What this post should really be called, but felt a tad verbose to me, is "How to Make a Pedestal Table from a Wooden Tray or Anything That Is Reasonably Flat and That You Think Is Pretty and That You Can Drive a Nail or Screw Into." A bit too lengthy, right? But that's the most accurate description of what I've done here, and what you could do with something similar.
To begin, here's what I started with:
I haven't a clue what it was originally. At first I thought a wall hanging but there was no hardware on the back or any signs it had ever been hung anywhere. It didn't quite seem like a tray to me but I wasn't sure what else to call it for the purposes of this post. My only clue was this sticker on the back:
Anyone have any idea what this suggests? Is this just a moving company sticker from 1964? Regardless, I thought the carving around the edges was gorgeous so I brought the medallion home with me to brainstorm ways to upcycle it. I had barely turned into the driveway when I thought, "Table! It would make a beautiful tabletop!" It had some water stains on the top and one gouge out of the side but otherwise was in great condition.
I used epoxy putty to fill the gouge.
You cut off a small bit (it looks like a huge gray Tootsie Roll) and knead it with your fingers until it becomes pliable, then press into the hole you're filling. I pressed it over the edges of the gouge to be sure it would completely fill the space but you don't want too much extra epoxy. You can sand off the extra but it dries HARD!
Once mine had hardened - I let it dry overnight - I gave it a quick sand with my pad sander to smooth it out and make it perfectly flush with the rest of the tabletop. I also gave the top of the tray a light sand to prep it for paint and remove any little bumps.
Here's where things got a little turned around for me. My original plan had been to make a three-legged table. I won't go into great detail here, because I wound up taking a different finished route, but I got all my supplies, prepped them, cut them, measured and determined where to place the three table legs...and then just wasn't into the look of it at all.
It just wasn't what I'd envisioned. I hadn't wanted to use anything for the legs that would take away from the carved detail on the top but these just seemed too plain to me. So I dejectedly stuck it off in a corner for a day or so and thought about other options. I started thinking a pedestal table would be nice so headed to Lowes and grabbed a table leg that was a bit longer than what I wanted the finished table to be. I also bought a round wood clockface at Michaels to use as the pedestal base.
I trimmed the table leg at both the top and bottom (straight cuts with my miter saw) so it removed the built-in screw at the top of the leg and left me with a finished leg that was the length I wanted. For this step, you want to give some thought to where the cuts will look nicest. I opted to cut the bottom first so the cut came right where the leg started to flare out before the lowest carved detail. And then I measured up to the top to get my finished length.
I decided to flip the leg and use the top as the bottom and the bottom as the top (just look at the above image and picture it flipped the other way). To get the leg ready to attach to the table, I drilled a small hole in the exact center of what I wanted at the top.
I cut a small square of scrap wood and drove a 2 1/2" screw into the pre-drilled hole in the leg.
I then did the same thing to the bottom of the leg, drilling a hole exactly in the center, then marked the center of the underside of the base and drove another 2 1/2" screw through the base and into the leg...
...leaving me with a finished pedestal base.
I used four small wood screws to attach the square plate at the top of the pedestal base to the table top. You want to be sure that you position the plate exactly in the center of the tabletop. And be very careful about what screws you use here - they need to be long enough to go through the square plate and into the tabletop but you don't want them coming through the top and making holes!
After the table was assembled I gave it a couple coats of a creamy white semi-gloss paint (Behr Eggnog) leftover from the upstairs and downstairs hallways in our house and added the new beauty to our screened porch (where, you might remember from last week, I've been moving some accent pieces around!).
I spent under $15 on this project because I was using leftover paint and had the other supplies I needed on hand. The preserved boxwood on the table here got transplanted from our living room and the glass hurricane was a lonely leftover after its twin met an untimely death at the hands of an 18 month old a couple months ago. The driftwood was a little piece of the lake house I grabbed when we were there a few weeks ago. I thought it had the most beautiful shape.
I can't get over the carved detail on the table top. It's just so intricate and lovely.
All that may remain to do is a top coat of something protective. The paint on top is showing a few little smudges and dings already. Any suggestions for a good protective product to use over latex paint that would keep that semi-gloss finish?
I love having this accent-table-making process under my belt. It was really so, so simple and is so versatile. It could be used to make any width or height table you need for a given space and can turn anything beautiful into an interesting and unique piece of furniture.
Linking this project at Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Southern Lovely, and The DIY Dreamer!