Reconstructing a Mid Century Coffee Table

First off, I would like to apologize for the looooong lull between posts. I could list off all the reasons why, but one word alone could sum it up…life. But I’m back now and excited to show you how I reconstructed the 1960’s/1970’s Arborite coffee table. I purchased this lovely gal for 25 bucks. While not all that gorgeous in her original state and in fact a wee bit wobbly, like in most cases, it was her awesome character that sold me.

I started this project by removing the dust cover off the bottom of the table followed by the legs. The legs were screwed into metal brackets attached to the wood frame. Here I discovered that one of the brackets was bent which was the cause of the wobble. With some gentle and precise bashing with a hammer while the bracket was held in a vise I was able to straighten it. The Walnut legs were originally done in a darker stain which was definitely showing surface damage so I sanded them down and rubbed them with lemon oil to enhance their natural tone.

Next was fabric removal followed by popping off the chunk of Arborite.

No here’s where I got a little cheeky. Instead of trying to find a piece of wood that would fit this table, I went to see my friend at a flooring store and she hooked me up with an out-of-date Acacia Wood floor sample. It was the exact size of the opening so no cutting required. On top of that, the wood tone was gorgeous and complimented the legs perfectly, but best of all…it was free! What more could you ask for? I used wood glue to adhere the wood sample to the frame then clamped it in place and let it set overnight.With the table top now secured to the frame, I added new batting over the existing foam using a putty knife to shove the batting down between the foam and the wood portion of the table.

I then covered the 2 foam portions of the table with a new tweed material secured in place by staples around the perimeter. 

After both foam sides were covered in the new fabric, I attached a piece of piping between the two sides where the wood meets the foam. This not only conceals the seam, but helps secure the wood surface to the frame of the table.To complete this project, I attached piping all the way around the table to cover the exposed stables. Using tacking strip, I then attached a strip of material that would cover the wood frame. To soften the look I added batting over the frame before I folded the material over and secured it to the underside of the table. A new dust cover was stapled in place and the project was finished by replacing the table legs.

Perfect project piece for those MCM lovers out there looking for a vintage piece on a budget price. I love this table for it’s clean simple lines and great functionality and by choosing a fabric popular in it’s time of production, this table would feel right at home in any 1960’s abode.



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