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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 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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45 Comments

  1. 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.

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