This post is from our Stagg Design project archives and originally posted in May 2014. We hope it gives you inspiration and some tips for tackling that next project! xx- Team Stagg
It’s a new week, a new month, and today I’m sharing a new project– my DIY Marble Top Coffee Table.
Something about the living room said marble coffee table to me. Like “hey! It’s me– living room! I need some marble, mmmkay?” It’s like I couldn’t see anything else in there. I love a good white marble. The gray tones and the patterns say class. You know what else they say? Expensive. Like super duper expensive. And I just couldn’t bring myself to fork out over $1,000 for a marble coffee table. So, I decided to make one.
I originally had planned to go to a countertop remnant store. Coffee tables aren’t really very big, and countertop contractors typically have small pieces of slab they are willing to sell as remnants on the cheap. Then one night I was browsing online classifieds and I came across this:
It belonged to the sweetest elderly woman who was relocating to a retirement home and was selling her furniture. Her kids sold it to me for $40. Such a steal. I loved the shape and that marbling is so pretty. The pillar wood base, however, was not so pretty.
To my delight, the marble wasn’t actually attached to the base. It was just sitting on top and just lifted right off.
For the legs, I wanted something mid-century, and went back and forth between wood and steel, but in the end, I knew I really wanted to dress it up with gold legs. Enter Hairpins.
Not the kind of hairpin you wear in your hair, but hairpin furniture legs. Hairpins were uber popular in the 60’s and 70’s, and they are remarkably sturdy. You can attach them to all kinds of things– chests, stools kitchen tables, and coffee tables, of course. The possibilities are endless. I did a google search and found several manufacturers online and the best price I found was with a company called Hairpin Legs For Less. How’s that for marketing?
I ordered four of the standard hairpin legs in raw steel, 1/2 inch rod, 16 inch size. They were $16/each.
Once they arrived, I had to figure out how to attach them to the marble. I couldn’t drill right into the marble, so I decided to repurpose the existing base. I took it apart using a crowbar and drill. I found it was essentially three pieces that were all glued together and held with a few screws: a flat piece that was cut to match up with the marble top perfectly (it was just under the same size), another round wood piece which attached the top wood piece to the pillar base, and the base.
First, we cut the smaller wood piece into four pieces. After laying out where I wanted the legs to go, we glued the four smaller pieces on the flat wood piece. We then drilled the legs into the smaller pieces, and right into the flat wood piece. Together it all made a new base with cool legs.
Next, I spray painted the entire new base and new legs gold with Design Master Gold Medal, two coats. I also painted a few frames at the same time.
The next day when it was good and dry, I brought it into the living room. It was already looking so so good.
I put down a layer of LocTite, a general use adhesive that works for most surfaces. You apply it just as you would caulking, and it comes in the same type tube. Jon helped me carefully place the marble top on the new base and the weight of the marble (it’s heavvvvvy) was enough to hold it into place while it dried. I just made sure Ruby didn’t bump it for a full day.
I couldn’t love the way it looks in the room more. Old marble coffee tables are often for sale online in classifieds. Rather than buy new, why not repurpose and up-cycle them? The total cost was under $115, including all supplies, spray paint, and adhesive. You would easily pay $600-$2,000 for this piece.
Now I’m all brainstormy about what else I can attach hairpin legs too…..
(See the rest of the living room here)