So when it came to our living room coffee table, I had to either make it work or kick it (back) to the curb. Yes, this is the same coffee table I rescued from a curb one spring. I painted it white and my handy husband built two little benches that slide perfectly underneath.
It worked well for a long time, but then our living room underwent two dramatic adoptions: a puppy and a rug.
Both new additions meant that our children (ages four and six) are no longer allowed to eat in the living room. (Partially because I don’t want the puppy to get sick from errant chocolate chips from their pancakes, but mostly because this rug was hella expensive and the idea of it being stained with chocolate makes me feel faint.)
(EDITED TO ADD: Ohhhhh, but look what happened to the dog anyway.)
The white-painted coffee table with its modern lines didn’t look right against the vintage-looking Turkish rug (which, by the way, is from Wayfair and I love it). The coffee table was suddenly a yucky cheap (well, free) eyesore and we weren’t even using the benches anymore.
We’ll likely sell the coffee table (and benches) at some point, but for now I wanted a temporary solution.
I bought a couple of 1×4” boards to use as an “apron” that would wrap around the entire coffee table. There was absolutely no measuring involved — just holding the boards up against the sides of the table and marking my cuts with a pencil.
Once I had a simple rectangle that was slightly larger than the coffee table, it was time to cut the planks. I cut six 1×6 boards to fit across the apron, with a few inches of overhang on all sides. I attached them quickly with my brad-nailer and the construction process was done. (Plus, now I know how to build a tray if I ever decide I need one!)
Whoops, not quite done. I flipped the whole thing over and noticed some of the boards weren’t quite flat, so I nailed a few scrap pieces to the underside for stability.
After a quick sanding session in the backyard …
I brought the table-topper back inside for staining. Since this was the first woodworking project I’ve done that was going to be used every single day, I wanted it to be perfect. I brushed on wood conditioner so the stain would go on evenly, followed up by two coats of stain and a couple of layers of poly. (I picked “Golden Oak” by Minwax so the table would match our hardwood floors as closely as possible.)
The topper is easy to remove if we ever decide we want the simple white table back, and I could even turn it into its own table by adding legs in the future. Now that’s a hard-working piece of furniture!
And here’s the original coffee table bench tutorial, if you liked it better the old way …
UPDATED TO ADD: Here’s our current coffee table — nabbed from a curb AGAIN (woohoo) — and cut down to a more manageable size.
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