Folding Luggage Rack to Rustic Herringbone Side Table #30dayflip

10 Materials
5 Hours

HI, We have all seen them and you may already own one, a folding luggage rack. But have you ever thought it could be so much more than an item that only gets used a few times a year? I transformed mine into a side table for our couch.
This is the Before. I bought this plain luggage rack from goodwill for $5, I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, until my hubby commented that we needed a side table for the sofa, so I got to work
Items I used: 1) 10ft cedar board (1x2) 2) Stray pieces of Alder wood also 1x2 3) Miter saw 4) 1 inch screws or a brad nailer 5) 1/4 inch plywood, cut to the size top you want 6) wood glue 7) Stain (I used my homemade vinegar and steel wool stain, recipe below) 8) Top Coat of your choice (I personally like FolkArt satin varnish) 9) decorative upholstery nails
I had never done herringbone before, so I started by cutting my 1/4 inch plywood for my base, I cut it a little shorter than I wanted my top so it would not show underneath. I drew a line down the middle and I started with the middle pieces of wood and started cutting my 45 degree angles. On this piece I figured out my lengths and pattern as I went. You can see the 3rd board from the top had to get pieced back together, as I was running out of wood. Improvise to get what you want :) Its barely noticeable once stained.
I staggered the cedar and alder to achieve a nice color variation after staining. This is after 2 coats of my vinegar steel wool stain :) LOVE that gray!!! I have tried to achieve this with regular stain and could never get it, Vinegar/steel wool is my GO TO stain of choice :) Let the stain dry before adding coats, it darkens gradually and sometimes if you just keep applying you can go too dark fast. Be patient. I did about 5 coats to get it to the color I loved. Then I top coated with 2 coats of Folk Art Varnish in Satin.
Instead of stripping all of the original stain from the luggage rack, I gave it a good sanding, going all the way through the finish sometimes, and just scuffing it up in some places. Then I put the vinegar stain on it and achieved this cool aged look :)
I added a few upholstery nails/pins in the spots I wanted, there were already some holding the straps on the original. I found some that matched at Lowes, to make it look cohesive.
I didn't even attach the top, I just sat it on top ( in case I need it as a luggage rack when family or friends visit :) ) and VIOLA! A side table was born!!! (you can attach the top if you prefer, I just sat my top on there and it hasn't moved at all, and I have 3 boys )
My hubby loves it and says it was a good investment of the $5. haha :) And I have had guest ask where I bought it :) Proud moment!!!
Always be on the look out and don't pass up your "diamond in the rough" even if you don't have an idea for it at the moment.. To see this and more transformations please check out my facebook page :) Roughly Refined Furniture by Christina Thanks!!!
Update: my 2nd luggage rack turned side table. This one has a nice rustic top. Used alder and poplar wood with vinegar stain and then sanded to get all the colors :)
Vinegar stain recipe....... I fill a quart mason jar with white vinegar and add a #00 grade steel wool pad, and put the top on it. It takes about 48 hours to dissolve, I usually let mine sit about a week before I use it. Then I take 2oz of white vinegar and add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar /steel wool mix. You brush on like normal, I like to do it in the sun. It dries fast, you can do several coats in an hour or so. I love the gray it gives, it really darkens oak, I have a round table I did with it on my Facebook page, makes it a nice beachy feel :) Most of the furniture I do, I use it. There are several recipes on the internet, and some good videos on YouTube :)
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 25 questions
  • Linda Premo
    on Feb 27, 2019

    I’m sorry I didn’t see if you mentioned sealing your wood with wax or urethane? The surface looks very matte🧐

    • Christina Robart
      on Mar 5, 2019

      Sorry, I am just seeing your question. Yes to get that perfect matte appearance, I prefer it to glossy, I used the Folk Art Varnish :)

  • Carol
    on Mar 25, 2019

    That is so cute Christina! You did such a beautiful job on it. Did my eyes deceive me, or did you make two different tables? A couple of the pictures that table top sure looks different! That is one I would never have thought of doing. Thank you so much for sharing. I really love what you did.

    • Linda
      on Mar 11, 2020

      She does mention that a couple of pictures are of second table she did.

  • Elizabeth White
    on Mar 11, 2020

    How long will the vinegar and steel wool stain last in the jar? Does it hold or do you have to use up quickly (after about that first week)?

    • Christina Robart
      on Mar 16, 2020


      It holds up really well. Seal it and try to keep it upright (I store in a mason jar) the vinegar will eat the lid if it tips over. I have had mine last for a year or more.

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