My Weekend DIY-ness

"old" end tables

"Old" End Tables

"Old" End Tables

"Old" End Tables

As renters, we have a lot of what I would consider “transitional” furniture. You know, the stuff leftover from bachelor days and post-college moves (I’ve moved at least once a year since 2000). Being essentially nomadic and fixing your life around academia and the job market, it’s nearly impossible to ever make the move to invest in nice stuff because let’s face it, your furniture never makes it through a move unscathed. Something always happens. These end tables were freebies from Neil’s house. They were old and more than a little dated and …rough. They’re still a temporary fix, but a little paint and new hardware went a long way to at least cleaning them up a bit.

Paint Color

Paint Color

After doing a little google research, I opted for Behr’s Paint and Primer in One. It’s not something I would opt to use for wall color, but for a piece of furniture you don’t want to invest a lot into, it came highly recommended and was fairly inexpensive. I wanted a dark brown, and dark enough to look black so I chose “Expresso Beans.” It came out a little lighter than I wanted, but again, this is temporary.

"New" End Tables

"New" End Tables

"New" End Tables

The results were fantastic. Two easy coats that dried in less than three hours, it was a perfect easy project and the end of my constant heartache over our old crusty end tables. Most of all, they look a bit newer, and don’t have dated hardware and orange flecked stain. Optimally someday I’ll have my dream end tables, but for now, these are the perfect way to compliment our couches and our temporary home.


  1. They look great! The hardware is my favorite type of drawer pull – I’m jealous!

    My side table is a tv tray… I need to start looking for some cragislist deals.

  2. I’m glad these handles were available in our size. They were actually the only one in our size. Have you looked at ikea, they have some simple side tables I’ve eyed.

  3. You really should give in and get those side tables from Crate and Barrel. If you ever decide to have children, most of your frivolous purchases will evaporate. You’ll forever be thinking, “Yes, a new dining room table would be beautiful and more functional and make me happy. BUT, I need diapers, formula, and college tuition!”

  4. I have spotted some at ikea that I like… I might have to start saving up for a couple of those. Maybe I could put my own pulls on the drawers!

  5. Nice job! You are super crafty/talented! Want to come to my house? :)

  6. I like this idea a lot! My fiance and I have just moved into our first house and I have been adamant that I’d rather throw out all our old furniture and slowly buy new stuff than keep some of our old worn out furniture that we mostly got for free from others. It’s all the same brown color that I have developed a strong aversion to but the thought of painting never came to mind. Perhaps I can reinvent them instead of going table-less!

  7. @Samantha – LOL! it’s not in my value system to drop $700 on two tables at full price. My thrifty brain can’t even fathom. If they ever went on a decent sale I’d consider it, or look for similar alternatives, but we still have several moves in front of us. Having kids wouldn’t change my spending habits all that much as we plan and save for everything, including kids. The problem is that we don’t have the time to put them on our radar or even long list of things we need or want to accomplish so thats a ways out yet I think.

    @Christa – There is a whole movement of people who customize Ikea furniture. It’s almost a cult, google it and definitely put your own pulls on the drawers!

    @Maria – Thanks!…but what you didn’t see was that after I thought I was King Cool and decided to sand a one-of-a-kind canister rack and ruined it by oversanding…still a beginner

    @Laura – That’s where we were at. We want new stuff, aren’t in the position and are just making do with the temporary stuff. The whole project was around $20 with the new hardware, you won’t be out that much at all!

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