Mid-Century Side Table Up-Cycle

This sweet little side table came to us while we were cleaning out my great uncle’s house. When I first saw it, I knew it wanted a much needed new life with us at the Halle House. Its charm was covered in an inch of dust and old magazines, but I saw right threw it and knew it was coming home. Brian was much less enthused, but as my Design Assistant he carried it out to the car 🙂

My other design assistant

As you can tell, there was some stuff, I really don’t know what it was, that crusted on there over the years. It was a great little piece with a ton of character, but desperately needed some love. I was between painting and staining it. So I polled my followers on Instagram and my friends on Facebook and the response was completely split down the middle. Minus my brother (Hi, JD) who suggested that I use it for fire wood. *sigh*

Since the response was a tie, I thought. Why not both?  So this was my very first paint and stain mash up and I’m so happy with the results!

Here’s how I did it!

What you’ll need:

  • Stain (color of your choice)
  • Chalk Paint (color of your choice)
  • Sander
That’s me! I’m obviously excited about my brand new sander my parents got me for my birthday!

That sander made this project infinitely easier! No joke. I sanded the entire table in about 12 mins flat! img_3991

Here it is in action!

After I sanded it down with a 80 and 120 grade sand paper, it was ready to be stained! I took a piece of old dish towel to apply the stain color. I keep old dish towels on hand and cut them into useable pieces for all my projects!


I actually really liked the way the two different stains looked. In the future I’m going to find a project to incorporate this idea! …One day.

I gave the stain two hours dry time on our back patio since it was beautiful outside. I was so surprised with how quickly it dried. I didn’t think I would be able to get a primary coat of paint on before wrapping up for the day, but I did! I had to bring it inside to dry though. Here’s the first coat of white paint.


I was able to put another light coat of paint on the day after and it looks spectacular! I didn’t want the paint to look perfectly even. I like the imperfection of uneven brush strokes. It makes the piece look older and gives it another layer of depth.

Here it is styled in our foyer. It looks so fresh and happy!



Wood Spool Serving Table

This is one of my favorite up-cycles to date! The best part was it was free! I made friends with a construction worker at a local site. He gave me two matching spool for absolutely nothing. Here’s what I was working with:


It was HEAVY. Probably around 60-70 lbs, but very awkward to handle. Wear gloves while handling, you can avoid A LOT of splinters.

What you’ll need:

  • Sander
  • Stain (color of your choice)
  • Stain Brushes
  • Furniture Wax


  • 4×4 wood to cover diameter
  • 4 castor feet
  • 5 inch wood screws
  • Wood drill bit longer than 5 inches

Get it in a place that you’re going to be able to work on it for about 24 hours. I did this on my driveway.

If there are nails sticking up take a hammer and pound them into the wood so they are flush and not a danger to anyone.

Sand down all the surfaces of the wood that you want to stain. GO WITH THE DIRECTION OF THE WOOD! If you go against it you’re going to create a ton of splinter patches. Make sure that you’re sanding down all the rough areas really well. It took me about an hour to sand the spool. I also used different grades of sand paper, starting with 50 over the whole surface and went back and ended with 120 over the entire surface again.

Ready to stain! I used MinWax Wood Finish Honey Stain. It was darker than the sample appeared, but so much beautiful than I anticipated.

There are brushes specifically for staining available. I would definitely recommend using a brush instead of a sock. The wood is very coarse and a sock definitely won’t last.


Since the stain was darker than I thought it was going to be, I only did one coat, additional coats may need to be applied if you choose something really light.


After the whole spool was stained I let it sit overnight to dry. Check the weather, if it’s going to rain you’re doing to need to store it in a dry place.

When I came back the next morning everything looked perfect. It was completely dry and ready to be waxed. I used Johnson Paste Wax furniture wax from Home Depot. Use a new sponge to apply a thin coat of wax to all the surfaces that were stained. This will help seal up some of the wood while protecting the wood from future spills or condensation from glasses that may be placed on top.

We wanted a little more height on our spool, so we added a little lift with a 4×4 piece of wood and castor feet to make it more mobile.


We cut the wood about an inch shorter than the diameter of the spool on each side to avoid a ton of it being seen. Make sure it’s mostly in the middle of the spool to support stability. You may have to maneuver it around some of the bolts in the center. This isn’t an exact science, look at the area you have to work with and make adjustments.

Mark off how deep you will need the drill bit to be inserted. We used a sharpie to make sure we were drilling down to the same point for each screw. DO NOT TOUCH THE TIP OF THE DRILL BIT AFTER YOU USE IT. It was so hot, I burned my fingers. Seriously.

Its easier to drill one hole and then screw the 4×4 at opposite ends rather than drill all the holes and then go back and screw them all in. It may take a little longer this way, but there’s nothing more frustrating than making a ton of holes and not being able to match them up. I recommend doing two screws at opposite ends to secure the wood first, then make 6 additional holes.

To fully support the spool, you’ll need make an X with the 4×4 under the spool. Repeat the same process with 2 smaller pieces of wood that will be perpendicular to the first.

After the 4×4’s have been secure, you’re ready to add the castor feet. Place the plate on the 4×4 and mark off where you’ll need to drill.


When you’ve finished you’re drilling, put the castor back on and line it up with the 4 holes. Put a screw in each hole and drill a quarter of the way down. Don’t do the whole an entire nail at a time so you have space to adjust if needed.


Once they’re all in you’re finished!

Here’s the almost-finished product:


I’ll be going back and staining the ends of the 4×4 so they don’t look so raw next to the finished spool.

Enjoy hosting gatherings with this awesome server!

May 2017 Update:


Coffee Table Up-Cycle

Shabby Chic is so easy to have in your own home! This was my very first furniture flip!

Here’s what the coffee table looked like when I found it.


What you’ll need:

  • A Sander (or a drill with a sander attachment)
  • Sander sponge (for distressing, if desired)
  • Chalk paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Fabric pattern of your choosing
  • Mod Podge Glue
  • box cutter or scissors
  • Finishing wax

First you’ll need to sand off the finish, exposing the raw wood. If you’re having a difficult time doing this, there are finish removers that you can pick up from Home Depot for relatively cheap.

With a damp paper towel remove any lingering dust. Make sure the table is clean so the chalk paint goes on smoothly.

Once the surface is clean, you’re ready to paint! I used 3 coats of paint and let each layer dry about 45 mins between coats.

Chalk paint can be really expensive. Check out a home-made recipe here.

I let the final coat of paint rest overnight. When it’s completely dry, use the sander sponge to distress as desired.

Take the fabric and stretch it over the area you would like to cover. It helps to tape it down so you can get an accurate measurement of the area you will need. You can outline the area you want to cut or use a box cutter right on the spot.

Put down a thick layer of Mod Podge over the area the fabric will be placed. You’ll need to work quickly, this dries fast! Place the fabric over the layer of Mod Podge. Be sure to pull the fabric tight and push out any wrinkles. Once you’re satisfied with the way its positioned, add two more layers of Mod Podge on top of the fabric to seal it in.

After the fabric is set and completely dried, go back and apply a generous coat of wax on the wood to protect it against stains and promote durability.