Tuesday, February 18, 2020

From Trash To Treasure: Making Our New Console Table

John and I've been refurnishing our front room, and needed a console table to fill a blank wall. We wanted something classic/vintage and also VERY cheap, so we started hitting up local thrift stores.

After finding nothing, we revised our search to include things we could just use PARTS of, and immediately hit the jackpot:

This $4.95 end table from Goodwill.

 Yes it's a banged-up mess, but look at those gorgeous legs! They're exactly the kind of detailing we were looking for!

John yanked those lovelies off and patched & re-stained them to fix all the damage:

Look how pretty:


Next he used $35 worth of wood from Home Depot to make a basic table top:

He knocked the corners off the top legs to better transition to the thrifted ones:

At this point our table looked like it was wearing fancy knee-socks:

... which is to say, VERY FUNNY. 

I'll be honest, when I saw this I started to have my doubts.

Ahhh, but look what a difference the staining made:

Boom. Suddenly it looks like one solid piece!

This is a 2-part finish: a base coat of dark walnut stain, then a brushed on coat of Cherry PolyShades to give it a subtle red tone.

Look how perfect John's color match is to the original thrifted legs. I mean, come ON.

It's almost like he was a professional color-matcher and faux finisher in our former lives.  ;)

The original end table had these fabulous brass feet on them, and the first one cleaned up SO WELL:

The other feet had corrosion on them, though, so John was forced to spray them all with a brass spray paint, sob. The paint doesn't look as good as real brass, of course, but from two feet away you'd probably never know:

Those first photos were taken in direct sunlight, which makes the finish look VERY red. In all other light the table looks almost black:

 Oh hey, this is fun: Here's John's drawing he used to sell me on the design before he even started:


Pretty bang-on, right?

You can see tiny streaks of reddish brown if you look closely:

The legs are definitely the star. Gah, I love them so much.

A closer look at the top:

I'm all about these reddish rubbed-through lines:

Having a router lets John make these gorgeous finished edges.

The top was tricky to photograph, because the satin sheen acted like a mirror in the sunlight:

This shows you how perfectly smooth it is, though! LIKE BUTTAH. The only imperfection is a wood knot in the bottom shelf (see it?), but I'll just put something on top of that to hide it.

We've been letting the table air out in the garage, since the stain is redonkulously stinky. Eventually we'll bring it inside and I'll get to the fun part, though: DECORATING. I'll post pics of the whole room when I'm done, since this is the last missing piece. I can't wait to see it all come together!

OH, and if you're wondering what we did with the rest of that old end table... I'm still brainstorming. (Any suggestions?) I'd at least like to turn the drawer into a display shelf, I think, so stay tuned.

I hope this inspires you to start seeing thrift store furniture as more than the sum of its parts! Keep an eye out for great detail pieces you can re-use; with wood prices rising, you just might save a bundle by upcycling the way we did!


P.S. This almost feels like cheating to show you guys, but here was our Plan B for the console table:

When I first found this table on Amazon it was $180, but now it's dropped to $170. Since our version only cost about $40 - and our color matches the space better - I am delighted with the way things turned out, but this one is still really lovely! It's also what inspired us to start looking for great legs, ha.


  1. I like your table so much more than your inspiration table! You guys are so amazing, it's actually unbelievable.

  2. Your hubby is quite talented! But,I'm sure you already knew that.;^} I love the color of the new table. I have a hopeless chest the same color.
    Maybe convert the donor tabletop into a frame or paint and convert it to a game table top.

  3. Besides not having the skill to do what y'all do, I don't think I'd ever have the patience it takes to do it so beautifully. So amazing!

  4. Imagine Plan B with a marble or stone top. Ooo...

    I love your DIY table too.

    1. YASSS. That white painted wood top was really the deal breaker for me... after the price, of course. ;) :p

    2. Yeah the price + that top is a no.

  5. The rest of that table...if you took the bottom shelf thing could you add a safety mirror and hinge it (or maybe just attach for better safety) onto the top, then add new sturdy legs and do some gorgeous paint job t(obvs leaving that to you) make a princess dressing table for a young Disney fan?

  6. Beautiful table! How did you attach the old legs to the new legs?

    1. John had to get some of these special double-ended screws, the ones with threads on both sides. They're great: you screw them into one end, then screw the leg on to the other!

    2. I used those type of bolts to attach two table legs to a big dowel to make a Rey staff for my daughter's costume several years ago, great hardware! (Love the new table Jen and John! Inspiring me to actually finish a little vanity table I made but have been using with the plain wood for almost 2 years)

  7. you're amazing! the new table is gorgeous. can't wait to see how it fits into your home.

  8. This looks awesome!!

    Have you ever used unicorn spit stain? It seems like something right up your alley and the pieces I’ve seen done are sooooo pretty.

    1. I just saw a post (or maybe an ad) for Unicorn Spit this week! I would LOVE to do a colorful stain on something, just gotta find the right project.

  9. I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but in my area curbsiding is becoming a thing (at least for me). One of the big things that people seem to be willing to leave out on the side of the road with free signs is tables. I have a decent collection of table tops, table legs, and butcher block counters that I have used for my own purposes. I just love all of the free wood!

    1. Ohh, I wouldn't be able to resist that, either!

  10. I m so jealous of the ability you two have to not only imagine things, but to make them real. I'm just don't seem to posses that visualization ability. Watching things take shape is my favorite part of Epbot.

    1. I'll be honest, I am TERRIBLE at visualizing things. That's why John has to literally draw me pictures! The part of my brain that's supposed to imagine things in 3D just refuses to work, ha. I often have an initial idea, though, which John can flesh out; that's what makes us a pretty good team.

  11. I am so jealous!! I love it and, after reading through other comments, maybe the remainder of your thrift store find AND some handy work AND some Unicorn Spit stain would be AWESOME!! I'm seeing it with some other kind of base - maybe something for the kittehs below? Maybe even in stealth mode - like one of them that has a hidden "in" for them on the side or in the back but the front looks like it's a regular door? and all unicorn shiny...

  12. incredible, john is so talented! (so are you, jen!!!!)


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