The Table Up-Cycle Hacks You NEED To Know

I’ve just bought my first house. Alongside learning how to install a washing machine and cooking anything except 2 minute noodles, I’ve discovered just how expensive furniture can be; especially tables. The idea of whacking out a grand for the newest wooden beauty, quite simply, terrifies me. Furthermore, I’m actually beginning to feel guilty about my parents’ table when I was growing up and how I plagued it with an abundance of glue, waterproof paints and other just general gunge. Luckily, a table up-cycle can look just as great as the real thing!

“Erm… what exactly is an up-cycle”, I hear you murmur. Well, my dear decorator, it refers to taking an old piece and giving a new lease 0f life through DIY. Today, we shown you the table up-cycle hacks that will make it look like you actually forked out an arm and a leg on your new table!

1. The Rustic

DIY rustic wood

(Photo Source:

Picked up an old table, or just have one that looks a little worse for wear? Make it even more worn and create that stunning, rustic, country look!

You Will Need

  • A table (no kidding!)
  • Paints in white (Semi-gloss paint), gray and turquoise (or in whichever color you wish your table to be)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sanding kit (either hand or electric)
  • Wood stain
  • An old cloth/rag

How To Up-cycle

  1. Dry brush on the paint randomly.
  2. Leave to dry overnight.
  3. Sand it down.
  4. Apply stain with a rag.

Pssstt! My steps may result in a big, fat, paint-y mess, so I highly recommend checking out this weathered wood tutorial.

2. The Quick & Colorful Fix

embroidered table cloth

If you want a new table NOW, it’s totally do-able! All it takes is a beautiful tablecloth! Plus: It adds a pop of color to your room. Bye bye gross old wood!

You Will Need

  • A Table.
  • A table cloth. Not sure what to go for? Here’s my guide on the best table cloth for your color scheme:

For A Neutral Room

embroidered table cloth

Add some detail, whilst sticking to your neutral palette with our ornamental embroidered table cloth in beige.

For Warm Toned Rooms

floral embroidered table cloth

The hand painted floral table cloth in rustic orange is warm and beautiful, without off-balancing the warm tones in the room.

For Cool Toned Rooms

blue embroidered table cloth

As Summer is here, a bright and breezy table cloth is a must! The hand embroidered rectangular table cloth in ocean blue will have you dreaming of warm seas all year round!

How To Up-Cycle

  1. Add your table cloth.
  2. Stand back and admire. (Drooling optional)

3. Upholster It!

upholstered table

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If you’re crafty with a needle and thread, why n0t choose a fabric you love, and use it to makeover your table?! This technique is best suited for smaller tables, such as coffee tables or bedside tables, although, it you’re a clean and tidy eater, it could work as a dining table too, if you left off the foam and buttons!

You Will Need

  • A table
  • Foam
  • A staple gun and staples
  • Fabric
  • Drill
  • Buttons

How To Up-cycle

This one is one for seasoned DIYers! It involves attaching foam, drilling button holes and a whole lot of stapling. Before I mess this up for you, I’ll send you then tutorial here. Good luck!

4. Mapped Out!

world map table

(Photo Source:

This map table is a total travelers dream! It’s actually really easy to achieve too! Not a fan of the map? You can use any printed paper/wrapping paper with this tutorial too!

You Will Need

  • A table
  • A map/illustration of your choice
  • Paint
  • Acrylic polish
  • A ruler
  • Paint brushes
  • PVA glue
  • Craft knife
  • Measuring tape

How To Up-cycle

  1. Paint the table your desired color of choice. For a professional finish, I recommend choosing a paint color that is the same as the background of your map.
  2. Measure the top of your table and cut your map to this size.
  3. Glue the map to the table using PVA glue. Use a ruler to ensure there are no bubbles or wrinkles.
  4. Paint two layers of acrylic varnish on the top, leaving to dry between layers.

If my steps are not as clear as glass, read the original tutorial here.

5. Cover That Spot!

Does your table have one nasty spot or scuff that needs to be hidden? Give it a new lease of life with a table runner or some decorated place mats.

If the worn area is in the center of the table. Layer on a luxurious table runner.

damask table runner

Damask style elegant table runner

Worn away near the edges? Add some embroidered place mats and everyone will be none-the-wiser.

Indian style place mats

Saree border placemats

You Will Need

  • A table
  • A table runner or placemats

How To Up-cycle

  1. Identify the marks on your table.
  2. Cover them up!

Happy table DIY-ing! And remember, glue can make a mess!!!

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Rachel Holliday

Rachel Holliday

Interior design and fashion contributor at Banarsi Designs. Writer and Aussie-based fashion and personal style blogger at