I’ve had this rickety little side table in my apartment for about a year now, and I had just planned on tossing it out when I moved. I bought it at Goodwill ages ago, and then painted it what turned out to be a truly heinous orange color (I thought it was very light peachy pink, go figure) and it was just bad, folks.
But I was looking into side tables for my new place, and I came across several DIY projects for mid-century side tables. I saw that Waddell table legs were between $3 and $6 each, which was astronomically cheaper than most tables I was looking at, and I started hatching an idea.
Since this side table already had screw in legs on it, I figured I could just replace them and re-finish the top and we’d be in business. It ended up being a bit more complex than that, but for the most part, it went off well.
- 3 Waddell tapered screw in table legs, 28 inches
- 3 Waddell angle top plates for mounting the legs
- A table top (since I already had one, I got away with it, but there are plenty of options to choose from, like this)
- Wood stain (I used this awesome new spray on stain and finish all in one stuff)
- Lacquer spray paint (I decided I wanted a white top, and I found this lacquer stuff to make it look like Formica)
- Painter’s tape
- Screwdriver for screwing in the plates
1. I took the old legs off the table and tried to see if the new legs fit in the old plates. Spoiler alert: they did not, and I had to go back to the hardware store. (That’s not an official part of the directions though – the plates are less than $2 each, I’d just buy them to be safe next time).
2. I removed the old plates and installed the new ones using some of the same screw holes, which worked out well. They were super easy to install, all you need is a Phillips screwdriver and some willpower (which is my life motto basically).
3. Once those were installed, I took the table top and the legs outside to paint. I covered the little metal feet on the legs with painter’s tape so they wouldn’t get stained, then went to town staining them. The spray on stain made it so easy, because I thought I was going to be stuck wiping stain on and off the legs all night. Bless modern paint technology.
4. I applied two coats of white paint to the table top, and three coats of stain to each leg, then let them dry overnight.
5. I ended up having to manually paint the edge of the tabletop, because it was oddly rough and porous particle board and the spray paint kept seeping in and not settling on the surface.
6. From there, I just screwed the legs into place and voila! Super cute new mod table from a hideous old one, and all under $30! I’m pretty pleased with myself.