My parents have had this table for as long as I can remember. We think my grandmother bought it but we aren’t sure. It has always been used as a desk, even though it is an odd height. It turns out, it can expand to 6 feet and be a kitchen table! Sadly, we didn’t have any of the leaves so I decided to shorten the legs, repaint it and make it a coffee table instead!
- Paint brushes
- Miter Saw
- Paint buckets
- Piece of ply wood
- Power drill
- Take the table apart and see what you can get rid of. I was able to take apart the inner expansion mechanism since the wood is so old. It was soft in some places so all I really needed was a hammer and some time. A lot of the nails that I removed had some rust, especially the ones that come out of the legs of the table. I put them in a jar and first soaked them in Coke, then in Vinegar to get rid of the rust. The vinegar worked better!
- Once, I removed all of the extra parts, I used a piece of ply wood and screwed it onto the bottom of the table. Since the expansion mechanism was gone, there was nothing holding the table together anymore. The ply wood keeps the table from moving at all.
- I then sanded down the legs and the rest of the table. I did this with a hand held sanding block that I bought at the local paint store. It took some time but it was a great experience for sanding in the future! My cousin (she is two) though this was the most fun thing she had ever done and kept asking to help. She is a worker so I let her help. That girl can sand pretty well!
- In order to shorten the table legs, I needed to cut off about 10 inches. So I did a bunch of research, talked to my father-in-law (thanks for the help!) and decided on the Kobalt Sliding Miter Saw. This saw was pretty inexpensive (about $60) and is portable. I love it! I measured where I would need to cut on each leg and lined it up with the laser on the saw. It took me a few tries to really get the hang of cutting, but I think it turned out pretty well! The legs were very obviously not cut evenly, I’ll talk about how I fixed that later!
- Since I cut 10 inches off each leg, I needed new holes to screw the legs back onto the table with. I measured where these would be and made the new pilot holes. I later used the power drill to screw the screws into the holes when attaching them to the table.
- I then used an oil based primer and primed all of the pieces of the table. I painted the table legs while they were still unattached since they had so much detail. This made the painting process a lot easier!
- I left it all to dry for about a week, I wanted to make sure that the primer sunk into the wood really well.
- I then painted all of the pieces white. I really wanted a neutral color for this table and I am not a huge fan of dark wood. So white it was! I used three coats to make sure that the paint looked even. I sanded between coats.
- Once it was all dry, I put the legs back on the table. After I was done, I found out the legs where uneven!! This was the one big thing I had been worried about! With some help from my dad, we moved the legs around, made some new holes for the screws and were able to get the legs almost level.
Hopefully if this is a project you are interesting in tackling, this tutorial helps! I am going to start on reupholstering a couch and turning an old desk into end tables next!