Introduction: Drab to Fab Coffee Table

I was given this very sturdy coffee table when I first bought my home, and I was grateful to have it, since I was mostly broke all the time. The table would probably hold up an elephant, maybe two, so I still have it 24 years later. It's a style with turned spindles, probably from the early 80's. The top was a mish-mash of boards, assembled unflush, so there was always dirt, toothpicks, and a variety of yuck stuck in between them. The ends of the top had wooden cleats, I presumed to hold it sturdy. I loved the reliability of the table, but quickly began to hate cleaning it, and it's appearance.

Step 1: Beginning to Have a Vision of Greatness!

I took it upon myself to try to disassemble the table. It was easy enough, as what I thought looked like wooden pegs holding it together, were actual plugs covering screws. I sanded each piece, and reassembled the framework of the table, replacing the wooden plugs. I sanded it again, and began to hate the turned wooden spindles under the bottom.

After some thought, I aquired a piece of steel rebar, the same junk that goes into pouring concrete, and had that cut to the length of the original spindles. I spray painted those pieces with matte black spray paint, three times, and reassembled the rest of the table, putting the cleats underneath the top of the table, instead of on top to collect more debris.

Step 2: Filling in the Cracks....

I bought standard wood filler, and filled in the cracks between the top boards, to eliminate the toothpick catching and dust collecting. I sanded once more, and then stained the entire table with a grey semi opaque stain. Still hated it. I then took matte black paint and dry brushed parts of the table to create a more worn and darker look. Once that dried I roughed it up on the edges with some sand paper and noticed a reddish color coming through from the original stain and what I had applied.

Step 3: Four Coats....

Four coats of Minwax clear later, and I fell for this table. I love it, and I would buy it in a store, just as it is. The rebar gives it a slight industrial look, and the color closely matches my TV table. So here's what a little bit of paint and elbow grease got me. And it will still hold up an elephant, maybe two!