old side table

What to do with old end tables? 9 Crafty Ideas!

In Tips by Jamie P.

End tables are really convenient to have around. You can put lamps on them, place vases to give your living room an aesthetic accent, or you can just have them there to hold remotes, coasters, and whatnot.

Don’t we just wish they would look new forever? Your end table might have been moved and scratched so many times that repainting them with varnish just won’t do it. Maybe you just purchased an old set of end tables to refinish! Anyways, there are many ways you can redesign an end table to make them look unique and

If you are wondering what to do with your old end tables take a look at these 9 creative ideas!

9 Ideas For Revamping Old End Tables

If you are wondering what to do with old end tables these 9 ideas can help you revamp or repurpose your old end tables! Paint them or completely repurpose them into something new, it’s all up to you! See our 9 crafty ideas below:

1. Paint Your Old End Tables

paint brush for old end tables

As mentioned previously, sometimes, the scratches and nicks are just too deep to get covered by varnish. A good idea would be to paint your end table with a color that would match the theme of your living room.

Repainting them is not limited to just one color. You can test your creativity here!

If you’re unsure what color to pick, you can never go wrong with white. Whether your living room’s theme is traditional, modern, or simple, white would fit just right in. White would also look great on living rooms that mostly have furniture with the colors blue, black, and red.

If your living room is a little more chic-themed, find a color or combination of colors from a shabby chic palette. These colors give your end table a very classic, elegant, and soft touch.

For end tables that have scratches that are too deep that they would still be noticeable even after painted, remember to sand the scratched area first, then prime the entire table. Let dry and start painting.

2. Stain Your Old End Tables

stain for old end tables

If you want to keep the same wooden color but make it look shinier and newer, staining would be something you would need to do. Not only does it bring out your end table’s natural color, but it enhances the color and protects it from mild scratches and wear. Using a top coat after staining increases the overall quality, check out various projects and flips on this blog or my youtube channel.

Before applying wood stain to your end table, you need to sand the entire end table first to get rid of the scratches that cause the surface to be uneven and you must also remove old paints and stains. You can use paint stripper to remove certain paints and stains but sanding is always an available option.

Use sandpaper by hand if you don’t have any sanders available, but without a good sander, it will be a lot more work. Once you have evened out the surface, use a semi-damp cloth to wipe the dust. When you have made sure that there are little or no blemishes, you may start applying the stain. Make sure to evenly apply the stain using a brush or rag and let sit. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the end table will be. See my videos to see how I apply stain on wood furniture.

When you are satisfied with how the end table looks, you must apply a topcoat for the best protection. I use a spray lacquer that is super durable against liquids and scratches.

3. Modernize Them

If you would like to push your creativity to the limits, try modernizing!

You could try a new color of paint or stain! Add new pin legs for a new, creative look! Cut pieces off and replace them with better-looking ones! The possibilities are endless!

Turn your antique-looking end table into a modern one by replacing its legs with new pin legs. They could be metal, plastic, or maybe wood, but with a different accent to them. The metal hairpin legs by SmartStandard are a great option, you can choose from 12 different lengths that will work best for your specific project.

4. Sell As-Is

Though everyone has some kind of creativity, not everyone has the time to spend on repainting or remodeling their end table. Why not sell your old end table as it is and earn cash to buy a new one?

I found 2 old end tables online and bargained them for $35 dollars! I grabbed them and all I did was wipe them clean, I sold them for $100. I made 65 dollars for less than one hour of work! If you want to learn more about flipping furniture for profit read my 5 Tips for Buying and Selling Furniture for Profit article.

Some people like buying older furniture to match the look of their living room or they could be buying old end tables for a DIY project, who knows buy they can sell!

5. Turn End Table into a Wine Rack

end table turned into wine rack

Another creative idea is to repurpose your end table. By repurposing, we mean finding another use for them! You can stack PVC pipes on top of each other, glue them in place, and let dry. Voila! You have a mini wine rack now! Aside from PVC pipes, you can also use pallets or metal rods to hold bottles of wines. However, please make sure that your design can hold bottles well, if not there could be a mess!

6. Make End Table a Rolling Bar Cart

Turn your boring end table into a bar cart by replacing or adding wheels to the legs. Maybe you could saw off a portion of the legs if adding wheels would make it too high. You can purchase casters from any home improvement store or easily online. They are easy to put on too! No need to have it done by an expert! Just screw them in the right places and they are good to go!

These Swivel Caster Wheels are the best choice for bar cartwheels, check out their latest price.

7. Remake Into an Ottoman

While this sounds like a lot of work, there are actually simpler DIY steps on how you can turn your end table into an ottoman. However, it would be best to make sure that your end table can hold weight before you continue with this project. You may also have to cut down the legs to make it as high as a normal chair.

You’ll mostly need a lot of foams for this to make sure that they will be comfortable to rest your leg on and you will need a fabric with a color that will go with your end table and living room.

Simply measure the end table’s top, add a thick foam on top, lay the sheet of fabric on it, and seal the corners. If your fabric is long enough, you can staple them up and under the table instead. If your fabric is just the exact size, you can use a fabric glue to hold them all together.

8. Turn Into a Dollhouse for the Kids!

end table turned into doll house

Your end tables might have been doubling as a dollhouse for your kids every time you’re out for work! Well, now you can repurpose it as a dollhouse so they don’t have to do it when you’re not home. You can simply empty the shelves, repaint it according to what your child wants, and just add the miniature furniture. This is a project to get super creative!

9. Use as Outdoor Furniture!

If your end table no longer looks good inside your house, then maybe it would look better OUTSIDE your house? Maybe do a little refinish and by adding a waterproof coat to your end table, it will make it protected against rain and harsh sunlight. On The Backyard Pros outdoor wood treatment article, you can see some great topcoats for outdoor projects.  You can also add outdoor chairs to go along with it so they’re ready to use during outdoor gatherings.


Final Thoughts

End tables are just like any other wooden furniture. Their shine does not last forever, but you can give them a new start! Instead of throwing them away, give them a new purpose in your living room, and show off your creativity.