When I got this roadkill rescue piece, I didn’t know it was going to be a rustic side table. Even now that it’s done, I’m sure it’s not for everyone. But that’s what DIY is all about. I show you how you “can” do something and that inspires you to have your aha moment to make it your own!
My neighbor Rodney found this little lady on the side of the road. Many side tables of the 80’s had glass tops. Once those tops are broken, people deem the table useless. There are many ways you can add a table top to a broken side table.
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What’s the first thing to do on a furniture makeover?
The very first thing you should do when you’re doing furniture rehab is inspect and repair. There were some veneer trim pieces that were coming loose. I used Gorilla Wood Glue and a silicone glue brush to make these repairs.
Repair Loose Veneer
This longer piece of veneer needed considerably more help. I like to use painter’s tape on scrap wood in order to clamp and repair veneer. The painter’s tape prevents the scrap wood from becoming part of the project.
Thoroughly Clean Furniture before Painting
I like to use TSP for cleaning my projects like this rustic side table. You never should paint over dirt, grime and nicotine. This is a concentrate, so I dilute it a little in water.
It’s best to wear latex gloves and apply the tsp with a rag. You can see how dirty this side table was. Allow the project to dry thoroughly before painting.
Paint rustic side table
I went to my stash in the basement shop and selected this “Paradise” texture chalk paint from Folk Art.
Because I didn’t want a heavy coverage, I painted with a light dry brush technique. This allowed some of the dark details of the original color to show through.
Use pallet boards for broken rustic side table top
I went to the wood shed to try to find some options for a new table top.
Instead of using any of the reclaimed wood I already had harvested, I opted for the wood on this pallet.
I used my favorite duckbill deck wrecker to dismantle this pallet. You can read more details about how easy it is to use this tool in my post Pallet Projects Plus Tips for Dismantling Pallets.
Sand and Stain Pallet Boards
Using my orbital sander to sand all the pallet boards gave them a smoother look and feel. After sanding, they were cut to size on my miter saw.
I prefer using a rag to apply stain, then I can throw it away instead of cleaning a paint brush. Minwax special walnut looked like it would be the best color of stain to compliment the aqua blue table with it’s dark highlights.
Apply Wipe-On Poly
For a little protection and shine, I used a rag and gloves to add Wipe-on Poly. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Attach Pallet Top to Rustic Side Table
I used my trusty Gorilla Wood Glue to attach the pallet boards to the original top of the topless side table.
Assorted clamps help hold all the pallet boards in place atop the rustic side table.
Secure pallet boards with screws
After allowing the glue to set up, a small drill bit was used to drill pilot holes in order to secure each board with screws.
To make sure the 1 ¼” screws didn’t protrude through the pallet boards, I inserted them on a slight angle.
Add Pallet Board to Drawer Front
Oops! I forgot to take pictures of this step. Using a pallet board, I cut a small piece to make a new front for the drawer on the rustic side table. I attached a bin pull I picked up at Hobby Lobby last year.
As I said, it may not be to your liking. If not, please share in a comment below what you would have done differently. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.