Apothecary Trundle Coffee Table or Toy Box

Hello, beautiful. When Ana contacted me to build an apothecary version of her popular 20 Second Tidy Up Table (you know, the one I keep building for friends and commissions) I leapt at the chance. I loved the table we had, but the apothecary style just ramps it up a notch.

*drool* Isn’t it beautiful? Her plans are just perfect! I love this table.

I decided on a two tone finish because I thought it would be fun to mess around with new distressing techniques. It was a tough call though, I was really tempted to stain it all.

I opted for stain rather than paint on the inside because I didn’t want it to chip when it was full of Charlie’s toys. Even though I use no-VOC Olympic paint, it would weird me out to find paint chips on toys she’s chewing on. And I know I’m being nonsensical about it because I decided to soak it in chemical-laden stain, but oh well. At least it will stay put!

The stain is Rustoleum’s Ultimate Stain in Golden Oak. What’s crazy is that it’s the same stain I used on our other coffee table. This one:

For that table, we used our Husky air brushing system. It’s almost like spray paint vs. brushed paint, but with stain. For this one I brushed on two coats with a foam brush and followed up with three coats of spray polycrylic.

The bottom is two coats of white semi-gloss Olympic latex paint. I’ll post in more detail on the distressing tomorrow.

I got these awesome oil-rubbed bronze knobs from Target. They have a 10 pack for $9.99, and I had four left over from the six nightstands I built a few weeks ago. So it worked out perfectly!

I really like how it looks with our couch. I think the stain on the top goes a bit better with the color of the leather. Or pleather, if we’re getting technical here 😉 I’ve been toying around with the idea of refinishing the side table we inherited from the hubs’ Grandma, and this might be the kick I need to actually do it. I know mixing wood tones is supposedly okay in the design world, but I’m not a huge fan.

Here are a few quick tips if you plan to build this table:

42 thoughts on “Apothecary Trundle Coffee Table or Toy Box

  1. OMG! How the heck do you have time to build? I’m so jealous! I’m literally dying to build something! One of which will absolutely be the scooter you designed!

    We removed our coffee table because Tenleys her own worst enemy and I can’t wait to get one back in, we may just have to build it! 🙂

    1. I work in building during nap times or after her dad comes home. It’s definitely a much slower process than it used to be though!

  2. You probably already know this, but I just thought I’d mention it just in case… The Olympic paints are only VOC free before you add the colorant. Once the paint is tinted with colorant, there are VOCs in it. I’m sure it is less than traditional paint, but worth looking in to.

    I’m loving all of the woodworking projects on your blog. You must be a hard worker to crank them out so fast with a little one at home. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I actually didn’t know that, but it makes sense! It still is so much less “smelly” or “fumey” than even low-VOC Behr paint.

  3. You inspire me!!! This is absolutely stunning! I love just drooling over all the things you make!

  4. I LOVE it!! I can’t wait to make one for that big naked space in front of my couch.

    I am VERY new to woodworking, can you tell me what wood you used for this project?

    1. I used pine boards for the main structure, and oak 1/4″ plywood. Be aware that pine marks very easily, and my first table I built (the regular 20 second tidy up table) had lots of marks in only a few months. But, my dog does like to lay on it for some reason 😉 If you’re looking for something that won’t mar as much, try using a redwood (oak, maple, cedar) for the top 1×6 boards. I believe oak is the strongest? You can always ask a lumber aisle worker for suggestions too!

  5. So….I’m off to search your site on the rail? that is holding photos below your big canvases in the living room. That is essentially the same “big image” set up I’ve got, but I love the use of adding more below it. Just can’t see it well enough. Point me in the right direction if you get a chance! P.S. Gorgeous apothecary table. Wish you lived closer so I could just farm out some of my long awaited building projects to you! I seriously get too impatient with the finishing.
    I did a loft for my daughter when I was 5-6+ months pregnant and I haven’t done anything since!

    1. Why thanks Christa! Like you, I also have little patience for finishing. It’s definitely the worst part of building. I would sell pieces unfinished if I could…but the transformation pieces take after finishing is what really sells them. As for the rail, it’s another Ana White project 😉 Super simple though, I took a 6′ board, attached binder clips with washers and screws and voila! Easily updated photo gallery http://www.killerbdesigns.com/5-photo-gallery/

  6. WOW Great job. Beautiful finish and a terrific design. This would work for Grandma too. We need this before the toys take over the living room

    1. Yes it would! It’s also great for books and blankets. Or could be great hidden dvd storage!

  7. Stopping over from the Pinterest Project – you did an amazing job! I love Ana White and building stuff from her plans… so inspiring and empowering! Thanks for sharing – both tables are gorgeous!

