Transforming an Ugly Sofa Table into a Functional Bench

I mentioned that we recently spruced up our basement family room. One of the projects I completed during this makeover was to covert an old sofa table into a bench for some extra seating and storage.

Here’s the finished product.


The sofa table was an 80’s leftover from my parents’ basement. It used to be a maple color. I painted it white when I  “adopted it” from my parents. I’m not sure why I bothered to paint it. The only thing it’s done since is sit in my basement. (Seems to be a theme around here.)

But recently I was looking for a way to increase seating our newly refreshed space, so I pulled it out and decided to see if I could turn it into something functional.

The first step was to cut it down to bench height. (Sorry for the lack of before pictures, this was pre-blog.) Basically this just involved moving up the shelf on the bottom and trimming the legs.

Then I pulled off the top, which looked like this


And replaced it with two pieces of inexpensive pine from Home Depot.


I screwed the pieces on using the existing hardware from the table, then I sanded the top and the edges and gave it a quick coat of dark walnut stain. I finished up with a good thick slathering of satin polyurethane.

Then, I added some inexpensive baskets from The Christmas Tree Shop underneath for some additional storage.


To finish off the space, I also made some inexpensive artwork. I had a collection of black frames from A.C. Moore that I used in our condo, but never rehung in our house. Lately I’ve been gravitating more toward modern-looking flat frames, which is why I never put them to use. But while I didn’t necessarily like the look of each frame alone, I loved how they looked as a grouping.

To fill the frames, I chose some black and white images out of an old coffee table book we had around the house, featuring photos of Paris at night.


I added a pillow for a little color, and what was once unused dead space is now a functional seating area.



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