Metal & Glass Side Table Makeover (Music Room Progress)

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My cute little settee for the music room arrived a few days ago, so I took some time to get this area of the room all set up and finished. Well, it’s finished for the most part. The pillows you see on the settee probably aren’t going to stay there. Probably. Maybe. Heck, I don’t know.

Anyway, part of getting this area finished included a side table makeover. Here’s how my little side table turned out…

If you’ve been around here for a while, you may recognize that table. I got a pair of those tables free from Overstock soon after we moved into this house. They were originally black metal and glass tables that looked like this…

I ended up painting the metal on the tables with gold spray paint, and I used them in the living room for a while. Then during the original kitchen remodel, I did a little back-painted glass experimentation on the tables (because I was considering back–painted glass as a backsplash in the kitchen), and then I never used the tables again. They’ve been sitting in the sunroom (i.e., my storage room).

So when I pulled them out to consider using them in the music room, they looked pretty awful.

metal and glass side table makeover - before - 1
metal and glass side table makeover - before - 3

But I was determined that I could fix them up and use them in the room.

I considered just scraping the paint off of the glass and giving the metal a new coat of gold spray paint, but I don’t know. Something about that little glam velvet settee next to gold and glass side tables just seemed a little too predictable to me. I wanted some wood to warm things up. I also didn’t like that the tables had three surfaces. That looked very busy to me.

So I removed the middle shelf and made a wood top for the table to bring some warmth to this side of the room, while keeping the bottom glass shelf to keep the look light and airy.

metal and glass side table makeover - after - 1

So I’ll show you how I did it!

I started by removing all three pieces of glass, which were just sitting down inside the metal frames.

metal and glass side table makeover - 1

And then to remove the middle shelf, I used a hex wrench to remove the screws and lock washers.

metal and glass side table makeover - 2

It already looked better to me without that middle shelf…

metal and glass side table makeover - 3

But then I was left with these little brackets that were soldered onto the legs.

metal and glass side table makeover - 4

So I took the table outside, along with my hammer, and whacked on those brackets until the soldered joint gave way.

metal and glass side table makeover - 5

Each removed bracket left a little hole in the metal legs that looked like this…

metal and glass side table makeover - 6

So I got out my Bondo and mixed up a small batch…

metal and glass side table makeover - 7

And used that to fill in the holes.

A quick tip for using Bondo — keep in mind that it dries pretty quickly. If you’re new to using Bondo, I’d suggest mixing up multiple small batches as you go rather than one large batch for the whole project at once.

While the Bondo was drying, I used my table saw to cut two pieces of MDF for the wood top. I wanted the top to be one inch thick, so I cut two pieces of 1/2-inch MDF for each table top. Then I used a generous amount of wood glue on the first piece…

…and then stacked and lined up the second piece on top, pressing it firmly into place. Then I set it aside to let it dry.

metal and glass side table makeover - 10

By the time the table tops were cut and glued, the Bondo was dry. I used my rotary sander with 150-grit sandpaper to sand the Bondo smooth, and then gave the table two or three coats of Rust-Oleum Pure Gold spray paint.

When the table was dry, I tested the MDF table top for fit.

metal and glass side table makeover - 11

It was a pretty perfect fit, so I was ready to cover the MDF with wood veneer. I used this peel and stick walnut wood veneer with the PSA backing which made the job very quick and easy. When working with wood veneer, I suggest always getting the PSA backing if it’s available in the wood species and size you need for your project. It’s so much easier and faster than having to roll on contact cement.

I started with the front and back edges, and for those edges I used pieces with the grain going up and down.

I simply peeled the back off, pressed the veneer to the edge, and then trimmed the excess using this veneer trimmer.

metal and glass side table makeover - 13

There are many cheaper veneer trimmers available, but that one is, by far, the best I’ve ever used. If you foresee yourself doing several wood veneer projects, I highly recommend splurging on that one.

