The Great Coffee Table Switch-up

A few months ago, I happened upon this incredible coffee table at goodwill.

I know, I know – probably saying to your self “what’s so incredible?”  I basically bought it for the base.  I really like the modern coffee tables with the steel base and the floating top, and because I don’t do any metal work, I have to rely on Goodwill luck!

The top was laminated faux wood and the base was a scuffed up brown.  It didn’t have much personality and looked rather “industrial waiting room,” but I changed that!

Next Steps – The Usual –  Strip, Prime, Sand, Paint (try saying that 10x fast!)

I used rustoleum metallic gold paint and this was actually my first time using rustoleum in about 5 years.  Years ago when I was in school taking a model making course I had a professor that was really down on it and told us only to use krylon.  I tried rustoleum against his recommendations and it didn’t cover very well…but my oh my…what ever they did to change it…it’s AWESOME now!

I had a bunch of scrap wood in the garage from my last shelving project and was thrill with the thought of being able to reuse the scrap, but of course it was too good to be true – it was the perfect length, but about 1 in short on width.  Bummer town!  It would have saved me a little $ on the white pine I bought at the hardware store.  Or I could have taken the reclaimed route and used scrap wood from demolishing our shed’s carport, but more about that a little later!

Once the wood was cut to size, I did a little practice run.  I was pretty confident that I wanted a dark top, but because once it’s stained, it’s pretty much irreversible…I lived with it for a week.

It wasn’t bad.  I do like the lightness of it, and I think that it could definitely work somewhere, but in my living room it would tie in better with a dark top, so…

A few days of Sand, Stain, Sand, Stain, Protect


I think that this is a better fit than our previous coffee table, which consisted of IKEA legs and a round top that I took from another coffee table I bought at Goodwill about 6 years ago.  (wow – 6 years, where does the time go)  So I moved that one outside for summer dining.

But the gloss coat that I had done years ago quickly wore off and the table weathered away, so I had to take action!  The legs are powder coated steel so perfect for outdoor use.  The top on the other hand is perfect for another project that I have in mind.  And I have a pile of planks that I salvaged from our shed demo.

I gathered the planks, cut them all to the same size, and then cut another 2 pieces to run the width and hold them together.

I screwed the brace pieces to each of the top planks.

I Lined and squared up the IKEA legs and drilled those in.  I did my best to position them so that each leg could be screwed in to 3 planks for extra strength.

Flipped her over…

And put her in place!  (PS I decided the table is a she : )

It’s the perfect table for the deck.  I love the elegant classic curvy lines of the legs mixed with the rustic squared top – the perfect combo!  It’s a great size, I love the look, and the very best part – I don’t have to worry about the finish.  All the weathering just adds to the “reclaimedness” (I know, not a word)  I think from here on out, all our outdoor furniture should be reclaimed pieces, or maybe I should wait until the spring and see how this one made it through!

3 thoughts on “The Great Coffee Table Switch-up

  1. Shandra Nelsen says:

    You are amazing and inspiring. I love both of your “new” tables. Severin and I see free chairs and tables out on street corners and we say, “That would be a really great chair if Emily refurbished it.” We just got this great old chair from Karen Hougen. I am excited for you to take a look. It is pretty scratched up and I have a feeling it would be a very difficult refurbishing project, but maybe someday. Oh, and, we have moved! Just in the last week. We are now renting in the Columbia neighborhood! Just a few blocks from Elizabeth Park and Columbia Elementary. Once we have things settled we would love to have you all over. We will be commuting to Skagit just through the end of this month when our jobs wrap up. That’s all.

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