Trash to Treasure - Side Table/humidor

3 Materials
2 Hours

A neighbor was getting rid of this cute little side table so my husband went and grabbed them for me. I noticed that this little table had a copper lining. I had never seen a table like that so I googled it and it turns out, it is a humidor! Cool! Obviously it doesn’t NEED to be used as a humidor, but apparently copper is good for cigar storage because it retains humidity quite effectively.

As you can see the table was pretty nice already, but it has already been painted black and had a little damage to the top. Also the copper inside was pretty beat up. I decided to kick it up a notch and give it something a little different. Here is what I did to transform this trash to treasure – side table/humidor…

Table before

Table inside - before

Step 1 Trash to Treasure Side Table – Paint

I wanted to use a bright fun color for this piece. I had some left over Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in the color Seaside in my garage so thought I’d try painting a little spot of the table to see if I liked it. I did like it! Very much! So I ended up painting the whole table with it. This Rust-Oleum paint is amazing. It has a built in primer so you really only need about 1 coat of this stuff. It literally only took me about 5 minutes to paint this whole table! Above is the table with only one coat. You can see some spots need filling in, but the coverage with only one coat is impressive!

Step 2 Trash to Treasure Side Table– Add the Wax…

Maybe you are thinking, um, ya that is a little too bright for my taste. Believe me, I’m with ya. I do love this color, but it IS a little bright. I used some Krylon Chalk Finish Antiquing Wax in Dark Vintage to tone down the piece. Using this brush I purchased, I dipped it into the wax and used just a tiny bit at a time. I used this same technique a few weeks ago when I re-finished this tropical Tommy Bahama style card table and chairs.

Here is the top with some wax added to it.

Step 3 – Clean up the Copper Inside…

I used this Weiman’s Copper and Metal cleaner that we already had on hand. I used poured some right onto the copper and used a microfiber cloth to rub it in and clean it all up. It isn’t perfect, but looks a LOT better.

Step 4 – Polycrylic…

The last step in any of my furniture flips is to always put at least 2-3 coats of MinWax Polycrylic protective finish on the entire piece. This is supposed to prevent any chipping.

Here is the finished product. What do you think? Cute, right? I just listed this on Facebook Marketplace. I hope it sells.

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The House house

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Barb
    on Oct 17, 2020

    Did you have any trouble with the Polycrylic bonding to it over the wax? The instructions say it has be clean if wax. Love your look. Was just wondering

    • The House house
      The House house
      on Oct 17, 2020

      I did not have any trouble. I used about 3 coats of it and it seemed to go on just fine.

  • Shelley Rayne Graves
    Shelley Rayne Graves
    on Oct 26, 2020

    Do you sell this lovely chamber humidor yet?

Join the conversation

3 of 26 comments
  • Luci Hedley
    Luci Hedley
    on Oct 24, 2020

    i think you may have been misinformed. it is a bedside table and a chamber pot cupboard. the copper lining is for easy cleaning in case the potty was spilt. it is hard to get urine smell out of wood, hence the copper lining. Cheap and light in those days. nice job though, like it.

    • Comet
      on Nov 16, 2020

      I have a virtually identical humidor to this one, lined in milk glass! As far as I can tell these were not *caulked* and so any leakage from a *chamber pot* would soak right into the wood. Mine has a *V* shaped under shelf for- magazines? Cigar boxes? Who knows. I have seen these sell at auctions for decades & auctioneers & dealers I respect have ALL I'D' them as humidors.

      The copper would also have helped prevent mold & bacteria from growing on the moist tobacco.

      There are *chamber stands* but those have a lower compartment, are wider- I have a chamber pot I am going to test in the humidor, pretty sure it won't fit!- and most chamber pots had lids- many of which broke (china) or wood but that would have provided some odor protection.

      Remember, no matter how small, weird, out of date or simply not your taste your bathroom might be-- it is INDOOR FLUSH PLUMBING, and we are so lucky to have these porcelain chamber pots that prevent OUR having to dig a cess pool, build an outhouse, and use that or a chamber pot with NO water or flush to do our *business*!!

  • Luci Hedley
    Luci Hedley
    on Oct 25, 2020

    you made me smile. big difference between cigars and a potty. but then we have ensuites these days and there is no need for the potty or going out back with the redbacks at night now (ha ha) stay safe

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