Looking for a clever way to update a side table, end table or bedside table in your home? You want something more – something that pops! Here are nine unique DIY side table ideas that are totally doable – even for a beginning DIYer. You’ll be running for your paint by the end of this post!
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get my hands dirty with a good ol’ furniture makeover. I’m planning to end that hiatus soon since school has started back and we are finally getting back into a routine around here. There is literally one whole side of our garage that is filled with pieces just calling my name. Y’all know I can’t pass up a piece of thrift store or yard sale furniture with good lines.
As I was going through the pieces and brainstorming ideas for what to do with each one, I also went through my gallery of past furniture makeovers looking for inspiration – perhaps a good spinoff of another makeover. 🙂 While doing so, I realized a few things:
- I like to turn things into bars.
- I especially like to give side tables new life or turn them into things they aren’t meant to be.
- My photo skills have vastly improved since the creation of this blog.
I realize that most everyone only needs one bar in their home, but many people do need more than one side table. Or end table. Or bedside table. Or whatever the heck you want to call them. So, I’ve put together some of my favorite DIY end table ideas to get the inspiration flowing the next time you see a side table with fabulous lines, but needing a little love.
Unique End Table Ideas
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Idea #1: Cover the Top with Wrapping Paper
Wrapping Paper Topped Table
This little table makeover is definitely a blast from the past! It’s still one of my most favorite colorful pieces I’ve ever done though. I found this little table for a whopping $2 at a yard sale. The top was in really rough condition, but the rest of it was pretty good. I painted most of it a bright coral pink color and then remedied the top by apply wrapping paper. Get all the details on how I did it here. Wrapping paper tip: I find the best patterns and designs on wrapping paper at Home Goods!
Idea #2: Give it a plaid treatment.
Plaid Painted Side Table
It’s been a few years since I did this plaid painted side table, but Grunt Labor will still tell you that he thinks it’s one of the best projects I’ve ever done. The crazy thing about it though is that it doesn’t require a single bit of measuring to get this pattern painted. I used Frogtape to “measure” everything – it was so easy! Tutorial for this guy is here. You can use any colors you want to create the plaid. I’ve always thought this would be really cute in pastel colors – especially for a little girl’s room.
Idea #3: Get Beachy with It.
Painted Beachy Colored Side Table
The paint treatment on this side table is crazy easy to do – seriously, it’s hard to mess it up! I gave this piece a washed-out beachy vibe by painting the whole thing white first, then creating colored furniture glaze with paint and clear glaze from Velvet Finishes. If you get too much color on, then just wipe it off, if you want more, paint more on. Easy peasy. Again, you could do this with any color you wanted to. I think a small side table painted like this would be great in a mostly white bathroom to add a little color. You can read the full tutorial for painting pieces beachy style here.
Idea #4: Confetti Style
DIY Confetti Side Table
This one is another super simple end table idea that just requires paint, tape and very little skill at all. Create “confetti” on the tabletop (or the whole table if you prefer!) by placing random strips of paint over the table before painting it. This creates a fun little table just begging for someone to put a drink, preferably with a little umbrella, on top of it. The full how-to on this one is here.
Idea #5: Stenciled Top End Table
Leopard Print End Table
If you want to add pattern to a tabletop, but don’t want to be confined to using tape to come up with something, then you could look for a stencil to paint onto a side table. I just happened to have this leopard print stencil lying around and went with it for this table that was on the back porch at our old house. The full makeover is here.
Idea #6: Turn it into a bench.
Side Table turned Bench
And if you ask me what one of my favorite makeovers ever was, I’d say that one of them is definitely this little side table turned bench. I found this table at a thrift store for $7. The sides and legs of this table had perfect lines and there were gorgeous brass details on top of that. The top though had those weird slats and so I decided to cover those by adding a cushion on top. I love this piece because it can serve as a traditional side table or even a tall coffee table by just placing a tray on top of the cushion and putting drinks, remotes, whatever there. But, when you need extra seating or want to throw your feet up, just move the tray! See how I did this makeover here. Also, you can do this with any table that’s open underneath! P.S. If you’re looking for a gorgeous light blue color, that Tranquil that I painted this side table is hands-down one of my most favorite colors ever.
Idea #7: Ditch the Tier.
How to Remove the Top Tier of Two-Tiered Tables
So I found this two-tiered table at a local thrift store and I was immediately drawn to it’s mid-century lines. But then, I was like, “Damn, I hate that it’s tiered.” I’m not a huge fan of two-tiered tables. But then, I was like, “Wait I bet I can get rid of that tier.” And I did. And I have no idea why that had never occurred to me before. When I think about all the two-tiered tables I’ve passed up because of that tier and now knowing how easy it was to remove it, I get so mad at myself! Anywho, you can read about how I gave this table new life here.
Idea #8: Layer on the Colors.
Caribbean Blue Layered Paint Side Table
I just started experimenting more with layering paint colors earlier this year and this piece was one of the firsts I did. I created this look by using three different paint colors and creating different colored glazes with two of them. It actually isn’t as hard or complicated as it sounds and again, it’s a project that you can’t easily mess up! Find the tutorial here.
Idea #9: Accentuate details with contrasting colors.
Gray and White Bedside Table Makeover
And this one is really taking it back – one of the first furniture makeovers I posted about. See, my photography has definitely improved. 🙂 Even though the photos here aren’t that great, I still love this simple idea for painting a bedside table that still commands attention. If you ever come across a piece that has good grooves on it, snatch it up. Then, choose two contrasting colors – I tend to go for an actual color and white together – and paint the majority of the piece the color and then pull out all those details with the white paint. The tutorial for how I did this one is here.
Looking for more painting tips and inspiration?
What kind of paint do I use on that? – a guide to all different types of paint and what kind to use on what material.
How to Make Furniture Glaze in Any Color – the possibilities are endless!
3 Easy Ways to Update Your Furniture Hardware – don’t toss it just yet!
Want to come back to these side table ideas later? Just pin the image below!
Susan the Farm Quilter says
What fun tables!! I love how you aren’t afraid to use different color combinations and you do love your bling!! Keep on rocking the color and thanks for sharing how to make glazes…pinned!!!
Pam S says
I l.o.v.e. every one of these….really! I love them!! I could easily replace my living room couch with a row of side tables (if I lived alone!). I actually have the cutest little 3-shelf table/book stand that my uncle made in woodworking class during his Junior year of high school. He went off to WWII, but didn’t make it back home. That little table has been used all these years and it’s as sturdy as the day it was made! I never knew him, but I’m sured honored to have that piece!!
Oh wow, Pam, what a special special piece. I’m so glad you have it and appreciate it so much. And that’s how things were made back then – sturdy to stand the test of time! Wish they still made furniture that way. That’s one reason why I’m always drawn to fixer upper pieces that just need a new coat of paint – often times the bones of those pieces are much better made than the pieces of today!
Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled says
All so fun! Think my fave is the pink table striped top. The outdoor table turned seat is also clever.e
Chas Greener says
These are all lovely and great before and afters. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma’s House We Go!
Stephanie S. says
I have always like the checkered table. I just took an old laminated particle board desk from work. Like a 70’s. Love it but how can I paint it to last for awhile. Any hints. Using in my craft/office. Sitting in the back of the SUV because it weighs a ton. LOL
I’d use a deglosser on it and then a really good bonding primer like Zinnser, Stephanie. Laminate is tricky.
Jann Olson says
The plaid table is my favorite! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
I love your blog everything very nice and love your post.