install hairpin legs to furniture

How to Install Hairpin Legs on Furniture (With Photos)

In Flips by Jamie P.

There is no need to throw out old furniture, there must be a way to save and bring it back to life, right? Adding hairpin legs to furniture is a simple and low costing option that turns old furniture into modern furniture. There’s more to it than just adding the hairpin legs, but with a bit of TLC, you can turn trash to treasure in no time.

To install hairpin legs on furniture, remove any old furniture legs and then screw in the hairpin legs in the appropriate location. Make sure the piece of furniture can properly stand with the hairpin legs attached and you will have no issues.

I added hairpin legs to an end table I found at the thrift store, it really brought the piece back to life and it was so easy. I have a full video process of the furniture makeover if you want to watch the process. I also will list a full step by step guide on how to install hairpin legs below.

I purchased Outmoment Hairpin Table Legs at the 6″ height mark on Amazon, these are available in 9 different lengths ranging from 4 inches up to 20 inches. This enables you to customize your furniture look even more, but the taller the legs the wider your piece of furniture should be, you don’t want it tipping over!

How to Install Hairpin Legs on Furniture

1. Remove The Old Furniture Legs

Since we are installing new furniture legs, we need to remove the old ones. The issue here is that all furniture is made differently. Some furniture legs will just screw off, and others will need to be sawed off. There are a few saws I recommend when removing old furniture legs and they are:

  • Hand Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Jig Saw

When using an electric saw you need to be careful, these tools are powerful and could cause serious damages if improperly used. Just keep that in mind please, if you have a family member familiar with the tools don’t be shy to ask for guidance and help.

In this particular project, I didn’t have to cut anything off. I had an end table that had a bottom box, almost like a skirt, that was screwed on and only needed to be unscrewed and popped off. Some pieces of furniture will have legs or skirts that need to be removed, others could have nothing if you’re lucky!

pried off old furniture leg

After unscrewing and removing all the screws in this skirt box, I grabbed a catspaw and pried up the skirt to remove it. There was no glue or anything else holding it on so removal was simple. You also don’t need a catspaw, you can use a screwdriver or something similar to pop it off.

One last thing to mention in step one, if your piece of furniture has an older style bottom trim you can remove it by sawing it off. The best saw to use to remove the bottom trim on furniture is a circular saw, make sure you cut in a straight line. Usually these older trim styles are connected into the legs, making it removable all in one cut with the circular saw. Modern furniture is about removing the detailed edges and making things straight and flat. Also, make sure that when you cut these pieces there is still a frame holding everything together, or you will have to create one.

2. Add Wood Frame if Required

After removal of the legs and any trim, we can determine if the hairpin legs will connect to the bottom of the furniture or not. Sometimes under furniture, the shape isn’t flat and this requires a wooden frame to be installed underneath. It sounds intimidating, but it just takes a bit of work and you have a sturdy place for your hairpin legs to connect onto.

Determine how far down you want the legs to stand and where they should connect on, then pick your wood for the bottom. I recommend going with wood strapping, which is 1×3 inches, or choose a piece of 2×4 if you need something a bit thicker if screwing in from the sides. Use some decking screws and attach the wood under the piece of furniture. The most convenient way would be to screw from the bottom up so you don’t have to cover the screw holes after, but if needed you can screw through the side of the furniture to get the frame flat on the bottom.

I got lucky on my piece and had a flat bottom where I didn’t need any frame adjustments, but not all pieces of furniture look like this on the bottom. Be aware and be prepared!

3. Line Up and Screw-in Hairpin Legs

placing hairpin legs on furniture base

Now our piece of furniture is ready for some hairpin legs, everything should be sturdy. Typically, furniture is square or rectangle so place you four hairpin legs in each corner to evenly distribute the weight so it doesn’t tip over. In the pack of hairpin legs I purchased on Amazon, each leg had 5 screw holes, but I am only screwing in 3 per leg, trust me it’s sturdy enough for smaller pieces. If dealing with a large table, consider adding all screws just to be safe.

In my tutorial, I use a screwdriver to install each screw, but if you have a drill I recommend using it. I just wanted to prove it was not required! But I did, however, get a small blister from the screwdriver from the 14 screws I had to push into solid wood.

attaching hairpin legs

I didn’t need to pre-drill any holes, these wood screws go directly into the wood for a firm and tight fit. These legs won’t move unless you have someone jumping on your furniture. I don’t recommend letting people jumping on your hairpin furniture, sitting is no problem though.

That’s all it takes to install hairpin legs on furniture, it’s a simple project that can transform the look of a piece of furniture.

Optional: Add Hairpin Leg Floor Protectors

attaching hairpin legs floor protectors

Hairpin legs are just metal bars, no matter the type of flooring you have in your home hairpin legs can potentially scratch the surface. The pack of hairpin legs I ordered came with 4-floor protectors that you can clip on to the bottom of each leg. I know I am using these on my floors, they still look stylish and it keeps my home looking new. Not much to lose!

To install them just place the protector over the edge of the leg and push down with a bit of pressure, the opening should pop and click onto the end of the hairpin leg. Adjust them appropriately, however, when you lay the furniture on the legs the protectors will adjust by themselves.

Watch My Hairpin Leg Makeover Video!

Final Thoughts

Installing and adding hairpin legs to your furniture projects is fun and relatively easy. This is another great option you have when refinishing or upcycling furniture. I hope this guide has helped you install hairpin legs on your piece and I hope it will make a beautiful item in your home, or help you make a profit when flipping.

Thanks for reading my hairpin leg guide and good luck with the installation!