  8. This is divine! I’ve been eyeing off Ana’s plans for the apothecary console table for a while now… But there is no way mine will look anywhere near this good!

    1. My first apothecary console was an absolute nightmare. In fact, you can see it here (http://www.killerbdesigns.com/knocked-off-apothecary-cabinet/). I built it out of shoddy MDF, and it started falling apart pretty much immediately. I sold it on Craigslist for $40 and was happy to get it out of my house! I’ve since learned to build with better materials and take my time. With practice, your stuff will look great too!

    1. Hi Shannon, it wasn’t a makeover, it was actually 100% DIY, handbuilt by me 😉 I sold the old table (one I also built) to make way for the new. The trouble now is I keep seeing more coffee tables I would love to build, so I fear I’ll just keep cycling them out! This is my third table in less than a year

  9. Hi! I am trying to build this! How did you attache the top frame to the table top (kreg, finishing nails, etc…)? I’d love any help you can offer. : )

    1. I just drill through the 2×2 support frame into the top, holding it down. I also have a couple of pocket holes in the legs to attach the corners.

  10. Hi Brook – I’m a newbie to woodwork and you and Ana are an inspiration! Thank you.

    I have a couple of questions. I’ve modified the plan to accommodate for a smaller table. So the 1st question is: I was thinking of using 2 locking casters to prevent the table from rolling up and down hard wood floors. But in your pictures, I cant even see the casters i. So, would it work for me to use locking casters or would it be a pain to reach under and in to lock the wheels?

    The 2nd question – because I did modify the cuts, there are some gaps that I need to fill. So, my question is: do you think it would look off if I used a 1×3 instead of the 1×2 for the side trim?

    The total dimensions of the table top is 30″ x 17 1/2″. I used five 1x4s for the tabletop and eliminated the beadboard ends as you suggested. Thanks in advance!!


    1. You can adjust the height of your box to accomodate your castors so they can be seen and thus locked. So, if your castor height is 2″, make sure there’s still a 1/8″ gap at the top of the box to the bottom of the table so it will slide. My castors are mostly hidden because I slid the trim down to hide it. You should have enough space to work with locking castors. Though I will say the table didn’t really slide around all that much. And I think the thicker trim would look great!

      Thanks so much for your comment, I’m always thrilled to hear that someone is giving building a chance!

    1. Hi Marie! I’m much too impatient to stain and finish before assembly, I get so excited about the finished product that I have to see it first! I will say, though, that it is much easier to do the finishing first, at least when it comes to tight spaces. For this project, it would make sense to build the sides, paint them, then add the pre-stained top boards instead of worrying you’re going to get paint on your stain or vice versa. But if you’re finishing the piece in one solid style, sometimes it’s better to wait and do the whole piece at once so it looks natural and cohesive. Plus, sometimes screws and the assembly process can expose unfinished wood and you have to go back and touch up.

  11. HI Brooke! I am the same way – IMPATIENT!! I’m so glad you are too – made me feel better!! Your table looks like you stained/painted every piece separately. All looks amazing!! Thank you!

  12. Hi Brooke – Almost done! Working on the trundle. How did you attach the pieces? I dont see pocket screws. Actually I dont see any screws at all. Did you use PH screws from the bottom to attach the plywood to the sides? If so – any fear of splitting the 1×12?? And it looks like you used finishing nails to attach the false fronts to the 1×12. Size nails? Thank so much!!

    1. I used pocket holes on the inside of the trundle ends, then pocket holes on the bottom of the trundle bottom. I built the box first then slid in the bottom and attached it. The finishing nails are 1 1/4″. Just drill slowly whenever you’re using pocket holes and it shouldn’t split. Good luck!

      1. No problem with the 1 1/4 nails poking thru inside the trundle? Seems like the nails ate a 1/4″ too long….

        1. Sorry it took me so long to respond. The trim is 3/4″ thick, and the base is 3/4″ thick, so that makes 1 1/2″. So it’s actually 1/4″ less than the width of the wood, which is a good amount. It gives it about a 1/2″ to grip into the inner piece. You could use 1″ nails and glue, though it may come loose more easily.

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