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Designer Inspired Two Tier End Table Makeover

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Refresh a wood end table, a two tier end table or accent table by painting it and then adding a wrapping technique to create a two-tone woven appearance. It will create a high-end designer look at an affordable price. I think this sweet little table makeover may inspire you in a new way.

I always keep my eyes peeled for inexpensive furniture finds when out and about at yard sales and thrift stores. Three years ago, I noticed a little end table at my local thrift shop.

Although the wood surface with a laminate top on the old table was beat up, it was a solid table so I decided to buy it not knowing what I would do with it. It has sat in my garage collecting dust ever since.

BEFORE: $4.00 Thrift Store Wood End Table

thrift-store-end-table-before-getting-a-makeover
Two Tier Thrift Store Find Table – BEFORE makeover

The Benefits of a Side Table When Decorating

I knew that someday I would find a use for the end table as these tables also known as side tables in decorating are very versatile pieces of furniture. They may be small, but can make a huge difference.

They can be used not only beside a chair or sofa in a living room, but as a bedside nightstand or even as a piece of furniture to set up a small bar.

Having two tiers also offers plenty of space to hold everything you need close at hand while not taking up a lot of space in a room.

My Two Tier End Table Makeover Inspiration

When I was out in California recently, I went to a Serena & Lily store to see if I could see the table lamp that I used as the inspiration for the thrift store table lamp makeover I did for my guest room.

The store didn’t have the lamp, but they did have two side tables that gave me new inspiration. I left the store knowing that the end table in my garage was going to have a new look as soon as I got home from vacation.

End Table AFTER Makeover

coastal style living room with diy end table makeover.
AFTER: Wood End Table Makeover – $32 + Cost of Optional Tray – $18 = Total Cost $50

With a little DIY effort, this two-tier, designer inspired end table is now one of my favorite furniture makeovers. I brought new life to it in a 3-part process.

After image of thrift store table makeover that used paint and fiber rush.

Step 1: I painted the entire table using white using chalk paint and sealed it with clear wax. I did not distress or age the finish. I wanted a clean and modern look.

It looked fresh with the newly painted surface, but I was not finished. Step two was when the magic happened.

end table makeover on side of sofa in living room.

Step 2: After the paint and wax were dry, I added texture by weaving paper fiber rush cord over the bottom tier of the table.

looking down at the top of a coastal inspired painted side table with a woven rattan style bottom shelf.

Step 3: The third step was adding a woven tray I have owned for years that was in my decor stash in my attic. It fit perfectly on the top of the table.

Adding this made the end table resemble the style of the tables I saw in the Serena and Lily store.

side view of two tier table after getting DIY table makeover.

I love the sleek white finish and how it contrasts perfectly with the organic nature of the textured weave.

It goes nicely with fireplace cover, grasscloth matted photo gallery wall and DIY rope wrapped floor lamp I recently added to the room.

Change the Tray on Top for Different Looks

As I mentioned earlier in this post that side and end tables are versatile pieces of furniture.

I chose to use a woven tray on the top of my table, but don’t let that stop you from creating a different look by swapping out the style of tray.

silver tray with candles on top of wood end table makeover

A large formal silver tray looks nice…

White ceramic platter on two tier end table makeover

… as does a large white ceramic tray.

wicker basket on wood end table makeover

A rectangular basket.

dark wood tray on top of white painted diy end table makeover

Or come fall, a darker wood tray would work.

Birds eye view of woven end table

My favorite kind of decorating… use what you have to come up with new looks.

How to Makeover a Two Tier End Table With a Woven Weave Accent Shelf

Here are the step-by-step instructions showing how to give new life to a side or end table with paint and paper fiber rush cord that I bought on Amazon. It will make it look like something completely modern and new.

