Mid Century Side Tables UPDO

So, in the beautiful town I live in, once a year there is something called “Spring Clean Up” or “Free Dump Week”  This is my, and all furniture refinishers and crafters favorite time of year!  Everyone can put anything they want out for garbage pick up.  Now most people, like myself, put out items that I know others may want or need.  You may think it’s a little weird to have people rummaging through your garbage, but its a great way to recycle!  Anything that I put out that didn’t get picked up by my fellow garbage pickers, I would actually bring back in the house and donate to the thrift store soon after, so its not all going in the landfill 🙂


One night my amazing cousin and I went rummaging,  we came back with a truck full!  Lots of toys for our kids, and quite a few project pieces for the both of us.  Here she is unloading just some of our treasures.

See those two beautiful Mid Century style tables?  That’s what this post is about! They definitely needed some TLC, but I instantly saw the potential.

What You Need:

  • Side Tables (free)
  • *Plastic Wood filler ($4.99)
  • *Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer ($24.99/quart)
  • *Sandpaper (on hand)
  • *Benjamin Moore Advance Paint ($26.99/quart)
  • *Wallpaper (on hand)
  • *Wallpaper adhesive ($9.99/ quart)
  • Saman Water based clear coat ($9.99/pint)


I was hoping I could sand them lightly and re-stain the tables, but upon closer review, the tops were pretty damaged.  The top center part was actually just a veneer and parts of it had chipped off.

So I decided fill the damage using Plastic Wood filler.  Which you can purchase from most hardware stores.  I like this product because it dries really hard.  I would recommend trying to get it as smooth as possibly while applying it, it’s is harder to sand then some other fillers on the market.


Once it was dry and sanded smooth, I got to prime!  Now there A LOT of primers on the market.  A lot of them are great.  But so many are meant for specific projects.  So make sure you talk to your paint specialist or read the label closely.



For this project I used Benjamin Moores Fresh Start All-Purpose primer.  I used this one because of the rich wood I was trying to cover.

With some woods, if you don’t use the right primer or paint, the tannin’s within the wood will seep through the layers and discolour the paint.  It almost looks like water damage.  For most wood projects I would actually recommend an oil based primer like Zinsser Cover Stain or Insl-X Prime Lock but this Fresh Start is the closest to an oil based primer while having the convenience of soap and water clean up… and less smell!

It sticks to almost anything and covers almost everything.



The tables started to look so good even just after a coat of primer!  Always read the directions on the paint can.  Dry time is very important for the final project.  If you rush the paint too much then the paint will stay soft and easily scratch or mark up.


When I realized I couldn’t just re-stain these tables, I looked for new inspiration.  And it came when I found some scrap pieces of wall paper!  Now I attained these because I work at a Benjamin Moore store and we have so many samples laying around.

There are a couple different things you could do if you don’t want to special order wallpaper for a small project like this.  A few stores still carry in-stock wallpaper.  A few Benjamin Moore stores, Bouclair Home, Lowe’s, sometimes even Walmart. Usually the in-stock wallpaper is a little cheaper because they order large quantities.

If you do a lot of crafting, then go into your local decorating or Benjamin Moore store and ask them to give you a call when any of the wallpaper books expire!  They are great for arts and crafts.  You could also use wrapping paper, craft paper, or even use some of your child’s artwork!  Just make sure you put the right clear coat over top for maximum protection.  I will get into that a little later.

When I foundia_pri_0792_197x193 the wallpaper that inspired me, I found a white that would match it perfectly.  The color was CC-30 Oxford White. I used Benjamin Moore’s Advance Paint in the Satin finish.

This is one of my favorite products for furniture, trim, doors, cabinets.  It is actually a hybrid paint.  Oil based but water clean up.  They found a way to wrap the oil molecule in water, and as the paint dries, the water evaporates and leaves the oil finish on the surface painted.  Oil based paints are tough, durable and very washable!

I did my two coats of the paint.  Remember when I said read the directions?  This product requires 16 hours in between coats.  It dries to touch in about 2 hours but does require a longer cure time in between coats.  I have cheated a couple times and done the second coat as soon as 8 hours.  If you do this, just make sure you are very gentle with your project for the first couple days.

When the paint had dried I used a piece of paper to make a template of the circle so I didn’t cut the wallpaper wrong.  There is a saying out there “Measure twice, cut once!” Whenever I don’t do this, I regret it!  p_1000129017-tif


Once the template fit perfectly, I brushed on wallpaper adhesive and placed the wallpaper on top.  I used a kitchen sponge to push out any air bubbles and excess adhesive.  Let it fully dry before you apply multiple coats of a water based clear coat.

If you are applying a clear coat onto any white or light surfac72645207_me and you can use a water based, use it!  Oil based clear coats, or even hybrid clear coats, have an amber hue to them and will discolour your project.


Isn’t this wall paper amazing!? I’m not sure if I would use in on a full wall or room, but for these side table it is perfect!

Thanks so much for reading!  I hope you can use some or all of the information for a project of your own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s