I’m revisiting this vintage coffee table project from way back in the day when I first started blogging!
Don’t toss that vintage coffee table, give it a makeover by reusing the base and cutting a new table top for it.
Jamie found this coffee table at a yard sale. To read her story, click over to Owl Really. The price tag? FREE! The top of the table had suffered some water damage and it was swollen.
Damaged vintage coffee table
You can see the damage here. You can also see that it has an angle on the cut.
Use old table top for pattern of new table top
I decided to experiment to see which saw would do the best job. I actually practiced on my work surface board–my sheet of plywood that I use all the time. For some reason I didn’t take any pictures of the practice cuts on that plywood. I first used the jig saw. That didn’t work so well.
Trace pattern onto plywood
I laid the old top onto a piece of nice plywood and drew the pattern. Instead of centering it side to side, I started all the way to one side, so that if I messed up, I would still have enough room to start over.
Not so good! It’s a little wavy.
Let’s try that again
See how wavy it is? I scooted the top over and drew the pattern again.
New top for vintage coffee table
This was supposed to be a Christmas gift for Jamie. The weather turned cold and I decided that I didn’t need it to be totally finished by Christmas. Jamie would be visiting, but wouldn’t have room in her car to transport it, so I thought I would stain and poly it after she came home for Christmas and we decided on a color. When Jamie visited for Thanksgiving, I figured out she was pretty anxious to have it, so I got busy trying to work on it.
How to stain when it’s cold outside
We had a semi-warm day. I placed the stain on the driveway in the sun to try to warm it up.
huh? Where did this scratch come from? It didn’t show up until I stained it! I sanded it back to try to even out that scratch.
Fast forward to the week before Christmas! The table is still not done, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal since Jamie can’t take it back with her. WRONG! Andy will also be visiting us—he has an SUV! Time to get to work on finishing this Christmas present! I bring the coffee table and the stain indoors to warm up. I’m trying to match the existing base (color). The dark walnut was not working.
I ended up using some dark walnut with some Sedona Red mixed in.
voila! What cha think? It matches the base pretty well, don’t ya think?
Working in the living room. You can see another present for Jamie here (bottom right).
I applied a water based polycrylic with a great Purdy brush.
I gave the table to Jamie Christmas Eve, she loved it! The table is now back in Nashville with Jamie and she sent me a message on Facebook saying how much she loves her new (old) table!
do you like vintage-mid century modern as much as Jamie does?
Updating to add a picture of the table at Jamie’s House:
How about another update?
EIGHT years later, in a new home with a new addition to the family, and the table is still holding up. My grandson Eli gives this table it’s fair share of abuse on a daily basis. He plays with his toys, he climbs on the table and uses it in various make believe fashions!
As of publishing this post in November 2020, that table is still hanging in there. As I was visiting this week, I happened to look over from the kitchen and Eli (4 1/2) was standing on the table wearing the cutest Captain Hook Costume ever! Of course, I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture!
So, if you have a chance to pick up a vintage coffee table at a yard sale or thrift store, don’t despair over the shape of the table top.