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I’ve been waiting to share this awesome set of DIY reclaimed wood nesting tables that Brian and I made until after I wrote about our floating floor & tips – it’s a good season when there’s just too many do-it-yourself projects to share, right? We made these adorable tables with – can you believe this – wood we had in our stash from other projects and old barn wood from a neighbor! Isn’t that amazing?
The only thing we purchased were the casters for the little table at about $2.50 each. So our set of nesting tables, customized to go with our decor – including our DIY card catalog table, cost us $10. I’ve seen table sets for $150 and up – so you can probably guess I’m as much over the moon about that as I am about how great they look!
Like I mentioned when I shared our card catalog table, we’ve never had coordinating side tables for our couch in our whole married life. I’ve never been a matchy-matchy girl so it was fine for awhile, but I decided I wanted a pair of matching lamps and you pretty much need side tables for that, right? (Just in case you don’t remember, we had a stand lamp on one side of the couch and one thrifted table on the other with a lamp.)
But I had requirements (of course, Brian would say…) – they couldn’t match since the lamps were matching and that would be too much for me, but they did need to coordinate. And they needed to be useful – we’d lived with tables and make-do benches for years and I wanted some drawers somewhere for remotes and reading glasses (hello card catalog!) and thought that nesting tables would be the answer for having more tables available for large group gatherings.
But, oh man, was I shocked when I started searching for side tables! Can you tell I’ve never even really thought of them before? Everything I liked was $200 and up and I had only a small stash set aside for furniture from our big sale. Plus, they usually didn’t coordinate. It didn’t help that every time I saw something I liked that was wood I’d think, “gee, we could make something like that so easily.”
About the time we decided how to makeover the card catalog into a side table, I found this DIY plan for wood nesting tables on Ana White. It seriously consisted of some 2×4’s and 1×2’s and I knew we had the amazing mahogany barn wood from our neighbor. So I did what any good wife would do:
I emailed it to Brian with something like, “Oh, I just know you could knock this out in no time, you’re so good at stuff like this and it would cost us nothing! xoxo”
Which is when he says, “You’re crazy. I don’t know how to make furniture.” But I persist in telling him he’s amazing (and that’s no lie, as you might be guessing), and I don’t care about perfection – it’s not just a tagline to me, I really don’t in stuff like this – and all he has to do is create the bases and I’ll do the rest (which is our normal tag-team DIY approach).
So he did. Maybe there was some complaining along the way and numerous, “are you sure about this?” questions, but in the end he did knock them out, pretty much keeping to the plans, just shortening the smaller table’s legs so we could add the 1-1/2 inch casters I wanted to give it more of an industrial look.
You can see in the photos above that the wood really was reclaimed – all of it had been sitting in our pile, many of it for years. Some was weathered and gray (if it all was, I might’ve just sealed it!) and some wasn’t. Some had big gouges, which I filled along with the screw holes. None of it was something three coats of white paint couldn’t cover up. Love. White. Paint.
And those tops – all gorgeousness in their rough cut glory. They were lightened from weather, so I stained them just a bit with Special Walnut. It darkened them just enough and brought out more of the cool saw lines.
Then I decided to try and make them look like the card catalog top by sanding & rubbing a gray wash over them, but in the end what I did was too light and you can’t tell I did anything at all. Oh, well. It’s not like I’m gonna complain about how they look or anything! After a couple coats of a satin water-based polyurethane (this is the same as pictured, just a different label) we have this deliciousness:
Rich, warm, and worn wood with slightly distressed edges. That’s perfection to me. And those areas that might stick out or not be smooth? Who cares – no one even sees them when you’re looking at the big picture, right?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the rough cut marks when we started, but I was wanting the no-cost tables so badly that I didn’t think about it too much and I’m glad I didn’t. When I saw them completed and how the markings on the wood makes such a cool statement, I realized what a treasure we had.
And don’t you love Brian’s “patch” – the narrow piece added to make the wood fit on the small table? To me that’s a great design element – I mean, anyone can have a table top with two full pieces, but this is something special, especially how the saw markings create an arrow-like pattern.
And of course I have to leave you with a shot of our two DIY side tables together – it’s exactly the look and function I was hoping for. Yes, it took more time than buying something, but no one else has a look just like this – AND I still have my furniture stash to buy something cool that we can’t “just make.”
I hope you are inspired by this to make your own tables with this easy plan or even makeover a set of tables (or card catalog!) you find – you can pin this for the future to remind yourself that if we can do it, you can too!
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