New Life for an Old Coffee Table.

Hi Friends, 

A couple weeks ago I started working on getting some stored “project” furniture out of our garage. Maybe there’s also a console and six dining chairs in there too but I’m not a hoarder- okay? I just happen to find some good furniture on fb marketplace sometimes and then I don’t have time to work on it quite yet so it ends up in the garage.

The first piece to make its way out, I actually bought while we were living in our last house. Which means we moved this monstrous heavy thing along with all our other stuff, over to our new house. I scored this coffee table for $40 – can you believe it?! I didn’t love the base but the top is some solid Italian Carrara marble with an ogee edge that is SO pretty.   

I came up with an idea recently to transform the base so we could move this coffee table into our living room. Ever since we got our new (extra long) sofa, the ratio of sofa to coffee table has been a little off so I wanted a longer table to swap our small round one for. I started by removing the marble top, and then unscrewed the existing legs, and got to work on the wooden top piece. I sacrificed the hand carved florals on the edge to my sander, to smooth it down and prepare it for new trim. I know some of you probably think the table base was gorgeous as is and that you should never sacrifice hand carved mahogany florals for anything. If so, I’m sorry and this blog is not for you.  

Once the edge was smooth, I cut down 8 foot sticks of pine half round into smaller 3.5 inch long pieces for the edge. I ended up needing 6 – 8 foot pieces to go around the entire oval. I set a fence on my miter saw so that I was able to cut 3 sticks at a time and help speed up the cutting process. I then went through and nailed the pieces right on to the edge of the existing top. I could have used wood glue for this step to save me from having to fill a bunch of nail holes. I chose nails so that I could skip the dry time.  

After the new edge was installed I went about cutting new legs to attach to the base. I used a 6 foot – 2 Inch diameter poplar dowel and cut it down into 4 – 15.5 inch long legs. How did I arrive at 15.5 inches? I measured my existing coffee table height and cut them to match. My existing top had 4 holes already where the original leg pieces had been screwed in so I just used those same holes for the new legs. I drilled down a pilot hole into the dowel pieces and use 3 inch lag bolts to secure them to the top. 

I filled nail holes, and gave the whole thing a light sanding while Netflixing (very important step in the process). I wanted a true black finish that would still show some of the grain through so I chose to apply a black gel stain to the new trim and legs. If you’ve never used gel stain, you should know it quite literally has a jello consistency. The first time I opened a can, I didn’t know this so I panicked. You just have to mix it up well and it will form more of a liquid so you can get in on a brush.  

Last step was to set the new base in place and put the original marble back on top. (Also styling for photos, asking your husband to move off the couch so he’s not in the shot while he reminds you that the pictures you’re taking don’t reflect how we live in real life.)  

Cost breakdown for this project: Table – $40.00, Half Round – $30, 2 in. Dowel – $16.00 Total – $86.00 (But looks like a million bucks.) Now who’s off to scour their local marketplace for marble top tables?  🙂

Thanks for reading,

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