Old Countertop End Table

5 Materials
$0
2 Weeks
Medium

The stories a table could tell...

My in-laws recently redid their kitchen, and my mother-in-law had a sentimental attachment to the old Formica countertops she’d prepared meals on for years. She still loved the blue, but they modernized the whole kitchen. They brought over a chunk of the countertop and asked if I could make something with it. A bit of creative designing from my wife and I was able to give the countertop a new life with the help of a little scrap oak I had in the shop. (I list the cost at $0 because all I purchased was a can of spray paint. The wood was all extra from past projects)

Disassemble

The first step was to disassemble the piece of countertop. It had support boards, a wooden edge, a backsplash and all kinds of pieces connected to it - as you can see. It was nothing a hammer and flat bar couldn't handle.

Cut strips

I then used the table saw to cut the countertop into roughly 2" strips. We settled on 2" simply because of the size of the original countertop piece. We wanted to make the most of what we had without a lot of waste.

I then cut 2" strips of oak out of 1x6" oak scrap wood I had left from previous projects. I gave the strips a fine sand and finished them with Danish Oil.

Glue down pattern

The next step was to glue the strips down on a piece of 3/4" plywood in a herringbone pattern. The plywood base was roughly 12" x 16".

Instead of trying to clamp down each board, I made sure they were pushed together tightly (no gaps) and I set a piece of scrap wood and 5-gallon bucket on top to apply pressure.

Trim

When the glue dried, I used a nail gun to put several nails into the underside of the tabletop. I did this to help make sure the boards didn't come loose in the years to come. Then, I used a circular saw to trim off the overhanging strips and give the tabletop its final rectangle shape.

Cut base

To made the table base, I used one 2x4. I ripped the board to eliminate the rounded edges and then ripped it in half. I cut four legs (20 1/2" long) and four shorter pieces to match the 12" x 16" tabletop size.

Assemble base

As you can see, I was initially going to use pocket holes to assemble the base. However, it was a pretty tight space to work in - and since I was going to be painting and not staining the base anyway, I bailed on that plan and simply countersunk screws into the sides and filled the holes with wood putty. After sanding the table base, I spray painted it a blue color that was as close as we could find to the countertop color.

Add trim to tabletop

While the paint on the table legs was drying, I added oak trim to the outside of the tabletop. I had some 1/2" by 4" pieces of finished oak that worked perfectly. 4" was wide enough to cover the tabletop sides and still overhang enough to also cover the top of the table base frame once assembled (see below). I mitered the edges and glued on the trim.

Final assembly

To attach the table base to the tabletop, I drove screws through the bottom of the table base right into the tabletop.

Finished product

I was pretty pleased with the finished product. Little did I know the table would match my in-laws' chair so well! The old countertop has a new life.

Follow me on Instagram at    @woodyworking for more woodworking DIY or home improvement projects. Happy building!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Twinkles
    on Aug 28, 2020

    How did you keep the edges of formica from chipping when you cut it on the table saw? Nice project .

    • I was actually really worried about that, and it ended up being non issue. I made sure to cut like you would plywood - with the cutting teeth striking down on the "good" side of the wood and it ended up being alright.

Join the conversation

2 of 13 comments
  • Lisa
    on Aug 27, 2020

    As the mother-in-law of a really great son-in-law, I can tell you that your in-laws appreciate you very much! Nice job!

  • Karen Mandart
    on Aug 31, 2020

    What a agreat, inventive idea! And so perfectly matching. Very thoughtful and great job!

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