If you have ever made a simple pot holder when you were a kid at summer camp with looped yarns – the weaving process is the same, but you are using paper cord instead with the loom being the shelf on the table.

supplies needed to makeover a wood end table.

supplies needed:

  • Paint and sealer – I used chalk paint and clear wax to seal.
  • Paint brush and or small paint roller, paper towel to add wax
  • Sand paper
  • Optional: Wood filler and putty knife to fill any holes or gaps on finish
  • 1 – 2-pound coil of Paper Fiber Rush Cord
  • Scissors
  • Heavy duty stapler and staples
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Point-nose pliers
  • Paint stirring stick or flat head screwdriver – used to push woven cords into place.
  • Optional: Tray that is the same or similar size to the table top

Time needed: 4 hours.

How to Tutorial: Thrift Store End Table into Designer Look Side Table

  1. Sand Surface of End Table


    Fill any holes or gaps in the wood with wood putty. Let dry.

    Sand over the old finish on the table using 100 grit sandpaper.

    Use a damp cloth and or tack cloth to clean the table from all sanding dust and grit. Let dry.

    sanding thrift-store-end-table-before-getting-a-makeover

  2. Paint and Seal End Table


    Paint table with your choice of paint and water-based sealer. I used white chalk paint and clear wax. I didn’t want a rustic finish so I did not distress the chalk paint.

    If you are new to painting furniture, see this post with tips on how to go about it: How to Paint Furniture. How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint
    painted end table

  3. Add Paper Fiber Rush Cord


    When weaving the paper rush cord over the lower tier of the table, you will create two layers.

    The first layer is simply wrapping the rush cord over and under the shelf. To start the wrapping process, place the end of the rush cord and staple to the underside of the shelf.

    Once secure, begin to wrap the cord around and around the shelf making sure to keep it tight, but not too tight as you will need some give in this first layer so it will be easier to weave in the cords for the second layer.

    Continue wrapping the rush around the shelf until it is covered. Cut the end leaving at least a few inches to bring to the underside of the table to secure with a heavy-duty staple.

    staple fiber rush to bottom of table to start wrapping first layer of weave.

  4. Begin Weaving


    Measure table to determine how long the cords that will be woven into the first layer need to be cut.

    Double this measurement and add about 6 extra inches. This extra is needed to secure the ends of each cord to the underside of the table.

    To make the weaving process go faster, use two cords at a time to create a basketweave. I folded double the length of cord I needed to weave across the first layer. Having one looped end made it easier to weave.

    If you have ever made a simple pot holder with looped yarns, then you may remember that the looped end helps make the weaving process easier.

    close up of how to weave rushing on an end table

  5. Determine Woven Design


    When weaving through the first wrapped layer of paper rush cord, you can create many different designs by how far you space the cords and how many cords you use together to weave through the first wrapped layer.

    For instance, below you can see I spaced two cords and woven them through 6 cords in the wrapped layer of cords.

    different weaves designs to try on end table.

  6. Use Multiple Pieces


    Or you can gather a few pieces of cord together to create a different look to the weave.

    You can space and weave them however you like. Below is a 6 cord weave.

    different weaves designs to try on end table.

  7. Simple Two Strand


    I chose to use a two strand weaving design for my table. Two cords woven under and over two of the first wrapped layer of cords at a time.

    Once woven through, pull to straighten the cords. If needed, use a paint stirring stick or flat head screwdriver to move and space the cords where you want.

    How to weave fiber rushing to create a woven effect on an end table.

  8. Continue Weaving Cords


    Once you get to the halfway point, depending on how tight the first wrapped layer of cord is, you may need to start pulling the looped cords with a pair of point-nose pliers.

    It will also be easier to weave the cords on an angle, not right next to the previous woven cords.

    Once the cord is woven through, then you can push it back with the closed tip of the pliers or a paint stick to where you want it.
    tip on pulling fiber rush as you weave it on the side table.

  9. Spacing


    Use a ruler to ensure you are spacing the cords evenly into the woven pattern.

    how to space fiber rush

  10. Pull Ends to Underside of Shelf

    When you are finished weaving, pull the looped ends along the one side and the cut ends on the opposite to the underside of the shelf.

    rattan fiber rush woven on table where ends are not secured under shelf.

