Trash to… Bar Table!

I love flea markets and antique hunting. Taking something someone believes to be trash and then breathing new life into the piece is so much fun. We “rescued” this bright orange tool table from the curb a few years ago and repurposed it into a bar, which is now in my apartment and one of my favorite flips ever.


The metal table was most likely in someone’s garage and used to hold tools and was a surface to do small projects. The wood top and paperboard shelves were stained from use but the good bones of the table lay in the sturdy metal frame. We took some of the screws and washers out to remove the shelving but left the rest to spray paint all at once. We cleaned the frame and sanded it down to be sure the spray paint would cover the original orange paint.

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We chose a matte black spray paint for the bar, which translates well into its industrial design. We covered the exposed wood top and got to spraying. We followed up with a second coat of paint and loved the finished look. Spray paint is one DIY project that always looks so easy on TV but can be difficult to master due to weather, humidity and space issues. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area and cover as much of your spraying area as possible.

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After ensuring there were no drips of paint and that all the orange paint was covered, we waited about a day for it to dry. We re-assembled the table and painted any screws we had missed. We found some old maps and decoupaged them onto the paper board shelves to give the table an interesting visual element; I love the way it turned out! It would be fun to use old fabric or book pages too, depending on what the table’s use is.

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We finished by varnishing the table top with two light coats of a wood varnish after we sanded out stains. I like that a piece looks like it has some age to it and has stories to tell, so I didn’t mind that some stains did not come out. We set up our bar table with some fun bar tools, like drink pourers and mixers, mostly found at estate sales.

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This piece was a labor of love and lots of fun to work on from start to finish. It is a great conversation piece and everyone always love to hear more about it. It is the only bar I know of made out of a tool table and it barely cost anything to make, as we had most of the supplies we needed. So, the next time you see something on the curb, it could just be your next treasure to transform!


*I wrote this post a few years ago on a different blog but wanted to share it here with some updates.