Target Side Table Hack

Have you ever noticed how the items in Target's clearance section are always the wild and outrageous  colors that no one else wanted?  I'm going to show you how you can take those cheap, ugly pieces and update them to create a custom, real wood piece.

This project started when we saw this little table at target on clearance for $25 - it had good bones, but unfortunately the style didn't match the decor in our home at all.  Here's a good before of the product right off the shelf.

It had bright blue metal legs and some sort of faux wood, cardboard top.  We think it was leftover from the college back-to-school display.

Look past all of that and there's a beautiful piece of furniture just waiting to be born!  

The first step to updating this table was to spray paint all of the metal using Rustoleum's Burnished Amber spray paint.  It's part of their hammered metal line so it has a cool texture to it as well. 

Once the metal has dried and is fully coated, it's time to reface the table top!  I used pieces of 1"x4"x4' wood cut to size for the top and 1"x2"x4' pieces cut to size on the sides as trim.  This covered the entirety of the existing cardboard top.  To adhere the wood to the existing table top, I used construction adhesive and painter's tape to hold it in place while the glue dried.

Since the table top was slightly larger than the width of 5 - 1"x4" boards, I left an even amount of space between each of the boards on top and filled the gaps with wood filler (I find it's easier to spread the wood filler if you add a little water to it).

Here's a shot with the wood filler in the cracks.
After the wood filler dries, sand smooth.  I also rounded the edges of the table since we have little ones and I didn't want them running into any sharp corners.

Now comes the best part - staining!  I love staining wood!  For this piece I decided to try a mixture of Rustoleum's Weathered Gray and Dark Walnut stain.  I just mixed the two in a paper bowl until I got a cool brown color.  I applied it generously to the wood using a foam brush and then wiped off the excess using a clean rag.

Here's a good shot of the top right after I applied the stain.

Once that dried, I applied a coat of polyurethane to protect the wood.  When that has dried, you're left with a custom piece that doesn't break the bank!

When shopping in the clearance section, look past the color of an item and see what it can be rather than what it is.  There's so much you can do with a little spray paint and wood!


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