How to Turn an Old End Table Into a Pet Bed

See how we reinvented a 1970s thrift store find by turning it into a dual-purpose end table and pet bed.

January 10, 2022
CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed_s4x3

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed_s4x3

©Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

Octagon tables were very popular in the 1960s and '70s; today you can find them at garage sales and flea markets for next to nothing. We updated this one by removing the door and giving the whole piece a fresh coat of paint. We used high-gloss latex paint, but chalk paint is another alternative. Then we made it pet-friendly by lining the inside with fabric and a fluffy cushion.

Tools and Materials

  • solid wood table
  • a pillow or cushion
  • indoor/outdoor fabric or upholstery vinyl
  • screwdriver
  • wood filler
  • putty knife
  • sanding block or sandpaper
  • staple gun and extra staples
  • scissors
  • nail-head trim
  • rubber mallet
  • tape measure
  • drop cloth
  • high-volume, low pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer
  • primer
  • high-gloss paint
CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-Before_s4x3

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-Before_s4x3

Before

Before

Step 1: Unscrew Hinges and Remove Door

Use a screwdriver or drill to completely remove the hinges from doors and/or drawers, then set them aside.

Step 2: Remove Fasteners

Use a screwdriver or drill to remove fasteners or magnetized door and/or drawer stops.

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-Dog-Bed-Step3_s4x3

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-Dog-Bed-Step3_s4x3

Step 3: Fill and Sand Holes

After the hinges, fasteners and door/drawer stops have been removed, use a putty knife to fill the screw holes with wood filler. After the wood filler has dried, use sandpaper or sanding block to smooth out the surface of the wood. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth.

Step 4: Spray Primer

We used a high-velocity sprayer to apply the primer and paint because it allows for a professional-looking, even coat.

Cover your worktable or the floor of your workspace with a drop cloth. Stir a can of primer, then slowly pour it into the HVLP paint container. Coat all surfaces of the table with an even, controlled sprayed coat of primer.

You also can use spray paint or apply the paint with a paintbrush or roller, but keep in mind, high-gloss paint applied with a brush or roller can show streaks.

If the interior will be upholstered, it’s only necessary to spray the exterior; batting and fabric will cover the interior surface.

Step 5: Spray Finish Coat

Once the primer is dry to the touch and the HVLP paint container has been rinsed and thoroughly washed out, load, then spray two coats of finish color.

Pro Tip: Allow approximately 2 to 3 hours for the first coat of paint to dry before applying the second coat.

Step 6: Measure and Cut Batting and Fabric

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed-Step9d_s4x3

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed-Step9d_s4x3

Use a tape measure to determine the length and width for each portion of the table's interior. Refer to the measurements to cut the batting and fabric to size.

Step 7: Attach Batting and Fabric

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed-Step10a_s3x4

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed-Step10a_s3x4

After the finish coat is completely dry, add an even coat of spray adhesive to the table's interior, then fit batting snugly to each area. Use a staple gun to secure the edges of the batting directly to the interior of the table. Next, place each piece of fabric into its proper position, then secure it with a staple gun.

Step 8: Add Nail-Head Trim

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-Dog-Bed-Step11_s4x3

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-Dog-Bed-Step11_s4x3

Add graphic punch and cover up the staples by attaching nailheads all along the edges. Use a rubber mallet to hammer in the nailheads. Nailheads are also available in long strips making the installation quicker and easier.

Step 9: Add Pillow or Cushion

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed-Empty_s4x3

CI-Brian-Flynn_End-Table-With-Dog-Bed-Empty_s4x3

Place a pillow or cushion in the bottom of the table to give your pet a comfy, concealed place to nap.

Next Up

How to Build an End Table With a Built-in Pet Bed

Learn how to make a three-sided cube that can serve as both a side table and a pet bed.

Turning a Footstool into a Pet Bed

Upholstered footstools are easily transformed into cushy pet beds.

How to Make Kid-Friendly Chalkboard End Tables

Add personality and one-of-a-kind style to your living room with chalkboard cube end tables. Acrylic overlays keep drawings crisp and chalk dust at bay.

Upcycle Wood Pallets Into a Cozy Outdoor Dog Bed

Give your furry best friend a comfy outdoor nap spot using (free!) wood shipping pallets.

How-to: Zig Zag Table

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.

Transform Your Old Sweater Into an Ultra-Cozy Pet Bed

Give your four-legged friends a warm and cozy hug — all the time — with an upcycled sweater bed.

Make a Mobile Dog Bed From Shipping Pallets

Give your four-footed family member a stylish place to sit with a one-of-a-kind shipping pallet pet bed mobilized with casters.

How to Build an Occasional Table

Make a cube-shaped coffee table that doubles as a storage piece in four simple steps.

How to Turn a Dresser Into a Combination Pet Bed and Nightstand

We gave one old bureau two new purposes: stylish storage and sleeping space for pets.

Upcycle an End Table Into a Cute and Cozy Dog Bed

Transform a thrifted table into a comfy retreat for your pup that’ll look great in your living room or bedroom.

What's New in Handmade

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.