I need some ideas for beautifying an old table top?


I found a 54” round table top. It was from a school cafeteria. I’d love to finish it off with tile or other ideas anyone may have so I can use it in my “beachy” dining room. I also have the metal stand. All ideas would be most welcome!

q i need some ideas for beautifying an old table top

Underside of the table top

q i need some ideas for beautifying an old table top

This is the top

q i need some ideas for beautifying an old table top

The base

  17 answers
  • Great find! I would paint it and it then add a nautical transfer like this: https://www.etsy.com/market/nautical_transfers

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 18, 2020

    Scroll down to the driftwood candle holder or the beach themed sea glass jar, diy rope candle holders:


  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 18, 2020

    If that is pressed wood fiber I would not use water-based paint, I would first seal it with a good primer like Zinseer Bullseye to keep from raising the fibers and possibly warping the top...... what the heck is that handle for? was it used a lid to a well or something?

  • Cindy Cindy on Jul 18, 2020

    Hi Nona. You could use your table to make a large wall clock. Paint it the color of your choice. Add a clock kit and batteries. Once you have all the clock workings in place, attach it to the studs in your wall. Talk about drama. Good luck Nona.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 18, 2020

    I always clean well (Krudkutter if you have it) and then seal the surface before painting. If you painted it gray and then dry brushed a contrasting gray, it would look great! Good luck and stay safe!

  • William William on Jul 19, 2020

    Prime it with Kilz primer. Then paint it with nautical color paint. You can also decoupage the top with old maps, nautical scenes, etc






  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 19, 2020


    Paint or tile the sides yellow (sand) and the middle Blue (sea). If tile is your choice use mosaic (you can have more fun with them). Fish, Starfish, Octopus, Seaweed, Coral etc.

    Enjoy the ride.

  • Dee Dee on Jul 19, 2020

    I would prime it with either Kilz or BIN 123. Make sure it is a bonding stain blocking primer. Then lightly sand. Then since you want beachy use a very light green or sea blue. Then find a wood transfer online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ap3lSOW4vs

    If you want to tile the table top, you do not need to paint but I would prime. Go to Floor and Decor or Lowes and Home Depot. Look for smaller mosaic or glass tiles

    First, prepare your table. The small table I’m using was the one we used for my pet parrot when I was little! His name was Woodstock, and no he didn’t talk. I guess my mom taught me and my sister to talk instead :-). The table had sentimental value, so I knew I wanted to create something special with it.

    Assess the condition of your table. My table’s top was cracked. Underneath are 8 screws holding the top on, so I removed the split top. Before tiling, I painted the table white so it would match the tile I found. Some spray paint gave it a quick makeover.


    Dry fit the tile to the table top to test the layout. If your table top is larger than your tile sheets, you’ll need to cut tiles off the mesh of a second sheet to fit it on the table. If you have a staggered tile pattern, you will need to cut partial pieces.

    Practice cutting the leftover pieces of tile first. To cut tile you can buy or rent a tile cutter. If your tile is glass, you can use a glass tile cutter. It’s helpful to do this over a bucket or even an old box so that you’ll catch any of the sharp glass shards and waste pieces. Definitely wear eye protection!

    After all the tiles pieces are cut and dry fit, you are ready to start the tiling process. Most tile adhesive (thinset) comes in powder form that you mix on your own with water. Follow the instructions on the box, making sure not to add too much water. It should be a thick peanut butterish consistency.

    Spread the adhesive on with a trowel and then place the tiles on the adhesive. Be careful not to put on too much or it will ooze through the tiles. Wear plastic gloves to keep your hands from getting adhesive and later grout on them.

    After completing the top, put a row of tile along the edge of the tabletop to finish it. All table tops will be different, so if your tile fits on top perfectly with no edge, great!

    Let the table and tile sit at least 16-24 hours.


    Mix your powdered grout with water per the instructions on your grout packaging. It is highly recommended that you use non-sanded grout for glass tiles, since sand can scratch glass tiles.

    Spread the grout over the tile with your rubber float. Use the tool to push the grout in between the spaces in the tile.

    Wipe off some of the grout with a damp sponge right away. If you miss some you can also clean it off the tiles when it has dried. After the grout has hardened clean the tiles off with a wet sponge or rag. Continue cleaning with a clean side until the glass tiles are completely clear of the grout haze.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jul 19, 2020

    Please consider popping by this bloggers website for her wonderful furniture rehabs. They have a beach look. She details useful repair products, techniques and has a nice result. Many of her furniture items are from the thrift store or furniture pieces donated to her. She also has tips for removing furniture odors and how to treat the interior drawers. She obtains a lot of her hardware from Hobby lobby. Usually you can find a discount coupon for hobby lobby.


  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 20, 2020

    I love the idea of tile. You could use a pale blue and add a few decorative tile that are beach themed.

  • Unexpected Elegance Unexpected Elegance on Jul 20, 2020

    You could cover it in beach glass and grout it. I'd probably then cover it in epoxy to make it smooth.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Jul 22, 2020

    You could even stencil it to look like tile.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jul 31, 2020

    I see beautiful stencils right on it :) wow ..beautiful table top !

  • Ted Thornton Ted Thornton on Mar 01, 2021

    Cover it with tile or laminate sheeting from a Home Improvement center.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 15, 2021

    Hi, Another idea might be to cover it in Contact or a nice suitable tablecloth!