Turned legs for coffee tables

Turned Legs for Coffee Tables: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you looking to add a touch of elegance and style to your living room? A coffee table with turned legs may be the perfect choice for you! In this article, we'll delve into the history of turned legs, explore the different types, materials, and designs, and offer tips on how to choose the right turned legs for your coffee table. We'll also guide you through creating your own turned legs and provide helpful care and maintenance tips. So, let's get started!

The History of Turned Legs

Early History

The art of turning wooden legs dates back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Greeks. However, it was during the Renaissance period in Europe when turned legs became a popular feature in furniture design. Craftsmen used lathes to create intricate, symmetrical shapes that would become a hallmark of furniture styles throughout history.

Influence on Modern Furniture

Today, turned legs remain popular in furniture design, particularly in coffee tables. They offer a timeless aesthetic that can complement various interior design styles, from traditional to modern farmhouse.

Types of Turned Legs for Coffee Tables

Traditional Turned Legs

Traditional turned legs often feature intricate designs and carvings, paying homage to their historical roots. These legs can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your coffee table.

Turned Wood Coffee Table Legs

Modern Turned Legs

Modern turned legs showcase a more minimalist design. They often have sleek lines and a simple appearance, making them ideal for contemporary living spaces.

Farmhouse Turned Legs

Farmhouse turned legs are a blend of traditional and modern styles. They typically feature simple, clean lines with a touch of rustic charm. This style is perfect for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your living room.

Materials Used in Turned Legs


Wood is the most common material used in turned legs, with popular choices including oak, rubberwood, maple, cherry, and walnut. Each type of wood offers its own unique characteristics, colors, and grain patterns. Design 59 offers a large selection of wood table legs for sale on this website including a variety of coffee table legs. 

More about Wood for Table Legs


Metal turned legs can add an industrial touch to your coffee table. Common materials include steel, iron, and aluminum. Metal legs can be finished in various ways, such as powder coating or chrome plating.

Hybrid Materials

Hybrid turned legs combine the best of both worlds, featuring a mix of wood and metal elements. This design choice can create a unique and striking appearance for your coffee table.

Styles and Designs

Simple Turned Legs

Simple turned legs showcase a minimalist design, making them an excellent choice for contemporary spaces. These legs can be either wooden or metal, with clean lines and an uncluttered appearance.

Ornate Turned Legs

Ornate turned legs are characterized by intricate carvings, curves, and details. These legs are often made from wood and can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your coffee table. Ornate turned legs are well-suited for traditional or vintage-inspired interiors.

Carved Turned Legs

Carved turned legs are a form of ornate turned legs, featuring intricate, handcrafted designs etched into the wood. These legs can be an artistic focal point for your coffee table, adding a unique and captivating touch to your living space.

How to Choose the Right Turned Legs for Your Coffee Table

Consider Your Room's Style

When selecting turned legs for your coffee table, it's essential to consider the overall style of your room. Make sure the legs complement the design of your living space, whether it be traditional, modern, or farmhouse-inspired.

Choose the Right Material

Select a material that matches the existing materials in your living room. If your space features predominantly wooden furniture, opt for wooden turned legs. On the other hand, if your room has a more industrial vibe, metal turned legs might be a better choice.

Determine the Appropriate Size

Ensure the turned legs you choose are the correct size for your coffee table. Consider the height, width, and overall proportions of the legs in relation to the table's top and the surrounding furniture. Tables should be designed to be average table height and follow all engineering standards. 

DIY Turned Legs for Your Coffee Table

Tools and Materials Needed

To create your own turned legs, you'll need access to a lathe, woodworking tools, and the material of your choice (wood or metal). You may also need additional materials such as paint, stain, or finishing products.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose a design for your turned legs, considering the style of your room and your personal preferences.
  2. Measure and mark the dimensions of your leg design onto the material.
  3. Use a lathe to shape and carve the material according to your design.
  4. Sand the turned legs to smooth out any rough edges and imperfections.
  5. Finish the legs with paint, stain, or other finishing products, as desired.
  6. Attach the turned legs to the bottom of your coffee table using appropriate hardware and fasteners.

Caring for Your Turned Leg Coffee Table

Cleaning and Maintenance

To keep your coffee table looking its best, clean the surface regularly with a damp cloth or appropriate cleaning products. For wooden turned legs, use a wood-specific cleaner and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.

Repair and Restoration

In the event of damage, such as scratches or dents, consult a professional furniture restorer for advice on repairing your turned leg coffee table. They can recommend the best course of action to restore your table to its original beauty.


Turned legs can add a touch of elegance and style to your coffee table, enhancing the overall design of your living space. By understanding the different types, materials, and designs, and considering your room's style and personal preferences, you can find the perfect turned legs for your coffee table.


  1. Can I mix and match different types of turned legs on a single coffee table? While it's possible to mix and match, it's generally best to use a consistent style for all legs to ensure a cohesive appearance.

  2. How do I determine the right height for turned legs on my coffee table? Measure the desired height of your coffee table and subtract the thickness of the tabletop to determine the appropriate leg height.

  3. Can I paint or stain my wooden turned legs? Yes, you can paint or stain wooden turned legs to match your room's décor or to give them a fresh, updated look. Be sure to use appropriate paint or stain products designed for wood.

  4. What type of lathe is best for turning wooden legs? A wood lathe is specifically designed for turning wooden objects, making it the ideal choice for creating wooden turned legs. Ensure the lathe you choose can accommodate the size and dimensions of the legs you plan to create.

  5. How can I ensure my turned leg coffee table remains stable and sturdy? Properly attaching the legs to the tabletop using appropriate hardware and fasteners is crucial for stability. Additionally, regularly inspecting the legs for any signs of wear or damage can help you address potential issues before they become more significant problems.

Back to blog

Leave a comment