One of my goals as a homeowner has been to upgrade my laundry room. It originally had nowhere to fold clothes and very limited storage space. To help solve both of these problems, I built a DIY Laundry Folding Table.
I needed my laundry folding table to do two things: give me a place to fold laundry and provide additional storage space underneath. I wanted it to be as strong as possible so that I could store whatever I wanted to on the bottom shelf. The main thing I wanted to be able to store was my portable water containers. These can weigh over 50 pounds each, so strong construction was a must. However, even if you aren’t storing really heavy items, having a strong bottom shelf is still very beneficial.
Below you will find how I built my DIY Laundry Folding Table. You may need to adjust dimensions slightly if you have less space or would like something larger. I hope this is something you can use!
Bread Board Top
- (5) 2×4 @ 65 inches each
- (2) 2×4 @ 17.5 inches each
- (4) 4×4 @ 27 inches each (Corner Posts)
- (4) 2×4 @ 70 inches each (Long Aprons)
- (4) 2×4 @ 8.5 inches each (Short Aprons)
- (5) 2×4 @ 12.5 inches each (Bottom Shelf Supports)
- (1) 1/2 inch plywood @ 70 inches x 15.5 inches
Necessary Tools and Hardware
- Tape Measure
- Speed Square
- Pocket Hole Jig
- 10-12 Inch Miter Saw
- Circular Saw
- Cordless Drill
- Right-Angle Drill Attachment
- Impact Driver
- Sander and Sandpaper
- 3-Inch Deck Screws
- 2 1/2-Inch Pocket Hole Screws
- Twist Drill Bits
- Drive Bits for Screws
- Finish Nailer (Or Hammer, Nail Set, and Finishing Nails)
- Bar Clamps (24-Inch)
- 4 Swivel Casters
- Paint, Wood Stain, and Clear Coat Finish
- Paint Brush
- Stain Applicator (or an old sock)
Step 1: Lumber Selection
Most of the wood that you find at larger hardware stores really isn’t intended for projects where appearance matters. Dimensional lumber, such as 2×4’s, is meant to form the frame of a building and then be covered up later on.
If you want nice-looking lumber, you will either need to go to a dedicated lumberyard or dig around a bit at your hardware store. Look for straight boards without gouges. Try to go before the store gets busy so you aren’t in the way of less picky buyers. Be sure to avoid boards that have staples in them as well as those that have split.
Step 2: Make Cuts for the Laundry Table’s Top
Before you make your cuts for the laundry table’s breadboard top, pick out your best-looking 2×4’s. Lay them side-by-side and arrange them to find the order and combination that looks best. This takes a little extra time but is worth it since the top is what you and others will see the most.
Take your best-looking 2×4’s and make five cuts at 65 inches each. These will make up the main part of your top. Then, make two cuts at 17.5 inches each. These will be the breadboard ends of your top.
Step 3: Drill Pocket Holes
Next, you need to drill the holes for your pocket screws. I drilled four pocket holes along the length of all of the long boards except one. However, each board will need one pocket hole at each end. See the diagram below for approximate pocket hole spacing.
Step 4: Assemble the Bread Board Top Using Pocket Hole Screws
After you have drilled your pocket holes, use 2 1/2 inch pocket screws to attach the pieces of your breadboard top together.
Step 5: Sand the Laundry Folding Table’s Top
I like to go ahead and sand down the laundry folding table’s top before I build anything else. The reason for this is that 2×4’s tend to shrink a little due to moisture loss after it is cut and sanded. Sanding it now gives the wood time to shrink while you are working on other parts of the project. If you are planning on doing the entire thing in one or two days, this may not help you. However, if you do this project over the course of a couple of weekends, it may be beneficial.
When sanding, I started with 80 grit sandpaper. This will knock down any high points and help smooth where boards meet. After everything is even, move to an intermediate grit, such as 120. Then use 220 grit sandpaper to make everything super smooth. When you are done, set the top aside.
Step 6: Cut and Notch the Base’s Corner Posts
Next, cut the base’s corner posts. Take your 4×4 posts and make four cuts, each at 27 inches. After you have cut the posts, you will need to notch them. If you haven’t done notches before, don’t worry, it’s actually pretty easy. Click here for a short video that teaches how to cut notches using a circular saw.
Each notch will need to be 3.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep. These notches are where you will place your long aprons later in the assembly process.
Step 7: Cut the Base’s Aprons
Next, you will cut the aprons for the base. There will be four long aprons and four short aprons. Each long apron will be 70 inches long, and each short apron will be 8.5 inches long.
Step 8: Drill Pocket Holes in Aprons
After you cut the aprons, you will need to drill pocket holes in them. You will use these holes when it is time to mount the top to the base.
Two long aprons will need four pocket holes along the length of them. These will be the ones you place along the tops of your posts. Be sure to leave some space from each end. The long aprons will be held to the posts using deck screws. If you have pocket holes too close to the end, you will not be able to use them to attach the top later on. Set aside the other two long aprons that you didn’t drill pocket holes into. These will be your bottom braces, and they don’t need pocket holes.
Two short aprons will need four pocket holes. One on each end and two going vertically. The pocket holes on the ends will attach the short aprons to the posts and the vertical pocket holes will be used to attach the top. The other two short aprons will only need one pocket hole at each end.
