How to build a large folding table
Are you looking for extra space for people to play, eat, or have fun? Here is a simple & cheap DIY folding table idea that we created. Now we can have collapsable tables that we could use indoors and outdoors.
Every year my husband has a poker party in our basement. And every year it is a little bit of a struggle to set-up for 20 plus guys and now their families. While I am getting pretty good at throwing cheap DIY parties, we still needed the physical tables for people to play poker on.
Therefore my husband decided that this would be the year that we would make two 8 foot long DIY folding tables that could be used as poker tables.
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Purposes for DIY Folding Table: Cheap Poker Tables and Game Tables
My husband’s plan for these DIY folding tables is to use them as DIY poker tables (hence the green paint job) and then also as a recreational table for when my children want to do puzzles or other activities!
I also plan on using these on our deck, in addition to our DIY composite decking tables when we host large parties! These DIY folding tables have many purposes. I’m sure over the next year we will find many reasons to use these cheap DIY tables.
Supplies needed to make DIY Folding Table
Don’t let this long list of supplies overwhelm you. My guess is that if you are thinking of making your own DIY folding tables, then you probably have a lot of these tools and supplies on hand.
Cordless screw gun
Straight edge / level
Electric sander or sandpaper and block
1 ¼ inch screws
Drywall joint compound
CDX plywood 8 foot x 4 foot x ¾ inch
If you are interested in making your own folding table legs, I found this post from doityourself.com. However, we just found it was easiest to buy our metal legs (not to mention they were probably physically lighter than homemade ones).
How to Make a DIY Folding Table
Step 1: Choose the grade of plywood
No matter what grade of plywood the size would be 4’ x 8’ x ¾”
Lowest costing no sanding option would be “birch” plywood. However, CDX plywood is the cheapest option.
Step 2: Cut plywood to the desired length and size of the DIY tabletop with a circular saw
We measured the width of their kitchen table etc. for reference of how wide we wanted our folding table to be. Plywood in our pictures was cut down to 8’ long x 36” wide.
Use a tape measure and a straight edge to draw a line to cut down or set up a guide board with an offset.
This runs the outside “housing” of the circular saw down a known straight line (clamped down 2×4, plywood, or level). As long as the outside housing the saw runs along the guideboard then the line you are cutting will be straighter then if you do it by hand.
Step 3: Determine if you want to have a circular end to your DIY poker table.
If a radius end (circular end) is desired then determine the arc of radius, draw, and then cut with a jigsaw. *****
Step 4: Use an electric sander to smooth out cut edges and top of the plywood.
Determine which side of the plywood is the nicest side to be used for your DIY tabletop. This is the side you will use an electric hand sander with sandpaper.
Step 5: Flip DIY tabletop over and add folding legs.
We added a ¾” “pad out” of plywood where the legs attach and meet in the middle, with scrap plywood that we had cut off previously. We did not think the screws that came with the table legs were “beefy” enough so we added .75” to .75” so I could use a 1.25” screw to attach the legs.
Step 6: Flip table with attached folding table legs over and look for imperfections in the tabletop.
Here is where we feel that this is a unique way to create these DIY folding tables cheaply. Instead of buying more expensive plywood or wood, we thought we could get a smooth surface using joint compound and sanding.
This made these DIY folding tables a true budget-friendly DIY project.
Step 7: Use Joint Drywall Compound to create a smooth DIY tabletop
Yes, using cheap plywood has its one advantage…
it is cheap.
However, we knew we could make it work for DIY folding tables. With the nice side now facing up fill in any knot holes and/or imperfections with drywall joint compound
Step 8: Sand Drywall Compound on the DIY plywood table
Sand, reapply & sand until the finish gets to your desired level of “perfection”.
For our folding table, we ending up doing two rounds of joint compound and sanding before we were happy with the smooth surface that could be used for a DIY poker table and game table.
Here you can see the finished smooth surface of the tabletop made out plywood!
Now that your DIY folding table is constructed, you are going to have to decide on the design you want to paint it. Because these tables were going to be used for a poker party at our house, my husband wanted to get that poker table feel…
so he went with a white and green color scheme.
How to paint your DIY folding table to be a DIY poker table or game table
Step 1: Choose base or primary color
Once you know what color you want, paint with a roller or a brush. All paint stores will recommend using a primer coat of paint per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
However, we just did three coats of white paint.
Step 2: Wait 48 hours and put the design on the plywood tabletop.
Here you can see using a yardstick to create perfectly straight lines that the painter’s tape could go against.
Step 3: Tape out the design on the smoothed out plywood tabletop.
Step 4: Use roller or brush to paint poker table designs (or any designs of your choice)
We ended up only needing two coats of paint for our designed portion of the tables.
Step 5: Take off Painter’s Tape
Then go ahead take off the painter’s tape. We just love seeing the clean and crisp lines from this brand of painter’s tape.
We have used it in so many projects from our small bathroom makeover, hexagon accent wall and when painting molding in our basement.
Enjoy your awesome and large DIY folding tables that were a true budget-friendly DIY project!
And since my husband knew he was having a large party, he made two DIY folding poker tables! The men sure did enjoy using these tables…