Introduction: How to Turn a Old Table Into a Trough Party Table

About: I enjoy repurposing and restoring old furniture and making woodwork projects that are not seen every day. I make most of my projects using wood that is either, recycled,reclaimed and love to repurpose and rest…

I have made one of these in the past and it proved very difficult to get right, It was only after I made it that I thought of better ways to do it. So decided to have another go with this table.

Step 1: Find an Old Table to Use

I had this old damaged veneer table at home, it had lots of dents and scratches and the ends had been cut off, so I decided to do it as a rustic table and added some distressing all over the table (I used the drill chuck to hit the table gave a nice pattern as well as the screw) to make it look better and not just like a damage table. My son made me the trough out of aluminium to fit into the center. Center the trough and mark out the position.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Centre for the Ice Trough

I cut the center out using a router. I set up a fence using scrap wood, so it would be easy for me to run the router around with less fuss. I used a 3/16" straight bit in the router. And did small passes with the router at a time.

Step 3: Add Trough to Table

I lined the trough up with the hole in the table and added some screws to keep it in place. I knew this was not going to be strong enough so I added some wood supports to hold the weight of all the ice and the drinks. I then needed a lip inside the trough for the lid to balance on. I added little hinges that I attached with pop rivets and then just added a piece of wood to give it a better cosmetic look.

Step 4: Attaching Pull Rings and Supports

I bought these pull rings from a boat shop so that you are able to lift the lid off easier. But then I ran into another issue. Because my table was so long, over 2 meters. The centre lid that I cut out had a bow in the middle when it was put on, so any weight added on the lid would break the lid. So I added some scrap lengths of wood to the underneath to strengthen the lid and stop the bowing in the centre.

Step 5: Hiding the Plywood

Because my table was plywood and I had exposed a lot of the edges, I used a wood veneer tape to hide the edges and make the table look like wood. This I did using my iron and an old piece of sheet. The veneer was lined up and covered with the old sheet and I used the hot iron to attach it to the table, and used a craft knife to cut away the excess. I then sanded down my table ready for staining.

Step 6: Staining My Table

After I sanded down the table, I realized that the legs were real wood and had beautiful markings on them and being a big hater of painting furniture when not necessary I decided to go for a two tone color. I used dark mahogany on the base and the trim and Unicorn spit for the color. To get the color I used 3 part blue thunder + 1 part dragon belly and 30% water. I added two coats of varnish and made so simple benches to make the table more appealing to the buyer.

Step 7: Adding Drainage

To drain the trough after use of all the water, I drilled a small hole and use a cork to block the hole.

To see more of my work to go to

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017