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Upcycled coffee table with hinged top

Coffee table upcycle

I was lucky enough to spot this tired looking coffee table at the local recycling centre. It was dirty, dusty and covered in scratches and bits of paint. However it was structurally in good condition. So I took it home rather than let it go to landfill. I knew it had potential to be a great upcycle project.

Old coffee table with kids on top

Fun with the kids

And you’ll notice my 2 apprentices in the photo. They’re usually better at destroying things than fixing them up. However I decided to make this a family upcycle project where they would hopefully learn a few new skills. And that’s exactly what they did. In my view, this is a great example of why Woodwork Matters.

Hidden storage

Now I enjoy making things with hidden storage. I also love taking traditional furniture and making it relevant in today’s world. And while repairing this table I had an idea. What if I detached the top, put it on a hinge, and built a tray underneath. I thought this could hold things like keys, remotes, magazines, laptops etc. So I bought these soft close cabinet hinges for about £15, and what a bargain they turned out to be.

Soft close cabinet hinge

How I did this upcycle

First I completed all repairs, fixing any cracks and loose joints. Then after sanding the old lacquer off I used ivory paint on the legs and frame. On the top I first used teak oil to bring out the grain. And then added polyurethane varnish so that it could withstand hot cups and messy people. I then installed the hinges and built the storage tray out of some scrap plywood. I love that when the lid is closed you can’t even tell it opens up.

If you’d like to know more about this project, or upcycling in general, feel free to contact me.