A $10 side table redo

I think this might be my favourite furniture redo yet. I’m really in love with it. This little $10 1950s side table was cute when I bought it despite the fact that the finish had water rings on it and it was flaking off on the top. Still, it was cute and I could have put a doily on the top and a plant and called it a day. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad I hauled it out into the garage and sanded off the old finish. I’m so glad I chose a paint / stain combo. I had everything on hand to re-finish this table so it really cost me very little except a few hours of time. WORTH IT.

Here is the before:

beforeCute right? I liked the spindle legs and I loved the scalloped edge. It was sturdy, not a wobble anywhere. I didn’t know where I would put it but I knew I needed to bring it home. I gave it a good sanding all over, especially where the finish was flaking on the top.

table before

A tip? Make sure you only sand WITH the grain. Only with the grain.

Then after sanding, I gave it a good wipe down and primed where I wanted paint to go. After the primer, I painted and I used a small craft paint brush because it was the only way to get a clean line. No need for an actual, real paint brush here. I did two coats of white paint over the primer.

furniture redo

After the paint, I stained the top and shelves and after the stain, I applied a wax varathane – two coats. That was IT. It wasn’t terribly difficult at all – just a little time consuming to let it all dry in between coats of things. But MAN. I love it. LOVE love it.

vintage side table

Seriously, I could look at photos of it all day long and then go into my bedroom and look at it some more.

vintage table makeover

I’m still tweaking what I will put where on those shelves but for the photos I tossed some books on there. Can’t have too many spaces for books am I right?

table with painted legs stained top

I have more photos. Oh yes I do. Did I mention that this is my favourite? Because it is. I’m sorry for the excitement….but COME ON. So cute.

varage sale makeover

And one more photo because it makes me laugh. Boo is all “Um, why is there a decapitated cat head up there?” HA.

flip furniture

Okay, I’m done. There’s not much more to say about this. This $10 table looks like a million bucks. Doesn’t it?

Get more info on flipping furniture.



  1. I love it! Im currently helping a gf do one that is very similar and she plans on doing the same paint job and staining you did. Hers had roughly a million coats of poly or laquer or something on every shelf but slowly but surely its getting sanded down. First time commenting but live your site ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you for the kind words – I’d love to see your finished project! Tweet me a photo when it’s done! @hometoheather ๐Ÿ™‚

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