Gaming Table: Dining Room Table Upgrade



Introduction: Gaming Table: Dining Room Table Upgrade

About: Ever find yourself walking through a store and see something you like and say to yourself; "I could make that" then you think "I could improve the design to fit my needs better, and make it chea…

I wanted to build a Gaming Table on the underside of my old Plywood Dining Room Table and refinish the top of the Table while I was at it...

I knew I wanted to have a table that had built-in cup holders (protect the games), and also an area to stash items you are using (dice, cards, etc.) and/or your phone.

Come along as I show you what I did and how I did it :)


To make this Table, I used the following:

  • Existing 3/4" Plywood Dining Table Top
  • Pallet Wood Slats
  • 1/4" Hardboard Sheet
  • Dry Erase / Chalk 2'x4' Sheet
  • Stainable Wood Filler
  • Ruby Felt
  • Pocket Screws
  • Brad Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Flat Black Paint
  • Red Wood Stain
  • Danish Oil
  • Spray Adhesive

Here are the links to the items I purchased for this build:

Step 1: The Table I Started With

I have been wanting to make a Gaming Table for a while, then one day I was looking at how beat up our old Epoxy covered Plywood Dining Table was, and thought to myself, why don't I refinish the Epoxy top, and build a Gaming Table underneath.

These pictures show our Dining table as it was when I started.

I built it over a Decade ago out of 3/4" Plywood that I carved a decorative "D" into for our Last Name, then painted it and covered the whole thing in Clear Epoxy.

I had installed an "X" cross-brace under the table to keep it from sagging too much and give it some stability.

Step 2: Starting the Table

I brought the Table down into the Basement and knew the first thing was to remove the old Gross-Bracing from the underside of the Table. I remove the screws from the Cross-Bracing, then used a Rubber Mallet to break the bond of the glue holding them in place.

I then sanded down the bits of glue and broken wood that had splintered from the Cross-Bracing.

Step 3: Prepping the Table Surface

After I got all of the roughness from the old Cross-Bracing smoothed out, I started filling all of the cracks, holes (from the screws) and Plywood Splits (this was a C-D grade) with Wood Filler.

I also started sanding the Epoxy 'drips' from the underside edges that I never cleaned up when I made it originally.

Step 4: Starting the Frame

I took some of my Pallet Slats that I had set aside for projects, cleaned them up, and cut them to the lengths I needed.

I then mitered the ends and created four sets of "Corners".

I measured and marked the table with where the corners would be placed.

Using my Pocket Hole Jig to drill out the mounting holes, I then used Wood Glue and Pocket Screws to attach them to the Table.

Step 5: Creating the Raised Surface

For the top of the raised section of the table, I used some wider Pallet Slats that I had.

After I cleaned them up I was left with a 4" wide board which I needed in order to get the Cup Holders to fit correctly.

The inside of the raised section was held up with a piece of an old 4x4 I had laying around to make sure that they stayed level after I glued them and used by Brad-Nailer to lock them in place.

After I had all four sections of the raised section placed and the glue was dry, I used a compass to draw out the circles I needed to cut for the Cup Holders.

Of course I had to try a test-fit which gave me a sneak peek at what this was going to look like after I was complete.

Step 6: Enclosing the Gaming Surface

Originally I was going to use 1/4" Hardboard for the insides of the 'Players Pocket' and the inside face of the Gaming Surface (I didn't need it very thick, and thought this would work good), but I didn't have enough to make the inside face of the Gaming Surface.

When I went to the Home Center, they were out of smaller sheets of 1/4" Hardboard.

I purchased a sheet of Hardboard that was a bit thicker than an 1/8" sheet, but I could tell was less than 1/4". It had Dry-Erase material on one side and a textured black surface on the other for a Chalk-Board.

I cut the small sides of the 'Players Pocket' as well as the strips for the inside face of the Gaming Surface. I also used small pieces of wood glued to the table surface to stabilize the lower potion of the Hardboard Slats.

Using clamps to make sure everything stayed in place as the glue dried. I then placed the sides of the 'Players Pocket'.

Step 7: Finishing Assembly

After the Table was assembled, it was time to clean it up and get it ready to finish.

I used the Wood Filler for any cracks & holes in the Pallet Wood and also fill any gaps in the corners of the raised section.

After this was all sanded and cleaned up it was time to star the finishing process.

Step 8: Painting the Upper Section

With the assembly finished, sanded and cleaned up, I started taping the outer areas I planned to stain.

I had to clean up some dried wood glue bulges from inside the 'Players Pocket' before I taped inside of them.

Once everything was taped, I used a Flat Black paint to coat the Top, Outside Edge, and inside the 'Players Pocket'.

Step 9: Staining the Outer Lip

After the raised section was painted and dry, I used a Barn Red Stain to liberally coat the outer lip of the Table.

Step 10: Adding the Felt

Once everything was painted and stained, it was time to apply the Ruby Felt.

I laid out the felt on the floor and measured the piece I needed, then placed a board under it and cut it with a straight edge and a utility knife.

Spray Adhesive would be plenty to hold the felt in place. I glued the bottom in place first, then once it was dry, I glued the sides, using a utility knife in the corners to make sure they looked seamless.

After I trimmed the top off of the felt, there were some fringe pieces sticking up and it was a bit of a pain to try and trim with scissors, so I used a lighter to melt the fringe, and it worked great.

Step 11: Adding Cup Holders

The Cup Holders were added to the Table (I had to add two layers of electrical Tape to one as it was a bit loose, but is nice and snug now) and this was the first view of the completed table.

Step 12: Refinishing the Epoxy

I started with a 120 Grit Sandpaper to remove some of the stains, nicks, and even out the surface.

I then used 320 Grit to give it a smoother feel, and finally finished it was a rub of Danish Oil.

The surface is a bit more rough than I was hoping for, but I can get a higher grit Sandpaper and smooth it out later if I wan to.

Step 13: Placement and Setup

I placed the Table, Epoxy-Side Down on the table frame, and was very pleased with how it looked in the room.

I also noticed that neither the Paint nor the Stain had fully adhered to the Dry-Erase wall inside the 'Players Pocket' giving a nice dripping blood effect.

If you liked this build, let me know what you liked about it and if you build one, tag me in it so I can see what amazing things you thought of adding to yours.

Be the First to Share


    • Eggs Challenge

      Eggs Challenge
    • Fabric Challenge

      Fabric Challenge
    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest