door for your DIY table top is the uniqueness it brings. Doors come in all shapes and sizes, and they often have interesting textures and patterns. This means your table top will be one-of-a-kind and a real conversation starter. It’s a great way to add character and charm to your home.

Easy to Work With

Old doors are already flat and level, which makes them an easy choice for a table top. You won’t have to worry about sanding down uneven surfaces or leveling the wood. Additionally, doors are typically made from solid wood, so they’re sturdy and durable.


Just because you’re using an old door doesn’t mean you’re limited in your design choices. You can paint or stain the wood to match your existing décor, or you can leave it as-is for a rustic look. You can also add legs or a base to create the table design you want.

Tells a Story

Using an old door as a table top adds character to your space and tells a story. You can imagine the history behind the door and the people who may have walked through it. It’s a unique way to add a bit of nostalgia to your home.

Project Instructions


  • Old door of your choosing
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint
  • Wood filler


  • Table saw
  • Planer
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • Circular saw

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Find the Right Door

The first step in creating a table top out of an old door is finding the right door. Look for a door that is the right size for your table, and one that has an interesting design or texture. You can find old doors at garage sales, flea markets, or even on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

When selecting a door, make sure that it is sturdy and does not have any major defects or cracks. The door should also be flat, as any warping or bending will make it difficult to use as a table top.

Step 2: Clean and Prep the Door

Once you have found the perfect door, it’s time to clean and prep it for use as a table top. Start by removing any hardware, such as hinges or doorknobs, using a screwdriver or drill. If the door is painted or stained, you may need to sand it down to remove any finish.

Next, clean the door thoroughly using soap and water or a cleaning solution. Make sure to remove any dirt or grime that may be on the door, as this can affect the final finish.

Step 3: Cut and Trim

Depending on the size of your table, you may need to cut or trim the door to fit. You can do this using a circular saw or jigsaw, making sure to measure carefully and follow all safety precautions.

If you need to trim the door, make sure to sand down any rough edges or splinters to create a smooth surface.

Step 4: Finishing the Table Top

Once you have trimmed the door to the right size, it’s time to finish the table top. This can be done in a variety of ways, depending on your personal style and the look you are going for.

One popular option is to stain the door to create a rustic, vintage look. You can choose from a variety of stain colors and apply the stain using a brush or rag, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Another option is to paint the door, either in a solid color or with a fun design or pattern. You can use spray paint or regular paint, depending on your preference.

Finally, you may want to add a protective coat to the table top to prevent it from getting damaged or stained. You can use a clear polyurethane or wax to seal the surface, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 5: Attaching the Table Top

Once your table top is finished and dry, it’s time to attach it to the base of your table. You can do this using screws or bolts, depending on the type of base you are using. Make sure to measure carefully and follow all safety precautions when attaching the top.

Step 6: Enjoy your New Table Top!

Congratulations, you have successfully created a unique and beautiful table top out of an old door! Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy your new creation. Whether you use it as a dining table top, desk table top, or coffee table top, the simple design of this DIY project is sure to add character and charm to your home.

Tile Table Top

Tile Countertop in a Kitchen

Benefits of Tile Table Tops


One of the most significant benefits of using tile for a table top is its durability. Unlike wood, which can scratch and dent easily, or glass, which can shatter, tile is a sturdy material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. This makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or for families with young children or pets. Additionally, tile is resistant to stains and moisture, making it a great option for outdoor tables or for use in kitchens and dining areas.

Design Flexibility

Another advantage of using tile for a table top is its design flexibility. Tile comes in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, which means you can create a table top that perfectly matches your décor or personal style. Whether you prefer a traditional, rustic look or a modern, sleek aesthetic, there is a tile option that will work for you. Additionally, tiles can be arranged in different patterns or mosaic designs, allowing you to create a unique and eye-catching table top.

Easy Maintenance

Tile is an easy material to maintain, making it an ideal choice for a table top. Unlike wood, which requires regular oiling and polishing, or glass, which needs frequent cleaning to prevent smudges and fingerprints, tile simply needs to be wiped down with a damp cloth to keep it looking its best. Additionally, tile is resistant to scratches and stains, which means it will stay looking great for years to come with minimal effort on your part.

Heat Resistance

Tile is naturally heat-resistant, which makes it a great choice for a table top in a kitchen or outdoor dining area. Unlike wood, which can warp or discolor when exposed to heat, or glass, which can crack or shatter, tile can withstand high temperatures without any damage. This means you can place hot dishes or pots directly on the table top without worrying about damaging the surface.

Project Instructions


  • Tiles
  • Backer board
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Tile spacers
  • Grout sealer


  • Tile cutter (can be rented from a hardware store, such as Home Depot)
  • Trowel
  • Rubber grout float

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Before you start building your tile tabletop, you’ll need to prepare your workspace. Make sure you have a clean and flat surface to work on. Lay down a drop cloth or plastic sheeting to protect your work surface from tile adhesive and grout.

