Crafts-Mcgee: Repurposing Tables

YEAS! Welcome to Amuse Bouche’s first DIY Post! We are going to be calling these crafts-mcgee posts, simply because we can.  God bless crafty America!

Right when Dad and I moved into our first apartment together, WAYYY back in May of 2008, we had a gigantic ikea mirror and a blow up mattress. Scratch that. We BORROWED a blow up mattress from Jen.  We had a giant mirror, that was it.  In college I rented a furnished place, and there were a few reasons we didn’t accumulate much from Brian when he moved.

1) He lived in a frat house.  So. NFW. (that’s short for No Effin Way, it’s something Dad’s Dad says, and I like it.)

2) We drove his stuff from Los Angeles to Chicago, so if it didn’t fit in a 4 door audi, it wasn’t comin’.

3) Did I mention Dad lived in a frat house? Yuck.

So all that added up to 1 salvaged mirror, 2 guitars, and a quilt from my grandmother.  That’s enough to furnish a place, right?

Needless to say, with the very generous help of our parents buying us essential pieces, we also had to be pretty crafts-mcgee to make our place the way I dreamed our first nest would be.

Two of the things we were able to crafts-mcgee were his sister’s old coffee table and side table, which we tiled to give them some new life.  The bones of the tables were in great shape when we got them from Lauren, but had been gently loved and had some rings and knicks on top.

This craft took a Saturday- including the time it took to buy the materials, with lots of down time in between.  I’d say a total amount of 1 hours work, with a few days of “drying.”

Ready, Set, Re-tile!

What you’ll need:

1 x 1 inch mesh backed tile of your choice.  (meshed back is easier than single tile, and we used the ones that had an adhesive already on the back of the tile, if not, you’ll also need adhesive)
Sand Paper
tape (paint tape)
xacto knife or scissors
grout (we used a colored grout from Home Depot which matched our tiles)
grout float (one of those bench scraper looking things)
a bucket

Ok first things first, sand the portion of your table that youre looking tile. Then tape off the area to try and prevent from getting grout all over the parts of your table you aren’t interested in grouting.

Measure out with your tiles exactly what will fit in the area.  This is where the mesh back comes in really handy.  If you use mesh-backed tile, you can simply cut the mesh where you want to stop the tile. Typically, the 1 x 1 mesh back tile comes in 1 foot x 1 foot sheets.

Remove the backing, and carefully place the tile on the designated area, starting in the corner to keep level.  Once all of your tiles have been placed on the table and firmly pressed to secure the adhesive, it’s time to grout.

Follow the grout making instruction on the back of the package.   You can buy bagged grout and make it with water in a bucket, or you can buy it in the bucket already, and just add water.

Taking the grout float, and working quickly, at a 45-degree angle, spread the material in sweeping motions, pressing it into the joints to fill them completely. Then, at a 90-degree angle in the opposite direction, sweep it diagonally across the tiles to remove any excess grout.

After a few minutes, take a damp sponge and wipe the excess grout off the tile.  Once the grout has hardened,  it should look like there is a haze over the tile, that’s okay, as long as it isn’t excess clumpage. (It’s a technical term)

With a damp tile, after 3 hours, wipe the tile down.

Now comes the hard part.  You need to wait for 3 DAYS before sealing the grout.  We purchased a spray sealer, but really anything will do.  In the interim between grouting and sealing, do not use the table.  Grout is porous and will absorb any liquid that gets on the surface.

The sealer should take about 24 hours to dry, and then you have yourself some nice, brand new lookin’ tables!

I hope this gives you some inspiration to take something old and make it new again!



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About Whitney

Whitney is the Founder of Whit's Amuse Bouche, a nationally recognized food and humor blog. When she's not in the kitchen, you can find her with a glass of california cabernet in one hand and a hot glue gun in the other. She prefers sweat pants to real ones. View all posts by Whitney →

3 Responses to Crafts-Mcgee: Repurposing Tables

  1. Great post! As a big fan of DIY (each the activity, mantra and cable television network) I always love to see a new way to re-purpose older furniture and the like. Color me inspired. More crafts-mcgee!

  2. Heyyyy…what a GREAT idea! We just ceramic-tiled 300 sq. ft. of kitchen/hallway/bathroom, so I’m pretty sure I can swing this one with the 30 year old end and coffee tables we have sitting in the basement. AND I’ll get to use one of those fancy shmancy glass tile patterns I’ve been dying to incorporate in something…anything! Found you via TLC-thanks so much for sharing!


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