  11. Secure Cut and Looped Ends


    Trim ends long enough to tuck into the underside wrapped corded layer.

    Use a heavy-duty stapler to secure each cord.

    how to secure loose ends of fiber rush under shelf on side able makeover

  12. All Done


    Fiber rush woven on a white chalk painted side table.

  13. Optional: Add Woven Tray To Tabletop



    large woven tray from Pottery Barn on floor

Birds eye view of woven end table

My $4 thrift store table now makes a great addition to my living room.

Have you found any old furniture lately at a thrift store, yard or garage sales or even gotten a hand-me-down piece of furniture recently? One that you can make to look like a piece of brand new furniture with a little effort?

As you can see paint alone isn’t the only way to give furniture a new look.

More Furniture Makeover Inspiration:

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52 Comments

  1. Someone else already said how great this tutorial is – so I’ll just add a plus one. Your directions are so good! and easy to follow.
    Thank you!

  2. Loving this makeover so much Diane! The woven detail is so trendy – great idea! Congrats on being featured on Tuesday Turn About! Hope to see you at the party this week 😊

  3. I LOVE this idea!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it. I’ve been searching for end tables for our family room in our coastal home, these would be PERFECT!!!
    Can you give me the dimensions of your table and where you purchased the wicker tray?

  4. Again, what an amazing table, Diane! Love the tutorial, and the coastal vibe is right up my alley! Who knew this weaved side table could be done so easily! Pinned, and I’m delighted to be sharing your post at Tuesday Turn About this week!

  5. Such a great makeover, Diane! Love the weaving job you did! Amazing! Congrats on your feature at Farmhouse Friday. We’d love to have to join the Tuesday Turn About party at My Wee Abode! Hope to see you there!

  6. Wow!!! You have outdone yourself with this DIY, Diane! How amazing! You did such a good job with the weaving underneath. I’m so impressed at how great this turned out and how little you spent!

    1. Thanks Rachel – :-). When working on the table I was so happy to see that it was all coming together just as I had envisioned it. Sometimes that is not the case.

  7. This is seriously one of the best makeovers I’ve ever seen! Thank you for sharing it with us at Farmhouse Friday. I’m featuring it tomorrow! Hope you link up again soon. pinned.

  8. As usual, you’ve outdone yourself once again Dianne. I always find that you do things that even those of us who are a tad ‘challenged’ when it comes to DIY can follow your instructions …. & best of all, you do all of your creations using items that we may have around the home, pieces that are inexpensive to purchase, or just things that can be found in Op-shops, as we call them here in Oz.
    We don’t have your wonderful Dollar Store, or shops that sell the lights that you can swap out the fittings for other things, then change them using candles, etc. Those are just very expensive here. I think that it’s because of our relatively very low population compared with that of yours in the USA. We have only just reached 25 million! :) I believe that this is the reason why we don’t have all the options of inexpensive items &/or DIY hardware products that you do. However I still save many of your pages, but then I think that I should just make a ‘save’ or ‘like’ on the page with the project so that I’m not constantly saving them to my M’soft ‘Notes’.
    Anyway, I’m just thrilled to have found you again after having ‘lost’ you when my old laptop died and it was going to cost a small fortune to get all the data & photos back. Thank goodness for the Cloud now!
    Thank you once again for a wonderful project. They are very much appreciated …. even though I don’t get the chance to put them into action as I now need assistance from a Carer, I Save them just in case one day, I’ll be able to put my wishes into action. :)
    Cheers & Thanks again, Wendy from Oz.

    1. Hi Wendy – Thanks for your nice note, it is nice to hear that you like my projects and find my instructions easy to follow. This is wonderful to hear. I am happy that you found me again and you are back online with a new computer. :-) I wish I had a way to source supplies or share where to find good stuff for readers in Australia. Maybe someday the internet and or low shipping costs will make this easier.

