DIY: Reclaimed and Refinished Side Table

I’m going to lead off this post with the finished product. I don’t normally do that but I’m so excited to share this project I’ll make an exception.


Ooooh, aaaahhhh. Now let me tell you how I did it.

This project took me a month to complete between the prep work, numerous coats of paint, and having the free time to work on it. I have organized the steps here in terms of days though because I worked on this in small chunks over many days.

The story starts with John and I coming home late on Wednesday night. Trash day in our neighborhood is on Thursday and we spied this little baby out on the curb. We immediately saw its potential and claimed it as our own.


It needed a lot of work though. In the dark I didn’t realize how beat up it was. It was scuffed up, dirty, had chipping paint, and busted hardware.


Day 1

First things first, the prep work. The hardware needed to come off, the insides of the drawers needed to be cleaned, and every inch of the thing needed to be sanded. I took the table outside to our back porch to get started.


The hardware was easy enough to take off. I then wiped down the entire interior with some disinfecting cloths from Target. I let everything dry for about 30 minutes.


Next I sanded everything. I used this hand sander with these grades of sandpaper.

A note: always wear a mask when sanding, you do not want paint bits in your lungs.


When everything was sanded I wiped everything down and then stacked up the drawers.


The last step for Day 1 was to give the base a coat of white paint.


Day 2

I started by bringing all of my painting gear out on to the back porch along with my laptop for tunes, of course.


This is a genius tip I saw online: use a rubber band to help remove excess paint from your paintbrush.


I painted one coat of white paint on two drawers and used some wood glue to fill the holes on the third drawer.


Next I taped up the base and painted it with one coat of this gorgeous pink-coral color we picked out to match our sideboard.


I left everything outside to dry. Progress at the end of Day 2:


Day 3

I prepped the drawers for painting: I taped the two white drawers and then sanded down the filled holes on the third drawer to prep it for a coat of white paint.


I then painted all of the drawers: coral on the first two and white on the last one.


I also gave the base another coat of coral paint (not pictured).

Day 4

I taped the remaining white drawer and gave everything a coat of coral paint.


Day 5

I gave everything a coat of coral paint (no pictures).

Day 6

I gave the third drawer and the base a final coat of coral paint (no pictures).

Day 7

Finally, the painting was done! I started by removing all of the tape on the drawers and the base.


It looked so good! But touch ups were needed. I spent about an hour going over each piece and touching them up with a small paintbrush.


Day 8

The final day! I started with a few last minute touch ups and let them dry for a while while John prepped the hardware.

I got these great key shaped handled drawer pulls at Anthropologie, of course. I thought they were adorable, rustic, and modern all at the same time.


We installed the hardware in no time at all. Once I saw them on the drawers I knew these were the thing that would make this whole piece of furniture a real treasure.


Time to bring the table inside! We brought each piece in and then assembled it.


The finished product!


It was labor intensive but so rewarding. I can’t believe I took this piece of trash and turned it into a functional, yet stylish, piece of furniture all by myself. I feel so proud of this!


I saw this tray at Pier 1 ages ago and became obsessed with it. I knew it would be the perfect tray for our mail, keys, etc. on top of the table. It fit perfectly and I think it looks great.


And here is the current view of the front end of our house, fully furnished with our new side table, matching sideboard, and our dining room table:


I’m loving our house even more now with this really special table I created.

Have you ever refinished a piece of furniture? How long did it take you? Do you still have it?

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

7 thoughts

  1. The house really looks great! I liked the side-table before, but it’s stunning after! …and it goes well with everything! You have a real talent for this!

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