Build your own modern contemporary Hairpin leg coffee table for under $50 from an old coffee table and purchased hairpin legs! 

Hairpin leg Coffee Table

Hi! I’m so excited to welcome you back to the second week of the $100 Room Challenge, hosted by the lovely Erin of Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry, and to share with you how you can make a Mid-century Modern-Style Hairpin Leg Coffee table!

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - After_view

Last week I shared my plan to make over my living room. We’ve been redecorating this room slowly ever since we moved in ten years ago, without any real plan in place.  Our goal is to pull together the mishmash of different styles and colors into the modern vintage eclectic room of our dreams, all for about $100! To stay on budget, I need to re-use where I can and DIY the rest. This week marks the first project toward that end – the upcycle of my existing coffee table from a massive, Tuscan-style table to a sleek, mid-century modern hairpin coffee table!

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - After Inlay

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The best thing? This project took almost no time and little effort and only cost us about $30! #winwinwin 

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - Before Upgrade

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When it came to the original table, it had some good and bad points. The bad: It’s decorative iron base screamed fake Tuscan villa on a bad day (I love a real Tuscan villa!), and the finish was so dark and imposing that it hid the beautiful herringbone inlay completely! 

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - Before Inlay

The good news? Well, the inlay, of course, #loveit – but more than that, the top of the table was utterly removable with just a few screws. With a little bit of effort to the top, a new finish and legs, I was confident I would end up with a stunning new table. Let’s get started making that happen!

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How to Make a Modern Hairpin Leg Coffee Table for under $50

What I used:

What to do:

Remove the Base

Remove the top from the base and put the base and legs aside for another day. I don’t have any ideas yet of what I’ll use either the legs or base for, but something will come up!

Strip the Finish

Removing the finish isn’t difficult and with the Citristrip® – They are not sponsoring this post, I just like it – it’s also nearly odor free. Set aside a weekend to complete this part. Here’s what you’ll do:

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - Apply Stripper

  1. Wear gloves! This stuff can burn your skin if it makes contact.
  2. Shake the container well. Pour into a metal container and apply liberally to the surface with a paintbrush. Be sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
  3. You’ll start to see surface bubble and lift on your piece. The liquid will also begin to turn to a solid as it works on the
  4. After 30 minutes (up to 24 hours), scrape a small test area to see if the finish is ready for removal. Gently scrape in the direction of wood grain with a plastic stripping tool. For stubborn areas, use an abrasive stripping pad or steel wool dipped into Citristrip®. A toothbrush, toothpick or stripping brush will help remove old finish stuck in the nooks (and crannies).
  5. Use Mineral Spirits with an abrasive stripping pad to loosen remaining residue. The surface should be spotless and dry before refinishing.

Once dry, give the table top a quick sanding with 220 paper – I like these flexible sheets the best.

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Apply the Stain

To ensure an even finish, apply a coat of pre-stain conditioner with a paintbrush. Allow the pre-stain to dry as recommended by the manufacturer.

Next, use an old sock to apply stain in the color of your choice and remove any excess when you’ve finished covering the entire surface. To achieve the same color as this piece, use  Minwax Weathered Oak to start, barely allowing the stain to penetrate before removing the excess. Once dry, apply another coat of stain in Minwax Classic Gray, being sure to work the stain well into the wood grain. Allow the stain to dry for 24 Hours.

Add a Protective Finish

Using a clean rag or wax brush, apply a thin coat of finishing wax over the surface of the tabletop. Allow the wax to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then buff with a soft, dry cloth.

Add the legs

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - Add Legs

It is optional as to whether or not you want to paint the legs – I decided to paint mine with gold spray paint. Either way, turn the table top side down onto a surface covered with a towel, so you don’t damage your new finish.  Next, position the legs on the corners of the tabletop, using the pre-drill holes of the old legs, about 2″ in from all sides.  Screw each leg to the table.

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - Finished unstyled

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Flip that baby over, and style away – a cute tray, some pretty flowers and you’re good to go!

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - After

Hairpin leg Coffee Table - After Accents


Must-Have Eclectic Modern Coffee Tables – My Amazon Picks

WE Furniture 32″ Hairpin Leg Wood Coffee Table – Walnut
Rivet Axel Lift-Up Wood and Metal Side Table, Walnut
Solid Wood Rectangle Coffee Table with Storage Drawer
Stone & Beam Miramar Cutout Coffee Table


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Please consider sharing this DIY Hairpin Leg Coffee table tutorial with others by pinning – I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!




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Be sure to check out the other participants of this month’s $100 Room Challenge. There is some serious talent in this group!


  1. Patti on January 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    What a transformation. Very clever indeed, and worth every penny. Love it!

  2. Meredith at The Palette Muse on January 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    That’s brilliant! I would never have thought to try this. It turned out gorgeous!

  3. ashley on January 11, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Amazing job on the table!!!

  4. Shelley on January 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I’ve always loved those tables, but never would have thought to try making one. Your whole mood board is so pretty!

  5. Emy on January 12, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I love the table! It’s beautiful!

  6. Wendy Duffy on January 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I love the herringbone inlay! Wow! I can’t believe how great it turned out. And only $30 for the hairpin legs, what a bargain!

  7. Tracy on January 17, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    You did a beautiful job!! Love it!

    • admin on January 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Thanks so much, Tracy!

  8. Erin- Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry on January 18, 2018 at 7:43 am

    What an awesome transformation!!! And you did it SO inexpensively! I feel like this type of table is always at our local thrift stores (the “before”), but they look so big and clunky. You completely made it modern and beautiful. Love it!!!

    • admin on January 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Thanks, Erin! I see them all the time as well – they are so massive but have so much potential!

  9. Lisa on February 14, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Kim! This is such an awesome project, and makes me wish I kept so many coffee tables through the years!! What a great way to update a table!!! I love it!

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