After repeating that process on the back edge, I moved on to the side edges. For these edges, I cut pieces of veneer with the grain going from side to side…

metal and glass side table makeover - 14

And I repeated the same process — peel the backing, press the veneer into place, and trim with the veneer trimmer.

Then I was ready for the final piece, which was the top. For this piece, I made sure the direction of the grain was going the same direction as the long side pieces. And then I peeled, pressed, and trimmed.

You may not be able to see this in pictures, but after trimming wood veneer, it has pretty harsh edges that are somewhat rough.

metal and glass side table makeover - 16

So I sanded those edges and corners very carefully with 150-grit sandpaper, and followed up with 220-grit to get things very smooth. Hopefully you can tell in the picture below how sanding those edges softens the appearance of the edges.

metal and glass side table makeover - 17

And finally, the top was ready for a clear coat. I used my absolute favorite — General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in a flat finish.

metal and glass side table makeover - 19

I just brushed on the first coat with a regular paint brush, let it dry, and then sanded the entire thing with 220-grit sandpaper. Then I did a second coat, and when that was completely dry, it was finished. I attached it to the top of the table with a little dot of Gorilla gel super glue.

metal and glass side table makeover - after - 1

For the bottom piece of glass, I simply used a straight edge razor blade scraper to get the paint off and gave it a final cleaning with some glass cleaner.

metal and glass side table makeover - after - 2

This looks so much better to me. I love the warmth that the walnut wood adds to the table and to this side of the room. I like the look of the white lamps sitting on wood so much better than sitting on shiny glass, whether back-painted or clear.

metal and glass side table makeover - before and after 1
metal and glass side table makeover - before and after 2

So that was a fun and relatively fast project that got me one step closer to having a finished music room. As far as I can tell, the only things left in this room are to do some paint touchups on the walls, and then figure out what I want to use as a piano bench. It’s so close to being finished!!



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    1. I remember when you did these originally. I like them better now. So is the breakfast area all back together & you’re in the guest bedroom now?

      1. Nope. Not until I finish the floor in the hallway. If I move Matt into the bedroom, and then start refinishing the floor, he’ll be stuck in that room for days without being able to leave.

  1. This looks perfect with the settee, which looks perfect under that piece of art you made. I love the colors and the textures.

  2. The settee is absolutely adorable and then to have it under the picture (which is probably my favorite of all your creativeness) makes the music room screams happiness. The end tables are a great compliment to the room. I love that you are not afraid of color!

    1. I agree with you completely! Those colors with the setee and that work of art are pure happiness! The throw pillows work great with it. The tables work so much better too. She is a master with color!

  3. I LOVE the pillows just as they are. The center pillow, that furry grey one, is the only final accent you need! 😊

    I love the refurbished end tables. Did you do a pair of them?

    I now I don’t get to vote, but I personally would have kept the second shelf and topped it with wood, too. But that’s just me. I aways need just one more place to set a few oversized art/nature books!

    I love this sitting area!!!

  4. another home run, Kristi! I think I remember when you did the marveling technique on the glass. This is such a sweet update for that table. You’re so good at repurposing things.
    Well done, you!!!

  5. Another cool possibility would have been to make the tops like your plywood layered coffee table.

  6. This is just beautiful. Love the wood top and the glass at the bottom. It is so much airier (is that a word?) without that middle shelf. Love the gold. The shape of the legs is the exclamation point.

  7. Kristi, this looks so good! And I agree with Caroline, that little grey “pillow” is what makes this so homey and comfy. We’ve not had an update on Cooper lately either…how are the two of them doing?

  8. Thanks Kristi. I learned a lot with this post. Didn’t know what Bondo was. The table looks nice and more traditional now. Cute picture of Cooper the dog too. He looks like he’s about to go for a walk.

  9. The project was great-such a creative way to get the tables you want.
    But my favorite part of the story is where you whacked off the soldered bracket. Fearless. You are my kind of designer!

  10. Once again, you’ve done it! The table is now a perfect compliment to the room and not trying to grab all the attention. Great choices.