You’ve seen folding tables on Kijiji or Craig’s list – but did any of them look this good? They can with this inexpensive card table makeover!
I’m pretty sure my Grandparents would have called this a card table?
Maybe I’m wrong?
After a Pinterest search for what to call this, I found that these old folding tables are listed under card tables, game tables, AND folding tables?
Regardless, I was in search of an inexpensive table – with folding legs so that it could be tucked away when not in use – for my daughter’s upcoming game night.
Not just for that of course, I mean it can be a work table, a sewing table, a craft table, a wrapping table, etc. We’ll definitely use it more than once, but the search began because of an upcoming game night.
As always, I didn’t want to outlay a ton of cash to buy a new one, and in this instance, building one would have been almost as expensive because the folding legs can be pricey.
A card table makeover / game table makeover seemed like the least expensive/most fun option.
This was a Kijiji find and I (stupidly) paid $40 for it.
The woman that sold it only took photos of the “good areas” – where there was no water damage or chipboard showing through – and when I drove out to get it she pulled the “Oh, I didn’t notice this damage before”.
How could you NOT notice – you took the F&^%ing photos?
That irritated me, but I don’t rock the boat unless I’m really pissed, and this wasn’t the hill I was going to die on.
We’re talking a LOT of water damage. Every area where you see chipboard showing instead of veneer was a section of the card table that was swollen from water. I had to sand those areas as flat as I could so I could overlay the top with the $9 laminate flooring I scored at an auction.
Yup! Weathered and whitewashed oak laminate flooring (an entire box) for $9!
One box was exactly enough to cover the top of the grungy folding table perfectly!
I laid out the pieces so that I had seams randomly placed here and there. A few cuts on the mitre saw to clean up the edges and get the boards close to fitting was all I needed to do before using wood glue (contact cement would have worked too) to set them in place.
You’ll want to clamp these in place as best you can, as well as put heavy items on top, so that the boards are firmly adhered to the old table top. I let the glue set up overnight.
Here’s where I made two mistakes; the first being buying cheap jigsaw blades off of Amazon, the second being not noticing when the blade started to bend. 🤦🏻♀️
I used my jigsaw to cut the laminate floor boards around the circumference of the table. I thought I was riding the blade right along the edge of the table, but didn’t notice that the blade had bent and was actually cutting through the table. After about 8″ of cutting I was wondering why the blade wasn’t running as smoothly and caught my error. My second crappy jigsaw blade did the same thing, but I caught it much sooner, so the second bit of damage isn’t noticeable.
You don’t have to do this, but a router with a roundover bit gives a nice, smooth edge, and removes minor imperfections in your jigsaw cutting.
The next part of our game table makeover was to paint the folding legs black.
Before doing that, I cleaned them thoroughly with TSP – this is my new favourite: Saman TSP Eco. It’s especially nice because you just spray it on, let it work and then wipe it off – no rinsing required.
A thorough cleaning, 1 coat of black primer, and 1 coat of black enamel spray paint and she’s a beauty!
The game table did have a rubber edging – you can see the slot for it in the photo – instead of searching out new banding and spending more money on the game table makeover, I decided to just sand the surface smooth with 220 grit and then paint it black as well.
This is where you might notice another “error”… I really should have lined up the flooring boards so that they ran either in-line-with, or perpendicular-to, the legs.
It doesn’t change the effectiveness or improvements to the table, but looking at photos now I find it bugging me.
Yes, that’s the gouge in the lower right. 🤦🏻♀️ Ugly, but not enough to throw the rest of my work and investment away.
I should warn you, this table is HEAVY! Try picking up a package of laminate flooring at a home improvement store and you’ll see just how much weight I added to the card table.
In hindsight, peel and stick tiles might have worked just as well, without all the poundage?
For this type of makeover – game table makeover, card table makeover, folding table makeover, whatever you call it – I would NOT go for a paint finish. People inevitably put their drinks on the table and even with a decent sealer, water damage would eventually seep through to the wood. Likewise, arms resting on the table would also wear off a paint finish over a long period of time.
Nothing will damage this laminate flooring.
Except shitty jigsaw blades. 😂
Hey! What do you think of my game night snack bowl? It’s actually a cake stand with raised edges and then I sectioned it off by folding parchment paper!
I love this! But then I love snacks. 😂
Please pin and then go find your own crappy folding table and have fun creating your own spin on a game table makeover!
Note: If you find one that is in as bad condition as this one, $20 (CDN) is a far more reasonable price.
(I’m picturing painting a game board on the surface and then sealing it with epoxy maybe?)
Have a great one!