Step 9: Attach Long Aprons to Corner Posts
Place your long aprons in the notches that you cut into the 4×4 posts. Make sure that you place the aprons with the pocket holes where you want the tops to be. Be sure that the pocket holes are facing the inside and are right side up.
Drill pilot holes into the aprons to help prevent them from splitting, and use 3-inch wood screws to secure them to the post. Use a speed square to make sure the posts and aprons are at a 90-degree angle to one another. I like to use a 4-screw diamond pattern for strength and rigidity.
Step 10: Attach Short Aprons to Corner Posts
Next, you attach the short aprons to your laundry folding table. The space between the posts is really small, so I recommend getting a right angle drill attachment if you don’t already have one. I attached mine without a right angle attachment and it was a gigantic pain in the butt.
Set the corner posts with the long aprons upright, making sure that the boards with the pocket holes are both at the top. The easiest way to do this is to set the small aprons in between the corner posts and use clamps to hold everything in place. Also, make sure that your small aprons are in the right spots and facing the correct direction. The small aprons with the four pocket holes need to be at the top.
Use your drill and right angle attachment to drive the pocket screws, securing the aprons to the posts. The aprons should be flush with the ends and faces of the posts, especially on the bottom.
Step 11: Make the Shelf Support Braces.
I wanted my laundry folding table’s bottom shelf to be able to support a lot of weight because I plan on using it to hold water containers. To hold this weight, I placed support braces in between the bottom aprons. Take a 2×4 and make five 12 1/2 inch cuts. Check the first one to make sure it is the correct length before you cut the remaining four. Then, drill pocket holes in the ends of the boards. Attach them to the bottom aprons using pocket hole screws.
Step 12: Cut the Bottom Shelf
Next, you will need to cut your sheet of 1/2-inch plywood to the proper size. It needs to be 70 inches long and 15.5 inches wide. I used a straight board as a cutting guide to make my cuts as clean as possible.
After you cut the plywood to the correct dimensions, you will need to cut out the corners. This is to make space for the corner posts. Measure a 3 1/2 inch x 3 1/2 inch square to cut out of each corner.
Step 13: Attach the Bottom Shelf
Slide the bottom shelf onto your laundry folding table’s base. Use a finish nailer to attach the plywood to the bottom aprons and support braces. If you don’t have a finish nailer, you can use a hammer, nail set, and finishing nails to secure the plywood to the base. If there is any overhang, clean this up with a sander.
Step 14: Sand the Base
After you have assembled the base of your laundry folding table, you need to sand it down before trying to paint it. Use the same process that you did for the breadboard table top to smooth any surface that will need paint.
Step 15: Paint the Base
After you finish sanding the base, you are ready to start painting. Apply a few coats of good primer to your base. Then, pick whichever color you like and paint the base. I like to lightly sand in between coats to make the finished product as nice as possible.
Step 15: Apply Stain and Clear Coat to the Breadboard Top
Before you stain your breadboard top, check to make sure that everything is still smooth and there aren’t any bumps in between boards. If you find any, sand them down.
I used Minwax stain for my table top. It is easy to apply and readily available at nearby stores. Be sure to read the label on whichever stain you buy, because some stains have special instructions. Apply a coat and let it dry. You may need to apply the stain a few times to get the color you are looking for. I use an old sock to apply my wood stain. They work well and I always have some around the house.
After your stain has dried, apply a clear coat finish. I use Minwax Polycrylic. It is easy to apply, looks good, and is easy to clean off of brushes when the work is done. I apply somewhere between four and six coats of Polycrylic to my projects. While applying the finish, be sure to coat the surface evenly, and make sure there are no drips, especially on the sides.
Use 220 grit sandpaper (by hand) in between coats to knock down any high spots and remove fuzz that may have landed in the clear coat while drying. After you sand, remove the sanding residue with a soft rag. Then apply your next coat.
Step 16: Attach Wheels to the Base
I chose to add wheels to the bottom of my laundry folding table so that I could move it easily and also to protect the wood in case of a flood. Laundry rooms are doomed to be filled with water at some time or another. Adding wheels puts space between the laundry folding table and any water on the floor.
Caster wheels are expensive, so to save money, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a really cheap 1,000-pound furniture dolly. The wheels were really easy to remove. All you should need is a wrench or screwdriver, depending on how they are attached to the dolly.
Turn your table’s base upside down and attach the wheels to the bottom of each corner post. You can use heavy-duty screws to do this, but I just used the pocket hole screws I already had. I don’t plan to move my laundry folding table very much, and I already had those screws on hand.
Step 17: Attach the Breadboard Top to the Base
The last step is to attach the breadboard top to the base of your laundry folding table. Set a few towels or blankets on the ground to prevent damage to your breadboard top’s finish. Lay the breadboard top on the blankets facedown. The pocket holes that you used to assemble the top should be facing up.
Set the base, upside down, onto the breadboard top. The top should be about an inch larger than the base on each side. This allows the top to set against the wall without the base hitting the trim along the bottom of your wall. Center the base onto the top and use the pocket holes to join them together using pocket hole screws. Carefully turn your newly-assembled laundry folding upright.
I hope that this is a design that you can use to help make your life a little easier and more organized. Keep in mind that the dimensions of the laundry folding table were determined based on my needs and space limitations, so feel free to adjust them to fit your needs.