Revamping An Old Folding Table

Recently I shared the makeover of the basement craft and sewing area that Chris and I worked on.

As part of that makeover, I revamped a large, bland folding table to use as my craft table.  I love how that table turned out, so today I’m sharing the details of this simple project.

The Table

I got this 3′ X 6′ faux wood laminate folding table years ago from an office where I used to work.  It took some doing to smuggle it out of the building unnoticed.  (Actually the office was closing and they sold it to me.)


It had been used for years in document rooms.  At home, we used it for things like parties and yard sales and, most recently, in my basement craft and sewing area. It was great to have such a large table to work on, but the laminate top was scuffed and worn.

I wanted something more cheerful than the tired faux wood look.  But that something had to be durable and easy to clean.

So this is what I did.

Sanding The Table

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I started by hand sanding the table with 220-grit sandpaper.

The purpose was to scuff the laminate just enough to make the primer adhere.  With the fine, 220-grit sandpaper, there would be no obvious sanding marks.


Vacuuming and Wiping

Then I vacuumed the table and wiped it with a damp cloth to make sure all sanding residue was gone.

Masking The Edges

The rim of the tabletop is some sort of rubber.  I doubt any paint would adhere to that very well, so I masked it off with one-inch blue painter’s tape and left it alone.

As you can see from the photo above, the table was literally rough around the edges.  I thought about sanding the edges more, but that could have led to more chipping.  Maybe there was something else I could have done with that, but it was so minor that I chose to just let it be.

Applying Primer

I wanted a smooth finish and I didn’t trust a paint brush to give me that.  So, I used a paint edger similar to this one (in light, broad strokes) to apply three coats of Kilz Premium Primer.

Was three coats of primer overkill?  Not when painting over laminate.  And not when the paint I wanted to use next was a much lighter color than the faux wood.

I let the primer dry thoroughly between coats.

Applying Paint

I went through our paint stash and came up with the paint left over from my master bedroom refreshBenjamin Moore “Galt Blue.”  It was exactly the clean, airy color that I was looking for in my craft room.

Again using the paint edger, I applied two coats.


Applying Finish

Since this was to be a worktable, applying finish would be a very important step in protecting the table – and hopefully keeping the paint from chipping and exposing the laminate underneath.

With my trusty paint edger, I applied two coats of Verathane Ultimate Polyurethane in Satin.

This entire process was very similar to the process I used to create the stenciled floor in my dressing room.

I’m happy to report that the floor has held up well, so I’m hoping to have the same result with this table.

The last step was to remove the masking tape.

The Result

This cheerful, smooth-surfaced table works well in my craft area.

revamping old table

When we first thought about hanging the pegboard, I wanted to paint it.  But, after painting the table, and with the colorful pegboard accessories I used, it turned out that painting the pegboard wasn’t necessary.

basement craft area

It’s early days but, so far, the table finish is holding up well and it is very easy to keep clean.

Not too bad for an old document table.

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Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
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The June Bug Diaries
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