Our living room needed a big square game table to kick our feet up on or play games and put together puzzles.  This one caught my eye on a local selling wall.  It is 42 inches square and 17 inches tall.   Exactly what I was looking for, and at $50, it was a steal.  Solid wood, top to bottom.

I had to decide on either sanding it down, staining and sealing it or covering it with foam and material for a more ottoman style piece.  Since we were going with an activity – game and puzzle area, it was an easy choice.   You never know, maybe someday I will make it over again!

The top of the table had been stained a very dark color and the bottom and the top edge trim was white.

before table


I started by sanding the paint off of the edges with my orbital sander, then sanded the stain off of the top of the table.  It took just about thirty minutes of sanding all together.  I was happy to see the lighter wood underneath.


Love the imperfections!

Distressing the table all around the sides gives it the character I was looking for.  The table wasn’t perfect, but I like that, it only adds to the character and the story of the table.


Poly and protect

After staining the top of the game table with a light pine stain, it was time to apply the one coat polyurethane.  We didn’t want to worry about cup rings or spilling something on the table, so the poly would protect against that.


The color of the top turned out beautifully.  I had thought about adding a graphic transfer at this point, but I just couldn’t decide on a design.  I may add a graphic transfer once I find the perfect one, but that will be another post!  You can see another graphic transfer I’ve done here.

This was a fairly simple game table makeover.  It took under two hours to complete and fits the room perfectly!  Now, I need to get my Wysocki puzzles out and get one started!

completed game table

I hope you enjoyed my little game table makeover and I hope you are inspired!

Jeanne Marie – The Practical Fanatic