Behind the Couch Table DIY
I decided to DIY a behind the couch table shortly after we set up our new living room space. In Alexandria we did not have the space for anything like this, so I was super excited to finally be able to have one! I wanted the shelf to run the length of the couch and provide a place to set a drink or a phone. Therefore, it did not have to be very wide, just very long! I also did not want to lose access to the plug behind the couch, so I found a way to corporate that into my shelf!
Step 1: Measure and determine the size
As I mentioned, I wanted my shelf to run the full length of the couch, which is 118” long. I did not want to push the couch too far off the wall, so I decided to build it 6” wide. With my design ready, I was ready to build this DIY sofa table.
Step 2: Purchase Materials
The best part about moving is being able to do DIYs with my mom and sister now! My mom and I headed to Home Depot in search of my materials. With my sofa table plans in hand, we found a perfect 3/4 in. x 6 in. x 10 ft. pine board for the top of my shelf. I found a matching 3/4 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. pine board that I purchased to use for faux legs. I wanted to hang my shelf using L brackets, however I did not want the brackets to be visible.
Step 3: Cut the Shelf
First, I cut down my 10’ board. I only had to cut 2 inches off to make it the perfect length!
Next, I cut down the 8’ board. Since my couch sits in a corner, I decided to only do one side of the shelf. No one will ever see the other side of the shelf so no reason to waste the lumber! The back of my couch is 28 ½” tall, so I cut the board at 28 ¼”.
Step 4: Cut in Plug Opening (optional)
I purchased two flat extension plugs to recess into my shelf! I cut out two 4”x2” rectangles to house the plugs using an Oscillating Saw. In Alexandria, I did not have a plug near the couch and with a 4+year old iPhone, power is required!!
Step 5: Sand the Wood
Step 6: Stain or Paint the Shelf
Andrew & I love all things wood, so of course I chose to stain our shelf. First, I wiped the board down with denatured alcohol to ensure all dust was cleaned off. I used a Minwax’s Colonial Maple wood stain and applied two coats using a 1.5” Paint Brush, allowing it to dry 8 hours between each coat. Then, I applied a finish for an extra layer of protection. I chose to use Hellman’s indoor/outdoor finish as I wanted to keep the wood safe in case someone didn’t use a coaster! I allowed the first coat to dry for 4 hours. Before applying the second coat, I sanded the shelf with 220 grit and wiped the wood with denatured alcohol again. Finally, I applied the second coat, allowing it to dry for 24 hours.
Step 7: Notch out the Trim
So, this is something I will admit I didn’t plan for! I thought I was about to hang the shelf, when I realized the quarter round was going to force the faux leg to sit too far away from the wall. Using my Oscillating Saw, I notched out the quarter round!
Step 7: Hang the Shelf
As I mentioned earlier, I decided to use 3 “L” Brackets to attach the shelf to the wall. I found the studs in the wall using my stud finder. Then I screwed the “L” Brackets into the wall. Next, I set my shelf on top but I did not screw it into place just yet!
Step 8: Attach the Faux Leg
With the shelf resting on the L-brackets, I was ready to attach the faux leg. I held the faux leg board in place and used my brad nailer to nail the two pieces together with 1-3/4″ nails. The holes were small enough that I did not bother to fill them, however you could apply a bit of woof filler, sand the holes (LIGHTLY!) and apply a small amount of finish over top!
Step 9: Screw the Shelf into Place
With the leg attached, I screwed the top into the L-brackets.
Step 10: Install Plugs (optional)
With the sofa table attached, I was ready to set my plugs into place! Installation of these plugs is super easy. I placed the plugs into the openings and used the screws provided to attached them to the wood. Finally, I plugged them into the wall and was ready to enjoy my new skinny sofa table!
Behind the Couch Table DIY Links
Behind the Couch Table DIY
- Circular Saw
- Oscillating Tool
- Palm Sander
- 1.5" Paint Brush (could use a 2" Chisel instead)
- Drill / Driver
- Brad Nailer
- Straight Edge
- 3/4 in x 6 in x 10 ft pine board
- 3/4 in x 6 in x 8 ft pine board
- L Brackets w. Screws
- Flat Extension Plugs
- 120 Grit Sandpaper
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Minwax Colonial Maple Wood Stain
- Minwax Hellman Clear Semi-Gloss
- 1-3/4" Brad Nails
- Measure and Determine the Size
- Purchase Materials
- Cut the Shelf
- Cut in Plug Opening (optional)
- Sand the Wood
- Stain or Paint the Shelf
- Notch out the Trim
- Hang the Shelf
- Attach the Faux Leg
- Screw the Shelf into Place
- Install Plugs (optional)