Phylicia Reinvents Old Window Into Coffee Table – See How To #DIY!

Innovation typically leverages something old, and puts a new twist or addition on it to create something new. In my multiple searches across Pinterest, I came across varied examples of using “old windows” to create new works of art which inspired me to create my own version of a multi-purpose coffee table. This how-to blog post will help inspire & enable you to build your own signature piece of home furniture – Pet approved!

Coffee Table

Time Labor for Project: 10 Hours (**Waiting for stain to dry for 2 separate coats – 12 add’l hours – or two days)

What you’ll need: (I found most of my tools at Home Depot, but you can check your local home improvement store)

  • An Old Window: Your best bet? Check your local antique stores as they usually have them available.
  • Work Gloves
  • Protective Eye Gear
  • Basic Mask Respirator
  • Yard Stick
  • Painters Tape (blue)
  • Hammer
  • 1 inch thick pine wood for coffee table sides & bottom
  • 4 pre-cut table legs w/ screws
  • 4 table leg plates (For some reason I had to go to Lowes since Home Depot didn’t have this available in store.)
  • Felt Bottom Round Adhesive Slider (for bottom of table legs to protect your floor)
  • Wood Stain w/ Polyurethane (I chose Espresso – 2 coats)
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Hand Saw (Power saw works too, Home depot can even cut the wood if you bought it from them, too – bring your measurements when you buy the wood)
  • Power Sander
  • Power drill/screwdriver
  • Sand Paper Sponge (80 grit and 220 grit – the higher the grit you use, the smoother your wood becomes)
  • 6 in 1 Painter’s Tool
  • Color of your choice paint (*if desired, buy small tester size)
  • Plastic Floor Cover (I initially used newspaper – don’t do this)
  • 1.5 inch paint brush / 2 inch oil paint brush / 1 1/2 inch regular paint brush (Make sure they are built for OIL/stain – if in doubt, ask – otherwise you’ll ruin your paintbrush)
  • Box of 2 inch nails (For indoors)
  • 2-3 small hinges
  • 1 pack of 4 mini – metal corner frames (optional*)
  • A work table/bench
  • Work light (optional, but I did a lot of work at night – stress reliever for me)

Old Window

Part 1: Measure & Cut Your Building Pieces

First, you’ll want to use your yard stick to measure & note the length and width of your window (not all windows are the same). Once measured, it’s time to cut wood! Make sure you have your work gloves & protective eye gear on. IMPORTANT – Please take into account how you will put the wood together for your base – you’ll want to subtract the amount of the two sides coming together (Example: I had to subtract two inches off the length of each side to account for the two edges (width sides) coming together – based on wood’s thickness). You’ll also want to get a board large enough for the bottom of your base (take your measurements into Home Depot when you buy the wood. They can cut the wood for you if you don’t have a saw and want a nice clean cut).

Part 2: Sanding

Before Sanding

Before Sanding

In addition to your protective eye gear & gloves, please use your respirator mask to avoid inhaling paint dust (lead) and sawdust. Use your 6-in-1 Painters tool to scrape remaining paint off of your old window. Afterwards, assess the amount of remaining paint to determine type of sand grit to be used. I had a lot of

After Sanding

After Sanding

layers of paint left, so I used my power sander with 80 grit to begin with until I removed all of the paint from both sides of the window. (I also sanded the edges of the pieces of wood that I cut earlier.) Once paint is removed, replace grit paper on sander to 220 grit, resand both sides of the window & any wood edges to ensure its smooth. **Watch my Meerkat Video To See Me Sand the Window (Voice/Video off, but still works).

Part 3: Staining

** Make sure you have all your protective gear on and there is proper ventilation.

Protective Eye Gear & Respirator Mask

Protective Eye Gear & Respirator Mask

Avoid staining when it’s very humid or raining. This process will be spread across a couple days, but can be done in a weekend if you have the time to dedicate to it. Important Note – Clear area of sawdust/sand so it doesn’t get in your coats of stain!* Place plastic drop cover down on floor.Line your glass windows with painters tape to ensure you do not get stain on them.

Dip your brush in the stain, drain brush before you begin to coat wood to remove excess stain. Use your 1.5 inch brush to THINLY COAT wood with stain (go WITH the grain, not against). You’ll coat each side/edge of wood with stain and let dry between coats (6 hrs between coats – 2 coats are best) ***(Learning lesson: Do not use newspaper like I did, it will stick to the bottom of your wood and you’ll have fun peeling it off – Use the plastic drop cover)***

Wood & Legs

Pine Wood For Staining

Part 4: The Fun Part: Putting it together! 

This initial part may require another person if you don’t have a vice to hold two pieces of wood together. While holding the wood base and side together – hammer the nail through the bottom of the base through the side piece of wood – evenly space the nails across the bottom as you nail them in. (I hammered the longer sides on first, then did the shorter (width) sides. Make sure you hammer straight to avoid any bent nails coming out of your wood. Once you’ve built your base, it’s time to put on the table leg plates. I measured two inches in from each corner to determine where to put the leg plates. Use your power screwdriver to attach your leg plates. Once attached, screw in your table legs. Take your adhesive round felt pieces and add them to the leg bottoms (1 per leg). Now, FLIP it over! Time to attach your window. Important Note: Take your hinges, screw in one side of each of your hinges to the inside of your window (spaced enough to provide ample support), screw the other hinge sides to the outside edge/back of your table, so it lays flush and no sides of your wood base should show.

Part 5 – The Finishing Touches! 

You’re almost done, and if you’re like me you can’t wait to add the finishing touches so you can get it in the house! Take your 1/2 inch paint brush, and dip in your small container of your chosen color of paint. Use this to paint the inside edges of your window to add some dimension (near the glass – I chose white, but you can choose any color, or stain it all one color). Let dry. Remove painters tape. Screw in your mini metal corner frames at each edge of your window to add character. You may also add your “signature” somewhere special on your new piece of furniture as your “calling card”. Then, before anyone sees your new creation, stand back, and take in all you’ve accomplished! Once you’ve realized the masterpiece you’ve created, feel free to take it into a designated place in your home, add some magazines, or figurines inside and let your house guests ask “Where did you get that table from?” Then tell your story of innovating something old, into something new.

My Finished Coffee Table

My Finished Coffee Table *My Pup Approves*

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