If I have an opportunity to use my salvaged wood pile AND power tools, I’m a happy girl! Some of you might be thinking, “what in the world is wrong with this table?” The simple answer is…nothing. Although it is a pretty nice table, it just wasn’t right for my client. They talked about buying a new table that better fit their design style but I told them I would take this old girl home and rebuild her into something new. They said, “but there isn’t anything there to work with.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
The Problem- They liked the copper top and shape very much. However once they saw it in their room they realized it was just not the right scale. The room has very high ceilings and the table is placed behind a large sectional. This table felt a bit meek and underwhelming. The table was also lacking a bit of the Southwest/rustic feel that was present in the rest of their furnishings.
The solution – Keep the existing frame and shape but redesign the table using rustic salvaged wood so the table had a heavier feel and would fill the space with more of an impact. We would also add some bits of color so the wood wouldn’t be wood!…wood!…wood!…and be overwhelming. The last detail is an added shelf on the bottom to add the addition of storage.
So let’s get started rebuilding this beautiful new rustic sofa table!
I try to keep as much salvaged, reclaimed wood available as I can fit in my workshop. I went through my collection and selected the most appropriate pieces. For this piece I used salvaged ceiling trusses, and disassembled WW2 ammo boxes. The wood may not always look good when you first see it, but with just a little sanding it will come alive!
Next, join the boards together with pocket holes and wood glue. I use a KREG JIG to create the pocket holes. Pocket holes are a great way to join multiple boards together without seeing the holes or screws on the top. If you are new to using a KREG JIG this a wonderful video
Once you have attached your boards together use clamps to hold the boards in place as the glue dries. I recommend letting the glue cure overnight. Then you will have one large board.
Sand your combined board until it is smooth to touch. Don’t be concerned with removing visual imperfections. Keep in mind this is a rustic piece using salvaged materials. The imperfections are what makes it interesting. Just sand the wood until it is smooth enough to eliminate the possibility of splinters. OUCH!
Then, do a test layout of your piece. As you can see in the picture above, I am propping up the back boards with paint cans just to see how it was all going to come together. When doing this you might decide it is going to look perfect, OR, you might decide you hate the way it is looking, and stare at it for hours trying to figure out what is the problem! (Just saying…I’ve had this experience more than I haven’t.)
After much deliberation, I decided the problem with my table was the shape was too angular. I decided the table needed to follow the lines of the frame. So I created a stencil and traced the design on the top and bottom of the table. Then I cut along the lines made by my stencil with my jigsaw. This created a soft curve to each edge. I sanded the edges a bit to finish them off.
My clients have a mostly neutral family room with introductions of color in large accent areas in their entertainment center and fireplace. I wanted this sofa table to coordinate with the other items in the room but not compete for most of the attention. So, I used some color to make the piece perfect in the space. I used a color wash application on a few of the boards. Color washing is a very simple process.
First, pick any color of flat latex paint you wish. Mix 1 part water and 1 part paint. Spread the paint mixture on your wood and immediately wipe off the excess. If you are satisfied with the color at this point you can be done. I wanted a bit more of an antique look so I added one coat of stain on top using the same wipe on/wipe off process.
To assemble the table I used 1/4″ dowels. The frame of the table had pre-drilled holes in the top and bottom. I lined up those holes up with my wood and marked where those holes would be. TIP- I didn’t want to drill all the way through my wood and have an unwanted hole in the top of my table. To prevent me from drilling too far, I used masking tape to mark the depth of the holes I wanted on my drill bit. I stopped drilling when the tape touched the wood. Then I secured the dowel with a hammer and wood glue. The dowels then attached to the frame perfectly.
You might not have this exact table but I hope you might get a little tip or trick that could inspire your own rebuild. If so, please share. I love to see your DIY projects!