Collection by Katherine Raz

Refurbishing A Lane Coffee Table


I purchased this table months ago from a thrift store in Chicago.

It was a mistake.

As you can see from the before photo, it's more of a project than it is a table. And I swore to myself I would stop buying projects, because in my possession, projects tend to remain projects and rarely turn into tables.

But this project had two things going for it: it's made by Lane, the American furniture manufacturer known for the case goods and accent tables they pumped out in the 1950s and '60s, so I know it's durable and has a recognizable brand name behind it. And it has a suspended magazine rack. People love a suspended magazine rack.

So finally on a nice day in September I started the process of turning this project into a table.

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The original table.
I start by stripping the paint to see what kind of wood I'm dealing with. Surprise! The legs are metal.
I strip the sides and top and hose the table off in the backyard, careful not to splatter pets with chemical stripper...
Back in my studio, I stain the table top with a red oak wood stain that's been sitting in someone's workshop since 1986.
I paint the bottom suspended magazine rack with a black matte paint.
Then I varnish the whole piece.
The original brass legs were hideous, so I replace with some long hairpin legs my fellow dealer and studio mate, Sarah,...
The only problem? The new legs don't really work with the suspended rack.
I ask Doug Echler, a woodworker who works down the hall from me, to help me saw a four-inch strip off the end of the...
Re-paint the sawed-off edge, and ta-da! Brand new console table.