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We found a perfect matched pair of vintage medicine cabinets in our basement while doing our first big spring clean. They have used razor slots in the back, and a delicate etching on the mirror front. I was amazed at the condition they were in (near perfect!) and immediately the vision of matching mirrored side tables popped into my head. I ended up exchanging my paint color 3 times before I was finally happy with this springy sunny yellow. It is a nice vintage type shade, and it looks better than I hoped it would!

Materials Used:
2 matching vintage mirrors from 1949
Wood Glue
1" trim head screws
1 3/4" wood screws
11 cans 'Sun Yellow' Rustolium Spray Paint
Spray Paint Application nozzle (highly recommended)
Fine grit and super fine grit sanding blocks
Paint & rust removal attachment, for power drill
18v power drill
3inch x 1inch x 8ft length of furniture grade cedar
8 table legs, stock from hardware store
6 cans clear water based spray sealant
protective gloves, eye wear and respirator mask, on hand from past projects


These are the cutest side tables I have ever laid eyes on! They are far more stunning than I had imagined in my head, and I can't decide what to do with them! Should they go in my living room as end tables? They would look adorable in my daughter's room as bedside tables. Or on the sun porch, with succulents and such scattered on top? Right now I have one in my daughter's room, and one in the front hall.
I am in love with these tables, they need to be properly displayed!
Help me decide!

Step 1: Paint Removal

By far one of the most tedious parts of the job, because the vibrations from the drill against the metal wore my arms out. :) 
We took turns stripping the paint off the cabinets, revealing the bare metal underneath. A fine grit sanding block was used on the inside of the cabinet (that's right, hand sanding!) and to remove stubborn rust spots. I could have gotten away with only sanding it to rough up the surface so the paint would stick, but I wanted the paint to be a nice even layer, no bumps. I wanted the finished piece to look as if it had always been a table. Sort of.

We attached a Paint & Rust Remover pad to my power drill, effectively turning it into a metal stripper. It is basically a steel wool pad with a protective coating on it. Took the paint right off with a little work. They should be available in almost any hardware store.

Step 2: Drilling, Priming and Sanding

The legs are stock table legs from the local hardware store. They needed two coats of primer, the wood just soaked it up!

Using cedar 3 in x1 in planks, we cut small support pieces. The pieces are sized to fit in between the legs of the table, to add support. Each end was drilled with 1/16 in bit. The holes are guides for the screws.

After everything was drilled and primed, I let everything sit overnight to dry properly. When it was dry, I did a once-over by hand with a super fine grit sanding block, to help the paint stick a little better.

Step 3: Paint and Assemble

We painted each piece with one coat of sunny yellow, and let it dry overnight.
I highly recommend spending the extra few bucks for a spray nozzle for your spray paint. It will relieve a lot of the hand and arm tension that you can develop from a repetitive job like this one.

After the paint was dry, came the assembly.
Like I said, I have never made furniture before, so there were some gaps on the first table. I solved this issue the way my grandfather did in his workshop - mix wood glue and sawdust until you have a paste, and apply to the crack/gap/knothole. I let the 'patches' dry overnight. the next morning, the table was completely dry and sturdy as heck, not a wibble nor a wobble. The second table was less gappy, and needed less touch ups. Both are sturdy, solid and can hold a fair amount.



Step 4: Paint and Seal

After the 'patches' were dry, I went over the table with another coat of paint. I did touch up work by hand with a small detail brush.
I waited another night for everything to dry, then applied the spray clear sealant.
The sealant can uses the same nozzle applicator as the paint, which came in handy. I recommend getting a second one for your sealant, however-otherwise you will end up with fleck of pant in your seal coat.
Then, of course, more waiting...good thing I have other interests, ha ha...

Step 5: Clean and Enjoy

After waiting another night for everything to dry properly, I was finally ready to unveil my tables! I carefully removed the tape and newspaper from the glass, and gave everything a quick wipe-down...

These are the cutest side tables I have ever laid eyes on! They are far more stunning than I had imagined in my head, and I can't decide what to do with them! Should they go in my living room as end tables? They would look adorable in my daughter's room as bedside tables. Or on the sun porch, with succulents and such scattered on top? Right now I have one in my daughter's room, and one in the front hall.
I am in love with these tables, they need to be properly displayed!
Help me decide!
wow!!!
Congratulations on 2nd prize!
WoW!
Thanks! We never have enough places to stash things in our house, so I LOVE having hidden storage tucked away.
CLE-VER! I love that it has storage!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I run a little company that rebuilds old homes. When we aren't up to our elbows in demolition dust, I'm obsessed with recycling ... More »
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