Repurposed End Tables

Although I have been doing this for many years, blogging my work has not been my strong point.

I am trying to change that. So, here is my first post.

Repurposing Three (semi matching) End Tables.

Recently, I received a call to pick up some furniture that was heading off to the dump.
Most people know that they can call me and I will run to their aid to save them from dump fees.
On one of my last outings, I received these three end tables.

Yes, they were in rough……ROUGH shape!

Scratched, dinged, engraved with lovely little doodles. You know, everything that happens to furniture over the years.
The good news is – there is nothing I won’t attempt to save.
The better news, if I can’t take on the challenge, I have friends that would love to give it a whirl. So really, nothing gets thrown out.

So here we go. The three end tables.


Ya. Ouch.

Here is a close up of the tops.


painful. however - nothing I can not conquer
painful. however – nothing I can not conquer

The runner that holds the drawer in place was also broken on one end table. It was a plastic piece that was attached to the inside wall of the table. Basically, just asking to be broken. I really do not understand why they would use plastic!?!?!?!?
No way to fix that without replacing it completely. OR…. just get rid of the whole thing and wood fill the holes!

can you see the little plastic pieces still stuck in there?
can you see the little plastic pieces still stuck in there?

Next step. Remove hardware then wash, degrease, and sand the finish off. There really isn’t much need to do more when you know a piece is going to get painted, and let’s face it, this needs paint…..and a LOT of wood fill.

This is the dirty part.
This is the dirty part.

Now, almost every piece I aquire, first gets steamed then sits outside in “quarantine” for 2 weeks.  For a few reasons.
1. Helps remove any smells from the previous owners home
2. Any critters living in, on or under will hopefully move on to a new home in the great outdoors.
3. I can sit and stare at the pieces while I work on other projects. This is a really important step for me because to be honest, I never really know what I plan on doing with the stuff until I start stripping it!
So staring at it for 2 weeks helps!

Okay. Ready to Rumble now!
I was torn between attempting to pile them three high to make a filing cabinet…or lingerie chest, or something, but I have a thing for trunks and benches. So I went horizontal!

I knew right off the hop, that since the one drawer was broken, it was going in the middle with a new shelf added in its place.
I just wasn’t too sure what type of wood I was going to use.

Thankfully, the tops on these pieces are real wood.

So instead of throwing away perfectly good wood, I flipped it upside down, trimmed it to size, stained and inserted it into the hole where the drawer used to be.

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Thankful for real wood tops!
Thankful for real wood tops!

Next up – attaching the three end tables together.
Unfortunately, one table was a smidge shorter than the others.
I added a thin strip of wood to the bottom to raise it up high enough to match the other two.

Then wood glue, clamp and screw until your tables are joined.

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This may have been the easiest part.
This may have been the easiest part.

NOW comes my favourite part!

I am a sucker for barnboard!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough laying around to use on this piece so I had to “make my own”

How you ask?


1st – go get rough cut pine.
2– beat the crap out of it!
3 – Sand it with 80 grit paper. ( I prefer using a belt sander for this part!)
4– beat it up a little more
5– Sand it with 120 grit paper

OH CRAP! Step 1 – like the REAL step 1 – WEAR A FACE MASK!!!
If you are getting black shnoogies – you aren’t wearing the mask properly. Or it is too big! Fix that STAT! You don’t want particles in your lungs!

K. Sorry – back to step 6
6 – clean off the wood. Use a vacccuuummm. ( I refuse to learn how to spell that so it is just going to have to have a lot of every letter in it)
7 – Your stain of preference comes next. Personally – I prefer oil stains so it really penetrates the wood. But whatever you are most comfortable with. Some people aren’t that comfy with penetrating wood.  I want a guarantee of long lasting performance. Soooo, my wood needs a good oil rub.
(ya I totally just said all that!)
8 – Decide if you want to do a second coat. Read the manufacturers directions. Some may require a sanding in between, some may not.
9 – Clear coat. Now, if you chose a water based Poly – Stain blend, all you really need to do is give it a light sand and apply a second coat.
If you are going the route of oil, be prepared to wait……. it took me a few days to get all the coats done on this. I did 2 coats of stain and three coats of clear, sanding between all of them.

