Mid-Century Side Table Up-Cycle

3 Materials
1 Day

This side table is anything but a side piece. We transformed this mid century tragedy into the centerpiece of our foyer.

When I first saw this table, I knew it wanted a much needed new life with us at the Halle House. Its charm was covered in an inch of dust and old magazines, but I saw right threw it and knew it was coming home. My husband was much less enthused, but as my Design Assistant he carried it out to the car.

My other ADORABLE assistant

As you can tell, there was some stuff, I really don’t know what it was, that crusted on there over the years. It was a great little piece with a ton of character, but desperately needed some love. I was between painting and staining it. So I polled my followers on Instagram and my friends on Facebook and the response was completely split down the middle.

Since the response was a tie, I thought. Why not both? So this was my very first paint and stain mash up and I’m so happy with the results!

That sander made this project infinitely easier! No joke. I sanded the entire table in about 12 mins flat! 

After I sanded it down with a 80 and 120 grade sand paper, it was ready to be stained! I took a piece of old dish towel to apply the stain color. I keep old dish towels on hand and cut them into useable pieces for all my projects!

I gave the stain two hours dry time on our back patio since it was beautiful outside. I was so surprised with how quickly it dried. I didn’t think I would be able to get a primary coat of paint on before wrapping up for the day, but I did! I had to bring it inside to dry though. Here’s the first coat of white paint.

I was able to put another light coat of paint on the day after and it looks spectacular! I didn’t want the paint to look perfectly even. I like the imperfection of uneven brush strokes. It makes the piece look older and gives it another layer of depth.

Ta da! If you're interested to see more of my up-cycle projects, visit my blog!

Suggested materials:
  • Wood Stain
  • Paint
  • Sander
The DIY Doghouse
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 18 questions
  • Jaenine Jaenine on Feb 06, 2020

    I’m inspired to try this on my wood dining table, curious of the type of paint used ?

  • Paula Paula on Apr 16, 2020

    Beautiful! Can you tell me what stain you used and what color?

  • Jen Jen on Aug 23, 2021

    Great job on this project! Is the lamp an antique that you refurbished? I just ordered a similar, mid-century table from Etsy, and wasn't sure if a lamp would look right, but after seeing how fantastic it looks on your table, I'm excited! I do see someone named Kym asked about the lamp back on June 22, 2019, but didn't see an answer.

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2 of 162 comments
  • RKHunt RKHunt on Aug 20, 2020

    I have a couple of these tables from my Grandmother! I'm SO doing this!! Love It!!

  • N. G. Londonderry N. G. Londonderry on May 01, 2023

    We always called those telephone tables in the late 50’s and 60’s for the old rotary telephones.