Step 2: Cut and Lay Tiles

Measure and cut your tiles to fit your tabletop. Use a tile cutter to make precise cuts. Lay out your tiles on your backer board to get an idea of how they’ll fit together. Use tile spacers to ensure that your tiles are spaced evenly.

Once you’re happy with the layout, apply a thin layer of tile adhesive to the backer board using a trowel. Place your tiles onto the adhesive, pressing down firmly to ensure they are securely in place. Continue laying tiles until the entire surface is covered.

Step 3: Grout Tiles

After the adhesive has dried, it’s time to grout your tiles. Mix your grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a rubber grout float to apply the grout to the tiles, making sure to work it into the gaps between tiles.

After you’ve applied the grout, use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess. Allow the grout to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 4: Seal Grout

Once the grout is completely dry, apply a grout sealer to protect it from stains and moisture. Use a paintbrush or foam brush to apply the sealer to the grout, making sure to cover all the gaps between tiles. Allow the sealer to dry completely before using your tabletop.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once your tile tabletop is complete you can add some finishing touches to make it even more special. One idea is to add a decorative border around the edges of the tabletop using smaller tiles or a contrasting color of grout.

Another option is to add a layer of clear epoxy resin over the surface of the tiles. This will give the tabletop a smooth and glossy finish, while also protecting the tiles from scratches and stains.

Mosaic Table Top

Ornate Mosaic Table Top

Benefits of Mosaic Table Tops


One of the most significant benefits of building a mosaic table top is the ability to customize it to your liking. With a wide variety of materials available, you can create a design that perfectly matches your style and decor. Whether you prefer bold and bright colors or more muted tones, you can create a design that complements your space.

In addition to the materials, you can also choose the size and shape of the table top to fit your needs. This customization allows you to create a unique piece that is perfectly tailored to your space.


Mosaic table tops are incredibly durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. The materials used to create the mosaic are generally strong and long-lasting, making them ideal for use in areas with high traffic or frequent use.

Additionally, the mosaic design itself can help to prevent scratches and dents on the table top. The intricate patterns and designs can help to mask any minor damage, making the table top look like new even after years of use.

Easy Maintenance

Mosaic table tops are also relatively easy to maintain. Unlike other materials that can stain or discolor over time, the materials used to create the mosaic are typically resistant to these issues. In addition, the tiles or pieces used to create the design are generally easy to clean with a damp cloth or mild detergent.

Because the mosaic design helps to hide minor damage and imperfections, you don’t have to worry about the table top looking worn or damaged. This can save you time and money on maintenance and repairs over time.

Artistic Expression

Building a mosaic table top is an opportunity for artistic expression. The process of creating a design from small pieces of material can be therapeutic and rewarding, allowing you to express your creativity in a unique way.

In addition, the finished product is a work of art that can be admired and appreciated by others. A mosaic table top can become a focal point in your space, drawing attention and sparking conversation.


Finally, building a mosaic table top can add value to your space. Whether you plan to use the table in your home or sell it as a piece of art, a well-crafted mosaic table top can be a valuable investment.

Because mosaic table tops are durable and long-lasting, they can retain their value over time. Additionally, the customization and artistic expression involved in creating a mosaic design can make the table top a unique and highly sought-after piece.

Project Instructions


  • Wooden table top (preferably made of a solid wood like oak, maple, or birch)
  • Mosaic tiles or pieces of material (such as broken ceramic plates, glass beads, or stones)
  • Tile adhesive or grout (depending on the type of mosaic material you use)


  • Tile cutter or nippers
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • Marking utensil
  • Sponge

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Wooden Table Top

The first step in building a mosaic table top is to prepare the wooden table top. If you’re using a new wooden table top, make sure to sand it down with sandpaper to remove any rough edges or splinters. If you’re using an old table top, remove any existing finish or varnish with a sander or sandpaper.

Once the table top is smooth, measure and mark the center of the table top with a ruler and pencil. This will help you create a symmetrical mosaic pattern.

Step 2: Choose Your Mosaic Material

Next, choose the mosaic material you want to use for your table top. You can use a variety of materials such as ceramic or glass tiles, stones, seashells, or even recycled materials like broken plates or old jewelry.

When choosing your mosaic material, consider the color scheme and style of your space. For example, if you have a neutral-colored living room, you might want to choose tiles in warm, earthy tones. If you have a bohemian-style patio, you might want to use colorful, patterned tiles or pieces of glass.

Step 3: Cut Your Mosaic Material

Once you’ve chosen your mosaic material, you’ll need to cut it to the appropriate size and shape. You can use a tile cutter or nippers to cut tiles or other materials into the desired shape and size. If you’re using broken plates or other materials, you can use a hammer to break them into smaller pieces.

Make sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when cutting your mosaic material to protect your hands and eyes.

