DIY: Retro Side Table Upcycle

At the end of My5 2016, Johannesburg sees 3 days of grand inspiration with Grand Designs Live. The theme this year is re-purposed living: “The need to re-use, re-purpose and re-invent older objects is now a major trend that results in unique, one-off pieces and offers a gentle reminder that we should embrace and celebrate our past, and not succumb to a disposable, always-now culture.” 

In light of this re-thinking trend, I started to look around me to find a diamond in the rough. When we moved to the farm 4 years ago, I found this sweet and severely neglected wrought iron table behind the chicken coup. I have no idea what it was used for or to whom it belonged – I can only imagine that it wasn’t originally intended to be perched on. I had been using it around the house since then, mainly in a bathroom, with a loose tile to act as a top. But the style had always bothered me: even though I loved the tapered legs, the top was just too curly for my taste. Considering my recent obsession with Scandinavian and mid-century design, when I discovered an old box of left-over parquet flooring in the store-room, inspiration hit and I got to work!

twirly whirly

The curls had to go, so I grabbed the grinder and, to excited cheering from my pre-schooler, took them off. A quick sanding and a coat of awesome all-rounder decorative Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, and the base was ready to be clad.

Shop your chalk paint online here!

grind sand paint

I cut a piece of 6mm mdf to fit into the frame – this provides a solid base to fix the parquet onto.

puzzle building

And then it’s just like building a puzzle! To ensure that you get the parquet straight, fix 2 straight pieces of off-cut wood to your work table at a right angle, and then lay the parquet block from that corner. Glue them down with wood glue and wait for the glue to dry completely before cutting off the excess.

Another quick sanding with 100 grit and then I finished the top with linseed oil – it smells amazing and allows the wood to keep its natural raw look.

before after

I am totally thrilled and certainly won’t be hiding this beauty in the bathroom anymore!

Happy DIY-ing!


Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by Grand Designs Live.

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