Before and After: A Mid Century Modern Table Makeover

Before and After: A Mid Century Modern Table Makeover
Photo: Sarah M Dorsey Designs

See how this $19.50 dining set, from Goodwill, was transformed into a sleek mid century gem. Hint: Bye bye bulky tabletop.   


The legs of this thrift store table are definitely unique, but the bulky tabletop? Not nearly an interesting. Cue the makeover!

Sarah M Dorsey Designs shares how she and her husband gave this mid century table a much sleeker profile, by removing the majority of the tabletop and adding a fresh coat of paint.

Photo: Sarah M Dorsey Designs

If you find a deal like this, it is totally worth putting in the effort to make the changes. Don't you think?

Visit Sarah M Dorsey Designs for more photos.

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Laurie on Feb 05, 2015:

Hi! I just love your ideas and tutorials! I want to do the same to my dining room table, but it has a veneer top--good quality, but I do not think it is actual teak wood.  Can I paint that? Thank you!

G_times on Feb 04, 2015:

an inspired makeover... thank you

Roni on Feb 03, 2015:

When you visit the link it is more like the table went from brown paint to white paint. Not all mid century pieces are solid walnut. The overall shape and with the gloss white has a nice Saarinen feel - well done

Courtney on Feb 03, 2015:

I generally don't care for MCM things, but I really like the lines of the finished piece.  I was also a little taken aback at the decision to paint the table, but after looking at the detailed images on the submitter's blog, I can see that it was a good decision.  I think part of the problem is that the "before" photo is a really flattering image of the original wood & laminate.  Seeing the up close pictures makes it clear that it looks better painted.

Linda on Feb 03, 2015:

It's so sad that people can't appreciate that we all don't have the same taste. Life would be so boring if that were the case. I can see the beauty in both but if I couldn't, I wouldn't be rude about it as many of you have.

You can't argue taste.

ESR on Feb 03, 2015:

Sorry that so many disagree with painting the table but better a white table that is being use than one that is rotting away.

krista on Feb 03, 2015:

I think it is a cute modern look! I sense that the "anonymous" commenters with all the negative comments are the very same person. Pick one to save and delete the rest.

Amanda on Jan 31, 2015:

Hi there,

There are so many rude comments on here, I thought I'd show my support for you! While initially I was a little shocked at you painting the whole thing I took a closer look and noticed how rough the legs were looking, and the shape of the actual table top (yuck!) and came to the conclusion that I will be dreaming about this very table in my own dining space, complete with some white chairs! After, I read about the struggles you faced with the laminate, and trying to stain the base before. You've done an amazing job, and I'm very jealous of this thrift store gem.

Congrats on your amazing new dining set.

sarah m dorsey designs on Jan 31, 2015:

Hey everyone! I too love MCM wood and really stuggled with painting the base (details in my original post). The before photo is a little deceiving because the top was laminate. I removed the side panels (to conceal the tracks for the leaves, which weren't included) for a cleaner, more MCM look. We then joined the top so that it was solid - so the top definitely needed a different treatment. I stuggled with the bottom (I sanded it down completely and restained it - I actually left it stained for a few weeks), but then decided that I should paint due to the different types of wood that were jointed together (once the solid stain was removed, the wood wasn't as pretty as I thought it would be) and also how it looked with the top. I share details of the process on my blog, feel free click the link in the post above for more details. Thanks! 

Jessica on Jan 31, 2015:

You've basically taken a piece of art and turned it into garbage. Why?

carlie on Jan 31, 2015:


carlie on Jan 31, 2015:

Why would you destroy a beautiful piece ???

Jane Says No on Jan 30, 2015:

Why God? Why?

Jane Says No on Jan 30, 2015:

r GOd WhyeWhy GogW


Anonymous on Jan 30, 2015:

Why ruin a beautiful table?! It was gorgeous originally

Anonymous on Jan 30, 2015:

A aarrgghh! Nonono!! Stop this insanity!!

Anonymous on Jan 30, 2015:

Wow, that's a special kind of stupid

Anonymous on Jan 30, 2015:

So sad. It's ruined now.

derek on Jan 30, 2015:

The before was much better.

Anonymous on Jan 30, 2015:


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