"Settlers of Catan" Board Game Upcycled Side Table

by Christine
2 Materials
3 Days
Do you have an old or ugly piece of furniture that you are just desperate to transform into something bright and fun? Well, we did! Find out how we upcycled a sad and worn out side table we found in a charity shop and turned it into something really special for my board game loving husband, featuring a tabletop of board game hexes from The Settlers of Catan...
We found this unusual looking side table unit in a charity shop. It was a bit battered and worn but I could see potential in it. I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to do with it but somehow I knew it showed promise...
At first I thought it was made of solid wood covered in veneer...
I used a Black and Decker Mouse Detail Sander to remove the existing veneer and stain.
As I began sanding it down, I realised most of the unit was made of MDF and chipboard.
I used the electric sander to remove as much as I could, and then finished off the process by hand, using a sanding block.
After sanding, I thoroughly wiped down all of the surfaces using white spirit vinegar on a rag to ensure no sawdust remained.
I removed the doors and all of the hardware. I spraypainted all the hardware in black, and left it to dry while I moved on to apply two coats of primer, and then two coats of satin finish paint.
Once everything had dried, I put the unit back together. Next came the fun part!

I took a spare copy we had in the house of the classic board game, The Settlers of Catan, and carefully laid out the game hexes in the recommended beginner's starting map setup. I chose Settlers because the game pieces are hexagonal, and so mirror the shape of the tabletop itself. Fortunately, the pieces JUST fit, but there was next to no room for error, so laying them down perfectly was quite challenging!

Using strong spray glue, I affixed all of the pieces to the tabletop. Finally, I sealed the game pieces using three coats of Mod Podge, and for extra durability, I finished off with two coats of Crystal Clear polyurethane.
The final result is a bright and fun (and functional) piece of furniture, which is a real conversation starter! Best of all, my husband loves it as his passion in life is playing board games.

So what are you waiting for? Dig out those old copies of Monopoly and Scrabble, and get creative!
Suggested materials:
  • Old side table unit   (Charity shop)
  • The Settlers of Catan   (Husband's board games collection)
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2 of 21 comments
  • Jojo Snow Jojo Snow on Sep 02, 2017
    I have a table that would perfectly fit a chess board. Hmmm...I'm on it!

  • Carol Carol on Sep 09, 2017
    Great job and idea! You can even store some of his favorite games in the table in easy reach for him.