Murphy Bed Convertible Coffee Table

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 -

*This post is sponsored by Kreg Tool and The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

How many half-baked ideas do you have swimming around in your head? Even if we don't claim to be "creative", we all have little thoughts and potential ideas that motivate us. Ever since remodeling my master bathroom, my shower door is constantly filled with doodles and measurements written in steam. I finally got to build a project which incorporates TWO design ideas I've been brainstorming for a while. 

I've had visions of a piece of furniture with a included a random-width, random-thickness pattern around the perimeter. Basically, either plywood or MDF of different standard thicknesses, cut into different sized strips and attached parallel to each other. I know it sounds kinda artsy-fartsy, but I kinda had the idea of a crowded downtown street, packed with buildings. 

The second idea I've been dying to try is a coffee table, which opens into a hidden, folding bed. Sorta a hide-a-bed or Murphy bed from a functional table. I figured, I could design a project which could easily marry the two designs together. Short story- it works and I love it SO MUCH! 

>>> I'm sharing the FULL BUILDING PLANS over at, so make sure to head over and check it out  <<<

Check out the video below for the full process and keep scrolling to find out a few more tips and ideas. 

Even though the convertible coffee table design is pretty unorthodox, the build was pretty straight forward. The legs and stretchers are made from my beloved poplar, but I chose MDF for the box portion. MDF is really stable (I won't have to worry about warping or shifting down the road) and it paints beautifully. 

I bought two sheets of 3/4" thick MDF from Home Depot, then used my Kreg Accu-Cut guide track system to break the materials down into the smaller, project panels. I love this thing! If you watch a couple of my YouTube videos, you'll see I use it ALL. THE. TIME.  

(MDF releases potentially toxic chemicals when it's cut. It's perfectly safe once it's sealed or painted, but remember to wear a respirator when cutting or drilling)

To join the pieces together, I decided to go back to my roots and use pocket holes. MDF drills so smoothly and makes beautiful pocket holes! I received a Kreg Foreman a few months ago, but you could build this whole table using a simple R3 pocket hole jig instead. 

I made lots of little mistakes on this build, but it's okay.

For example, I placed the pocket holes on the inside of the box but after getting the first few sides up, I realized I should have placed them on the outside faces, where they would have been covered.

The signature design piece of this coffee table are the dozens and dozens of small strips attached around the perimeter. Traditionally, cutting that many narrow pieces of material would be really difficult without a table saw. Even though it took just a few more minutes to set up each cut, I was able to rip all 3 thicknesses of MDF (1/4", 1/2"& 3/4") into even the tiniest strips using my Accu-Cut.

With the strips ripped to width, I set up a stop-block on my miter saw and cut the veneer strips to length. I then used glue and a 23-gauge pin nailer to attach them to the box sides.

Cutting all those millions and millions of little veneer pieces (okay, more like 100-150) made LOTS of sawdust EVERYWHERE! One day I'll set up dust collection in my shop, but in the meantime, I had a big mess to clean up. Luckily, I just received a new 16 gallon, 6.5 horsepower Wet/Dry Vac from Ridgid.

The over-sized wheels made the whole vac really easy to move around the garage. And the on board storage for things like the hose and attachments helps prevent all the loose pieces from getting lost (I have a chronic problem with that).

Moving on the legs. I wanted them semi-chunky so they could comfortably support a person laying on the bed, but I didn't want to use 4 x 4's. Instead, I glued together three, 1 x 3 boards to create a "laminated" blank. Basically, I turned them into 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 8-1/4" solid blocks.

Thankfully, I build a pretty nice thickness planer set-up a few months ago and was able to run the legs through to knock off the worst of the uneven sides. However, they still needed a good sanding. The perfect job for my new DeWalt Cordless Random Orbital Sander.

DeWalt also makes a quick-charge 20V charger, which can re-power a battery in 95 minutes or less. In my experience, a 4ah battery will charge in about 30-40 minutes. 

I attached the box to the table base simply by pre-drilling from the inside of the box, and drove 3" screws into the tops of the legs. I'm used to using a lot more fasteners to hold table parts together but with this project, it really wasn't necessary. This thing is solid as an ox (just watch the video to see how I tested it). 

I'm so glad my crazy ideas actually worked! I'm in love with this one. 

I originally thought the bed function would be reversed for overnight guests, but I built this table last week, we've had no guests, and this thing has already seen a lot of traffic. My kids had a three-day weekend and pretty much spend the whole time laying on the opened bed.

Admittedly, the layers of MDF are pretty heavy, so converting the coffee table into a bed probably requires two people. 

(or one massive hulk)

In order to be able to fold the mattress in half, it needs to be all foam. Luckily, they are pretty easy to find these days. I picked up a twin sized, memory foam mattress from Amazon for cheap

What do you think of the random-width, random-thickness side detail? 

If you want a couple tips on how to evenly paint MDF, check out the YouTube video. I have a few techniques that helped me get a smooth and nearly flawless finish.

Oh, and if you're a fan of my three-way nesting coffee table from a while back, don't worry, it's not getting replaced. We use it literally everyday. This new murphy bed table is going in the game room (for now).

What do you think? Looking to build your own hidden bed furniture? Make sure to check out the >>>FULL BUILDING PLANS <<< over at and feel free to pin the image below to save the idea for later!

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