Step 4: Lay Out Your Mosaic Pattern

Now it’s time to lay out your mosaic pattern on the table top. Start by arranging your mosaic pieces in the center of the table top, where you marked it in Step 1. Use your ruler and pencil to create a symmetrical pattern, if desired.

Once you have your center pattern laid out, work your way outwards, adding more mosaic pieces to create a border around the center. You can use different colors or materials to create a more interesting and dynamic pattern.

Step 5: Apply Adhesive or Grout

Once you’re happy with your mosaic pattern, it’s time to apply the adhesive or grout to the table top. If you’re using tile adhesive, apply a thin layer to the table top with a trowel or putty knife, making sure to cover the entire surface evenly.

If you’re using grout, mix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the table top with a grout float, making sure to fill in all the gaps between the mosaic pieces.

Step 6: Clean and Seal the Mosaic Table Top

After applying the adhesive or grout, use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess adhesive or grout from the surface of the mosaic tiles. Be careful not to disturb the placement of the tiles as you clean.

Allow the adhesive or grout to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the adhesive or grout is dry, you can apply a sealer to the surface of the mosaic table top to protect it from moisture, dirt, and stains. Be sure to choose a sealer that is compatible with the type of mosaic material you used.

Step 7: Use Your Mosaic Table Top

After the sealer has dried, your DIY mosaic table top is ready to use! Place it on a sturdy table base, such as a metal or wooden frame, and enjoy your beautiful new table.

Refinish an Existing Table Top

A Fresh Coat of Paint and Sanding Completely Transforms this Table Top

Benefits of Refinished Table Tops


Refinishing a table top allows you to customize the look of your table to fit your personal style and decor. You can choose from a variety of colors, stains, and finishes to create the perfect look for your home. With refinishing, you can transform a dated table into a modern masterpiece.


Refinishing a table top can increase the durability of your table. A properly refinished table top can last for many years, even decades. Refinishing can protect the table from scratches, stains, and water damage. By adding a protective layer, you can extend the life of your table.


Refinishing old table tops can increase the value of your table. A well-maintained table can be a valuable piece of furniture that can be passed down from generation to generation. Refinishing a table top can restore the original beauty of the table and increase its value.

Sentimental Value

A table may have sentimental value for many people. It may have been a wedding gift, passed down from a grandparent, or the site of many family gatherings. Refinishing the table top can bring back memories and preserve the sentimental value of the table.

Creative Outlet

Refinishing a table top can be a fun and creative project for DIY enthusiasts. It allows you to experiment with different colors, finishes, and techniques. Refinishing can be a great way to express your creativity and add a personal touch to your home.

Quick and Easy

Refinishing a table top is a quick and easy process that can be completed in a few days. You don’t need any special tools or equipment. All you need is sandpaper, a brush, a paint or stain of your choice, and a sealant. With a little bit of elbow grease, you can have a new-looking table in no time.

Project Instructions


  • Sandpaper (grits 120, 220, 320)
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Paintbrush or foam roller
  • Polyurethane or wax


  • Sanding block
  • Paint scraper or putty knife
  • Tack cloth
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Drop cloth

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Remove Existing Hardware

Remove any hardware, such as knobs or drawer pulls, and place them in a safe spot.

Step 2: Protect Work Area

Cover the surrounding area and your work surfaces with a drop cloth or newspapers to protect it from dust and spills.

Step 3: Remove Old Finishes

Using a paint scraper or putty knife, remove any old paint or finish from the table top. If the finish is particularly thick or stubborn, you may need to use a chemical stripper. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and work in a well-ventilated area.

Step 4: Sand the Table top

Once the old finish has been removed, sand the table top with a coarse grit sandpaper (120 grit) to smooth out any scratches or dings. Be sure to sand with the grain of the wood. After sanding, wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust.

Repeat the sanding process with a finer grit sandpaper (220 grit) to create a smooth surface. Sand again with a 320 grit sandpaper for an even smoother finish.

Step 5: Apply the New Finish

Apply wood stain or paint to the table top. Use a paintbrush or foam roller, and work in the direction of the grain. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times. If you’re using a stain, wipe off any excess with a clean cloth after a few minutes.

Step 6: Protect the Finish

Once the stain or paint has dried completely, apply a protective finish such as polyurethane or wax. Use a paintbrush or foam roller, and work in the direction of the grain. Allow the finish to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7: Give it a Final Sanding

Sand the table top lightly with a fine grit sandpaper (320 grit) to smooth out any imperfections in the finish. Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust.

Step 8: Reattach Hardware

Reattach any hardware and enjoy your newly refinished table top!

Conclusion to Cheap DIY Table Top Ideas

As you can see, there are numerous ways to either build a new, or improve an existing, table with one of our cheap DIY table top ideas. Some are very simple, while some may take a bit more experience, all are very doable for anybody with the desire.

We tried to include many different levels of experience, cost, and time, but we’re quite sure you will be able to find something in our list of cheap DIY table top ideas!

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