May 5, 2014

DIY MARBLE TOP COFFEE TABLE

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The next day when it was good and dry, I brought it into the living room.  It was already looking so so good.

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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.

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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.

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Now I’m all brainstormy about what else I can attach hairpin legs too…..

(See the rest of the living room here)

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

  1. Maggie

    May 5th, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Beautiful!

  2. elisa

    May 5th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    My oh my! Isn’t she a beaute! I love your vision of hairpin legs and then you went and sprayed them gold. I’m drooling. It looks great in your space!

  3. Anna // Gone Banannas

    May 5th, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Wow, what a transformation! I wasn’t surprised when you said that it belong to an elderly woman as marble typically makes me think elderly. And, I am almost 100% that is because my grandmother has a marble coffee table! But, you made this a totally modern look and I love it!

  4. Amanda @ Hammer & Heels

    May 5th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Looks amazing in your space! I can’t believe you found that for only $40! I’m doing our first house makeover and looking for marble pieces for my living room as well 🙂

    hammerandheels.blogspot.com

  5. Stephanie @ The Styled Soul

    May 8th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    This is flippin’ amazing! And your living room is gorg.

  6. Jen

    May 8th, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you so much!!

  7. withHEART: HOW TO HONE MARBLE WITH DOMINO

    June 13th, 2014 at 6:25 am

    […] remember the living room coffee table?  I loved it so much, but there was something that was bothering me– the polished marble […]

  8. Sarah

    October 23rd, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I just got a rectangular slab of marble and am trying to figure out how to convert it into a coffee table…this is good inspiration. Do you know of any examples of someone turning a stand along slab into a coffee table?

    Thanks!

    Sarah

  9. Jen

    October 30th, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Hi Sarah, Sounds exciting! I believe Sarah Dorsey found a slab online and made a coffee table out of it: http://sarahmdorseydesigns.blogspot.com

  10. Nicole

    August 11th, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I love this, it turned out beautiful. Don’t you just love when a DIY comes together smoothly? This is fabulous. I recently did something similar with marble and a wire basket.

    Thanks for sharing

  11. Jen

    August 23rd, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Thank you so much!

  12. Stephanie @ Casa Watkins

    November 3rd, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    OMG I just saw this in a magazine this week! Great upcycle and transformation. Love it.

  13. Administrator

    November 3rd, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you so much!! May I ask which magazine?

  14. Brianne

    January 23rd, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Just found this post via Pinterest and I am so glad!! I have been wanting a $600 marble coffee table from West Elm, but that’s so much money! Now I am seriously going to consider a DIY project. Thanks!

    Xo, Brianne
    http://www.scrubsandsparkles.com

  15. Jen

    February 10th, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    So glad you found it helpful!

  16. Justina

    March 26th, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Incredible! I found a great marble coffee table ($30!) with a horrific base on CL and wasn’t sure how to attach hairpin legs that I had spray painted gold(!) for a previous project that I didn’t finish. So glad I found this tutorial! Great minds… 😉

  17. Administrator

    April 6th, 2016 at 9:18 am

    So glad you found it helpful! xx

  18. Diy Wood Coffee Table Top | Just Woodworking Plans

    April 23rd, 2016 at 3:42 am

    […] DIY MARBLE TOP COFFEE TABLE […]

  19. DIY Mother’s Day Gifts For The Home | Tithof Tile & Marble

    April 28th, 2017 at 5:54 am

    […] DIY gifts are great, and we especially love gifts for the home. And DIY gifts can go as far as stone remnant refurbished furniture gifts like this project. […]

  20. Anna

    May 27th, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    I am totally digging this! Do you mind if I include it in a round up I’m putting together? If I could use one of your photos (not cropping or editing of course) that would be great too <3

    Let me know!

  21. Jen

    May 30th, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Hi there, sure, as long as you link back and credit, and also don’t give the whole DIY away that’s great! Thank you!

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She’s Jen. He’s Jon. We’re believers in the power of home, fearless DIYers, and eternal optimists who know with a can-do spirit, elbow grease and some guidance, you can create a home you love. We love a good project—or 20. Stick around and we’ll have you pulling out the paint brushes and fluffing throw pillows in no time.

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