Gah! It looks like a cute little owl face on this piece! I must keep it!
Gah! It looks like a cute little owl face on this piece! I must keep it!
making barn board
You can start to see all the dings from me beating it up!
And here we go - making barnboard. Well, faux boards.
And here we go – making barnboard. Well, faux boards.

And now – attach!
These pieces were simple to attach. When I dismantled the pieces to start the project, the original tops were held on by small L Brackets.
I added a few more just to be safe.
While I was doing the tops – I also cut pieces to go along the bottom and sides where I removed the old foot board things. They were a wee bit too “fancy” for me. And by fancy, I mean 80’s lol.

If you aren’t familiar with the work I do, feel free to browse my website or Facebook page. You will notice that most of my things tend to be black, rustic, industrial, steampunk, and use natural wood showing somewhere on it. “Fancy” isn’t my strong point.

In between dry times of each coat on the tops, I was also painting the base. I wanted grey – somehow it came out more blue/grey.  I suppose that will do.

Here it is in “mock up” form. Before I secure anything, I like to “place it” all together and just get a feel for whether or not I even like it.

It seemed to have a good vibe flowing, so I ran with it.

Looks good I guess. I'm honestly never totally happy with anything - so I have had to learn to just be o.k. with things! I think the blue tint was throwing me off.
Looks good I guess. I’m honestly never totally happy with anything – so I have had to learn to just be o.k. with things!
I think the blue tint was throwing me off.

Now, final touches. Picking out new hardware, touching up things I forgot, like painting the inside of the missing drawer hole, and finally attaching everything.

And of course the photoshoot, blog and publishing. which in itself takes almost as long as doing an entire project.
Why can’t the entire world just be drag and drop haha!

Here are a few shots of the finished piece.

Finished 3 end tables
Done. Done Done!!!!!! Phew! And now I love it!
Before and After End Table Makeover

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Thanks for reading – that is if you made it this far. I am sure you will have questions, and hopefully this blog has been set up to notify me if you leave any comments.

As always, please pop by Facebook and join us in the fun of repurposing the world. By us, I mean me. It just sounds like I have some huge company when I say us, and that sounds a lot more fun and professional, no?  ha!

And of course – I can’t leave without making a meme!

Who needs Anxiety pills when you can beat the crap out of inanimate objects for a living !
Who needs Anxiety pills when you can beat the crap out of inanimate objects for a living !

Big Stinkin’ Welcome to my Blog on Repurposing the world!

Wellllll howdyyyy doooooo!

So, here is my attempt at blogging.

Be forewarned that I may cuss, be sarcastic, and talk about things you may not like! Because this is me…… and my Blog.  And well, not everyone is a cookie cutter example of perfection. Whatever that is.

So here you will see what I do for my profession.
I am a Canadian Professional Repurposer (junk designer).
I spend my life eat, sleep and breathing repurposing!
I am mad passionate about keeping things out of the dump! MAD!
I make money from the sales of my pieces. That is it.
So, if you see something you like, copy, try out, please, just give a little shoutout to my website.
Like “inspired by Gypsy Barns piece”
Easy Peasy.
In fact, when people do that and let me know – I tend to return the shout out on my Facebook which is currently sitting at around 200,000 followers”
So really, it works great for both of us!

Most of my works can be seen in a few places.
1 – My website. www.gypsybarn.com2 – FACEBOOK –
3 – JunkMarket Style –
4  – Home Talk –
5 – Instagram – search up Gypsy Barn
6 – Twitter – o.k. not really, I only use that to keep up with local news and the odd random road trip event lol.

So ya. There ya go!
Hope you enjoy and learn and share!