DIY Tiled Side Table Makeover

2 Materials
8 Hours

Making over a piece of furniture that would otherwise be at the end of its life is one of the most satisfying upcycling projects.

And if you’re new to furniture makeovers and feel a bit overwhelmed and out of your element, starting with small projects for your first time, like a little side table for your living room or a bedside table, is a great way.

Next thing you know, you’ll be making over a coffee table and your entire family room will have an entirely new look!

There are many ways you could makeover a side table but, for this project, I used tile. I’ll explain a bit further down why tile is such a great option for a tabletop.

Side Table Makeover – Before

Here’s a before look at the side table I upcycled for this project. As you can see it’s in pretty good condition aside from the top.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Where to Find Side Tables

If you don’t already have a great side table that you want to makeover, then your first step will be finding one. A few great places to find old furniture for furniture projects:

  • Thrift store
  • Yard sale
  • Facebook marketplace
  • Antique store
  • Gumtree or Craig’s List (depending where you live)

Materials Needed – DIY Side Table Makeover

  • Old table
  • Tile
  • Tile glue
  • Level or ruler
  • Sandpaper
  • Grout

Why Tile for Your Side Table Makeover?

Side tables are often used as places to place drinks down. What better place to be waterproof than a side table then?

So next time there’s an accidental spill, no problem!

And no worries if people forget a coaster as you won’t have any glass rings to worry about. That’ll keep everything in good shape!

Also, I used leftover tile, glue, and grout from a previous bathroom renovation. You can do the same if you have any leftover materials.

A good thing is that new projects don’t have to automatically equate to extra cost.

If you’re tiling something, you almost always end up with extra tile from your project. Ask your handyman to cut the tile pieces to the needed size before they pack up their wet saw.

Or, if having them cut is not an option any longer, you can use random cuts and pieces to create your table mosaic style.

These little random pieces often end up getting trashed.

An easy way for less waste and a new life for your side table – win, win!

Side Table Makeover – Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Prep your side table

The first thing you’ll want to do is clean your entire table, especially the table top. Give everything a good wipe with soapy water and let it dry.

You don’t really need to worry about using a paint stripper to remove any paint or old finish where the tile is being placed as it’ll be completely covered.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Step 2: Prepare tile glue

Mix your tile glue per the directions on the bag. There is also pre-mixed tile adhesive you can buy in gallon tubs or in handheld tubes.

Step 3: Apply tile glue

Next, you’ll want to apply your tile glue and spread it evenly on the surface of your table using a spreader.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Step 4: Apply tile

Taking your time, apply your pieces of tile. Use your level or ruler to make sure they are straight.

Once you’re satisfied with their placement, you can push down on them slightly to just “cement” them in place.

Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.

As you can see my pieces of tile are larger, but this can be done with any size tile.

The more pieces you have, the more time you’ll need to spend making sure everything is level and straight.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Step 5: Allow glue to dry

Following the instructions on your glue of choice, allow it to dry. This is usually around 4-6 hours.

Step 6: Sand the corners

Using a strong grade sandpaper, round the corners of the tile to avoid any dangerous pointy corners.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Step 6: Prepare grout

Mix your tile grout per the directions on the bag. There is also pre-mixed grout you can buy in gallon tubs or in handheld tubes – you can also get grout in different colours to blend in with your tiles if you like!

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

You can even get grout pens which may be easier for a small table and smaller tile.

Just make sure you choose the color you want to match your tile as there are several options for different colors.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Step 7: Apply grout

Apply your preferred tile grout in between the tile pieces.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

If you’d like, you can also grout the sides of the tile. I chose to do this since my tile showed the ridges and gaps on the side.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

For a different look, you could paint the sides of the tile for a different look.

Use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess grout.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Step 8: Allow grout to dry

Following the instructions on your grout of choice, allow it to dry. This is usually around 6-8 hours.

Finished Side Table Makeover

Here’s a look at the final side table makeover!

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Here’s a closer look at the finished top.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

A little TLC and your old end tables will look like brand new furniture!

This cute table will make a great addition to your master bedroom or anywhere in your house you need a small side table.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff
Suggested materials:
  • Leftover Tile   (Bathroom remodel)
  • Grout   (Home Depot)
Kristen Hubert
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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