Happy Thursday, Everyone! Today I'm sharing a really fun DIY project. A tale of furniture recycling if you will. Keep reading to see how I transformed my old dining room table into a beautiful white coffee table!
Yes, you read that correctly. This USED to be our dining room table. I snagged this little gem for $30 on Facebook Marketplace when I was going through my "Round Dining Room Table" phase. I LOVE a good round dining table but this just didn't quite work in for us. For starters, it was much too small (though I did love sharing meals with my family so closely). This guy is 36" wide and more of a "breakfast nook" type table. I did enjoy having this table at some of our gatherings as an extra place to sit. I will definitely miss its use for that but its too late now because I CUT IT IN HALF.
But first let's talk coffee tables for a moment...
WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE? and WHY DOES MY KID ALWAYS JAM PLAY-DOH INTO IT?
Spending a lot of money on a coffee table just isn't my jam. ESPECIALLY since I for sure know at some point my dog and kids will be on top of the table dancing to Moana. There's also a good chance the baby will hit her head on this table at least 45 times in the next 2 hours so it might end up getting pushed to the side for a small amount of time anyways. Kids and coffee tables just don't mix. BUT the adult inside of me (she's in there somewhere) DEEPLY wanted a place to rest my cold coffee. I had too many dreams about how I would prop my cute slippers up on the coffee table while watching HGTV, while my kiddos played nearby with their un-bumped heads. Anywho - you get the idea, I wanted a coffee table.
STEP 1: FIND YOUR TABLE
This step was easy for us, we already had a random unfinished table sitting in our basement. If you don't hoard tables like us, Facebook Marketplace is going to be your cheapest option for rehabbing a table. There is always a ton to choose from. You just need to determine how big you want your table to be. As in, the diameter of the top. I find that between 32"-36" is a good size for a coffee table. If you have a smaller room with smaller furniture, you may want a smaller coffee table.
STEP 2: DETERMINE YOUR PERFECT HEIGHT
Coffee table heights range from 16"-21", with the average being 18"-19". We didn't want this table to be too tall, because it will already take up a lot of space in the living room, if we had chosen 20"-21" as a height, it would have looked odd with how high our sofa sits. However, if you have a tall sofa, a taller height would not be bad and the same applies for a short sofa. We landed on 19" being a perfect height for us.
STEP 3: REMOVE THE STEM FROM THE TABLE TOP
Seems pretty simple. Ours has a connector piece joining the stem to the round top. It is the long piece with screw holes in the above photo. This piece was about 2.5" thick and played a vital role in how tall we cut the stem.
STEP 4: MAKE YOUR MARK
After determining our perfect height, we took into account the 1/2" table top and the 2.5" connector piece (what connects the table top to the stem base), we made a small pencil mark on the stem of table to cut it to the height of 16". We balanced the stem of the table to sawhorses using clamps for some added stability. We used a sawzall and sawed across our line knowing if we were off slightly we could sand the top to make it flush.
STEP 5: RE-ATTACH THE STEM TO THE TOP
We re-attached the table top to the stem using the same connector piece that originally joined the two pieces. We drilled two new screws down through the connector piece into the stem base. We then added the table top back to the connector piece using all of the same hardware.
STEP 6: PRIME & PAINT
This was the longest step for us because our table was unfinished wood. I wanted to use a chalk paint on this table because of how easy it applies to furniture and its beautiful matte finish. If your table is not unfinished then you wouldn't need to prime at all. I did try and sand some mystery stains off the table first. We put 2 coats of primer on over the course of a day. I chose a white chalk paint by Rust-oleum because it was readily available at the nearest hardware store. I've also heard good things about JOLIE chalk paints and ANNIE SLOAN chalk paints. I put 2 coats of the Rust-oleum chalk paint on the table using a high quality brush, paying close attention to the direction of my strokes on the top. I allowed this to sit for about 2-3 days to fully dry. I love the matte finish of the chalk paint.
Our table does have 2 leaves. I painted over the hardware because I knew I wasn't going to ever drop the leaves.
STEP 7: PROTECTIVE ENAMEL
This step, for me, was VERY important. I needed to be able to wipe the table down. Knowing my kids and their love of slime, this was a necessity I could not do without. I used this Chalk Spray Top Coat and sprayed 3 light coats all over the table and some on the base in a side to side motion following the directions on the can. I overlapped each stroke and allowed the table to cure for another day or two. It was dry to the touch about about 20 minutes but I needed it to be the strongest it could be before bringing it back in the house. They do make a liquid type of top coat and if I find the spray did not apply a thick enough coat I may end up adding that as well.
STEP 8: NEW COFFEE TABLE WHO DIS
Is that still a thing? ... I can FEEL my husband rolling his eyes as he reads that line. HAHA! But really, PROP YOUR SLIPPS UP and bask in the glory and convenience of your new coffee table. I know I am. :)
All in all this was a fairly easy DIY project and I now think this is JUST what this room was missing. So far, not too many bumped heads and all snack debris has been easily wiped away. Not bad for a $30 table, a strong hunk, and a can of paint!
FINALLY: SOME GOOD DIY EYE CANDY
I just LOVE a solid BEFORE & AFTER. Here is the before of our living room when we bought the house...
And the AFTER:
Here is the piece of the table stem we cut off. Steven said it looked like a vase. Guess I know what my next project will be! :)