Personalizing a Kitchen Table

Customizing your table is an easy way to update your kitchen.

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It is possible to completely change the look of a kitchen without the expense of replacing cabinets and countertops.

The key to success is picking a theme. Themes can be found everywhere. You might have a collection you want to display. My decorating partner Shari Hiller and I once completed a kitchen based on a toy collection. Instead of using traditional hardware, we used small toys.

A good place to start is to find a wallpaper border you like. The border will lead you to a new wall color, interesting window treatments and appropriate accessories.

Sometimes you can find a theme through a favorite work of art. Not long ago Shari and I worked with a couple who wanted to redecorate their kitchen but weren't sure exactly how to get started.

Shari suggested they choose a print from their many pieces of framed art. They chose a favorite painting, one depicting a Mediterranean scene. Using the painting as her inspiration, Shari picked a new wall color, a fabric for window treatments and many colorful Mediterranean accents.

To complete the look Shari asked me to make a new kitchen table, one that would be a bold addition to the new theme. Although our table was made to accent a Mediterranean style, you could use the same method to personalize a tabletop to fit any style. If you'd like to create a personalized table to accent your kitchen, you'll need the following materials:

acrylic paint
polyurethane
3/4" poplar plywood board (to be cut into two 4 by 4-foot pieces)
wood glue
clamps
drill
drywall screw
string
pencil
jigsaw
belt sander
sandpaper (120- and 220-grit)
router with a roundover bit
primer
paintbrushes
nails

Rather than starting from scratch, I decided to use the base from the old kitchen table and add a new top. I decided on a tabletop measuring 35 inches in diameter.

To begin, cut the two 4 by 4-inch pieces of poplar plywood and glued them together.

To make sure they were tight I drove a drywall screw that was slightly shorter than the finished thickness into the center of the bottom piece. I then secured the pieces with clamps and let them dry overnight.

The next morning I flipped the boards over and located the exact center of the square by drawing diagonal lines from one corner to the opposite corner. The center of the board is where the two lines intersect.

To create a circular tabletop, I tied a pencil to the end of a piece of string. I tapped a nail in at the center point of the tabletop and attached the piece of string so that the pencil was 17-1/2 inches from the center point. Keeping the string taut, I slowly drew a circle that ended with a 35-inch diameter.

I cut out the circle with a jigsaw and sanded the edges smooth. I then made several passes with the router to create a nicely rounded edge. Next, I sanded the edges with 120-grit sandpaper and followed that with another sanding with 220-grit paper for a really smooth finish.

To finish the tabletop, I primed it, allowing it to dry overnight. I then applied two coats of the base color, allowing it to dry between layers. Finally, I painted a Mediterranean design on the tabletop and, once it dried, I sealed it with two coats of polyurethane.

Then I attached the tabletop to the old base, and my new table was good to go.

The table was the perfect addition to our Mediterranean kitchen. It was more than functional, and because of its color and design, it supported our theme and became the focal point of the room.

Choosing a theme is often the first step toward redecorating a kitchen. Once you've determined your theme, consider personalizing a table of your own. It will go a long way to giving you that updated look.

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