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How To Build Your Own Mid-Century Console Table

I sure do love a good DIY, and I’m thrilled to share my latest one with you guys! My work desk is in the corner of our living room where I have clear shot of our little foyer, so I get to stare at it pretty often. While I’ve been spending more time at home these days and continuously looking at this mega brown space, I kept thinking how badly it needed some color and a nice update. I’ve pinned many different looks on my Pinterest boards, and they all seem to have a theme in common. Choosing a few new pieces to give this area a whole new look was an easy task after “pinning” down what I like, but it started with building my own console table. I’ve never tackled a project like this before so I was super excited to try my hand at it! I’ll be sharing the steps from start to finish so you can see how simple it actually is!

Here’s what I was dealing with before. It’s still very pretty, but this buffet table is too deep and really didn’t belong in this space. Guests coming in and out couldn’t easily flow through the door without getting caught in the corner at some point. I still loved the length and height of this table, I just needed something more slender.

Here are the results of my labor! I switched out the table, lamp, mirror, rug, and light fixture. It’s such a brighter entryway now! I love it so much and smile when I look over from my desk, because I did that. And you can too!

Here’s how you can get started:

First, I chose my table to measure 14″ x 54″. I wanted something thicker than just a tiny piece of wood, and found this Southern Yellow Pine Lumber from Lowe’s that measured 1.5″ x 7.25″ x 10′. This was perfect — and less than $10! I had Lowe’s cut the board in half and then I hauled them away. Since I don’t have a woodshop setup here at our home, my father in law was awesome to help me cut the pieces with his equipment in the exact measurements. We cut the width down just a bit since I needed it to be 14″. We trimmed each board by 0.125″ inch so they had a clean edge for gluing them together. We secured them with wood glue and clamped them tightly together to dry overnight. Then we trimmed 3″ off of each side of the table to get my 54″ length. If you need to, you can use a wood filler if there are any deep visible knots. My pine had a few so this helped achieve a smooth surface to work with. After the filler was dry, I used an orbital sander and sanded my table free of any rough areas. I also made sure the edges were nice and rounded with no sharp corners.

Now we’re ready to treat the wood — my kitty Aja says hi! =^.^=

Since pine is soft and porous, it’s important to pre-condition the wood to avoid any blotchiness from your stain. I used this Minwax Pre-Stain and it worked like a charm! I evenly applied it with a cotton cloth and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wipe off any excess and then you’re good to apply your stain within two hours of using the wood conditioner. I already had this Rust-Oleum Golden Oak stain from a previous project and loved the color. You only need one coat! I used another cotton cloth to apply my stain, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then again, wipe off the excess with a clean dry cloth.

Now, here is where I found I had an error that I hope you can avoid! After my coat of stain dried, I found excess glue that I hadn’t sanded off properly. You can see below what this discoloration looked like. Glue will not take stain and it was completely hidden until I applied my stain! So, I of course had to re-sand my table and basically start over. But that’s okay, the pre-condition and stain didn’t take long at all to apply so it wasn’t too much of a setback. My hubby helped me sand it really well, he did such a great job removing all of the glue for me! I reapplied the pre-condition just in case. I’m not sure if I needed to or not but I wanted to be sure I was left with a smooth coat of stain.

Okay, back on track! The stain was gorgeous and it was time to seal it with polyurethane. I used an oil base which added a small hint of yellow over my stain, but I didn’t mind the warm hue. Be sure to determine if water or oil based poly is right for the type of wood and stain you’re using. I bought a few Rust-Oleum Staining Pads to apply the polyurethane instead of a brush because I was nervous about having visible brush strokes. These pads worked great and coated evenly! They’re about 5 inches long so I was able to use one pad twice for two coats of poly by only using one end of the pad per coat. For my first coat, I applied a thin layer of poly and let it dry for 4 hours. Once it was dry, I lightly sanded my table with 400 grit sandpaper. Rather than by hand, I wrapped a piece of the sandpaper around a foam block so there was no uneven pressure like there can be when using your hand. Lightly swipe over the table from left to right until it’s evenly sanded from top to bottom. Be sure you’re not sanding harshly AT ALL, because you’ll end up removing your poly. Swipe like a feather! I wiped away the dust particles and applied another coat of poly, a little thicker this time. I repeated these steps until I had 5 coats, applying a bit heavier each coat. This process took a couple of days because the dry time is so long in between coats. When my last coat of poly was dry, I needed to buff it so it had a nice sheen to the surface. This short YouTube tutorial was super helpful! I followed his instructions using my orbital sander, a fine steel wool, and a super fine steel wool pad. **Sidenote: Be sure to properly dispose of your poly cloths, you do NOT want them combusting into flames. That can happen, so please be careful!**

Once I completed these steps, my table was done and ready to add legs! I purchased 34″ hairpin legs from Amazon for $57, and my hubby attached them with our electric drill. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy — look how beautiful!! Gah, I’m in love. It’s so silky, I can’t stop running my hands across it!

One of my favorite details are the edges where we glued the boards side by side. It almost looks like an open book, right? It’s so pretty!

I found the hot pink “vintage” runner by nuLOOM and it’s exactly the pop of color I wanted for this space! It’s bold, soft, and I love it. To prevent it from sliding around, I snagged these rug grippers recommended by Amy from Delineate Your Dwelling and they work amazingly well! Seriously, get some of these if you are having trouble with slippery rugs.

When I spotted this lamp, I couldn’t find another one that I liked better. I had to have it. It ran out of stock while I was searching for other lamps and I was so bummed. Luckily, I was able to find it on Wayfair as a returned item so I got a pretty decent deal on it. I made sure to get it quickly since it was such a hard one to track down that was apparently out of stock almost everywhere, or way over priced!

I found this mirror on Walmart.com. It wasn’t available in stores. For the price, it’s actually pretty sturdy and heavier than I thought it would be. I was super nervous ordering it online in fear of it being delivered with shattered glass or in a thousand pieces, but it was packaged very well and I’m pretty pleased with the look of it!

I just love how everything came together! My husband and I adore this new space. It’s so refreshing to update an area in your home. I’m so glad I took on this project. I hope I’ve inspired you to try it too! For the cost I spent on making my own console table vs. buying one in comparison, I seriously saved a few hundred dollars. You can’t beat that!

One comment

  1. Sophie Sierra

    This is the most magical transformation and you’re the dreamiest queen of DIY my stunning Jalee! I adore how bright your new space is, so blissful and gorgeous to look at 🙂 You have such a dazzling eye for detail and dreamily divine surroundings! I adore the table and the lamp is so lush and the mirror to die for! I’m so over the moon it went to plan for you love, you’re such a talented queen that whatever you turn your attention to always sparkles and glows! Keep shining beautiful friend, you’re a true superstar! ♥︎

    P.S Aja gets cuter by the day!!!

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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