  9. Thanks again for sharing at our Vintage Charm Party. I’m happy to say that I’ll be featuring you tomorrow! Hope to see you there! xo Kathleen

  10. Hi Diane –

    We are featuring this post on Friday (8/5) on The Fabulous Friday Link Party! Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. Diane,
    You never cease to amaze with your creative makeovers! You hit it out of the park! I love it, and I will keep this idea for a future project!

  12. Wow, Diane — this transformation is awesome! Your weaving tutorial is fabulous. I never even heard of paper fiber rush cord! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen

  13. This is my favorite project! Looks great. You are very inspiring! Hope your health has returned too!

  14. What a perfectly cool idea, Diane! Great inspiration that you received and passed on. I’ll save this for future use. Thanks!

    Hope your family is doing well. Many blessings to you all!

    Caye

  15. This is so inspiring Diane! I can’t wait to do something like this myself. Thanks for the inspiration.(if you ever share at link parties, please consider sharing this with us at the Fabulous Friday Link Parties. The next one will be starting tomorrow at We’d love to have you)
    Anyway, I’m off to order some paper rush. I absolutely love this!!!

  16. Diane…you are one amazingly talented lady! Thank you for all the inspiration. As we prepare to downsize, I find myself going back over your blog posts for ideas. So appreciate all your creative ideas and your willingness to share!

  17. Totally blown away by the way you transformed this table! Fantastic job, your eye for style is right on!

  18. Dianne,

    Absolutely love your table makeover. Just stunning and so inexpensive to accomplish. Quite versatile as well. Thanks for including all the steps, too!

  19. Now that is genius!!! What a huge difference and so lovely. Great look….what else could we use this technique on🧐. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  20. WOW!!!!!! Great job. I love the weaving on the bottom shelf. I would never have tackled such a project but you made it look so easy and doable.

  21. Brilliant!!!! I have a very similar table patiently waiting for an upgrade!!! But no perfect tray laying around 🥲

  22. This turned out great! I love it with each of the trays on top, and with nothing on top. Your directions are excellent and I will be keeping this in mind for a future project. It looks perfect in your living room.

  23. What a fantastic transformation! It is the perfect compliment to your or anyone’s lakeside home.
    A classic side table.

  24. Diane, This is by far my favorite of your many wonderful make-overs! I need to go thrifting for a table! I hope everything is going well with your family. Enjoy your summer!

  25. Love, love this!! Your creativity amazes me & you do such beautiful work! Thank you for always inspiring me!

  26. Super creative, Diane!! Your genius gift for seeing a truly fresh solution for that table was incredible here!! Love it!! AND how cool is it that the table is the perfect size for trays?

  27. Perfection, Diane! This is one of my favorites! The side table you redid with the rattan placement for the inlay is still my all time favorite of yours! I’m hoping to replicate that somewhere this winter.

  28. I love the refresh! It turned out so cute and Serena & Lily-ish. Love the weaving on the bottom.

  29. Hi Diane,
    This is one of those posts that I file away for future use. This came out fantastic! I love it and absolutely love the weaved look. Your instructions are excellent.
    A while back I used your idea of woven placements on the doors of an older cabinet which changed the whole look yet left the original tin inset intact. My youngest son has since adopted that cabinet.
    I hope all is well with you and your granddaughter and your daughter as well. It seems that “parenting” has nothing to do with the age of the child. My oldest son’s wife is undergoing treatment for stage 4 lung cancer in Boston. Today they leave to return to their home in Florida until the next appointment. They have spent weeks, sometimes months, here with us in Massachusetts which has not been easy on any of us. But we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to help and I know you must feel the same way as you continue with your cross country trips.
    I admire your dedication to your family and your work. God bless.

  30. I just love your re-do Diane, it looks amazing and so glad you kept to the clean and simple design, so much nicer I think.

  31. Wow! You are amazingly talented! I would never have thought to do the weaving below. I love this table. Great makeover and fantastic addition to your living room.

  32. What an incredible tranformation! I picked up the cutest solid wood chair curbside on my morning walk. It’s sitting in my garage while I wait for inspiration and I’m happy to know this table lingered in your garage for three years.😁