Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Marble Nesting Tables for the Living Room

Hey! I hope that you had a great weekend! We were in Maryland working on our living room there .. we completed 1 project and almost 2 more .. so it was a busy but productive weekend!

For the living room, I've decided to share our real time progress instead of finished, styled shots..

Here's our new nesting coffee table!

When thinking about the coffee table for the living room, I wanted something pretty large .. I've always loved the look of marble, so I called a few places and after getting quoted ~$400 .. that wasn't an option. David recommended that I check the materials section on Craigslist and instantly a listing came up for 3 pieces for just $50!! We picked them up and they were perfect - a little chipped on the edges, but not too bad.

It is heavy, so we originally wanted to weld a metal frame .. but since we don't have that equipment readily available and we're on a tight deadline, we decided to stick to wood. Using a hard wood increases the strength.

To make the marble slabs work with our space, we decided to make nesting tables. David and I both worked on design options and David came up with the final design, inspired by this Worlds Away table.

Here's how we did it.

David ripped 3/4" strips of a hard wood (not sure what it is .. it's from my Grandfather's collection). Our Grr-ripper push block came just in time - perfect for cutting small pieces of wood safely.

Then we drilled pocket holes with the Kreg Jig. If you do wood working and don't have one, you need one! We've used it for every wood project since we've gotten it - it's super easy to use, and you get a perfectly hidden pocket hole every time. We applied wood glue and then screwed it together.

Here's the close ups for how we put it together.

For the second table, we wanted something simpler so it 1. Wouldn't look too busy 2. So the tables could sit close together.

Here's a close up of the construction of the straight leg table.

We then sanded it with 120 then 220 and finally 320 grit sandpaper. To seal and protect the wood, we applied a coat of clear furniture wax.

Next, the marble top.

We trimmed the edge with the circular saw with a diamond blade designed to cut stone - I poured water over it while David cut (make sure to wear eye protection, little pieces fly - ear and a respirator should be worn too). Then we cut it entire piece in half (20"x74") so we had 2  ~ 20"x35" pieces. We didn't get a perfect cut .. user error? not enough water? blade error? not sure.

Next, we sanded the edges with the orbital sander, 60 grit, than 120, 220, 320, 420, 600 (final three were hand sanded and wet sanded (sand paper dipped in water) Lets be honest. Sanding is pretty miserable .. especially with a respirator and safety glasses when it's hot. We traded off with the orbital sander and we both worked on hand sanding so it went a little faster.

After 600 grit, the edges felt super smooth! Some of the edges aren't perfect, during cutting, a few areas cut too deep, but that's ok .. I'll take those minor imperfections over paying $400 any day!

To attach the top to the base, we thought about how marble countertops are installed, adhesive! So we picked up a tube of adhesive formulated for marble and applied it along the top of the base - being careful not to get too close to the outer edge.

We centered the top and clamped it in place. (p.s. these clamps are amazing!! super fast and easy to use .. we use them on almost every project now!)

After the adhesive dried, that was it!

Sofa in the background waiting for upholstery!

I love the leg detail - it provides a little interest, but it still lets the marble shine!

Rug is Tahari, found at Home Goods.

We still have to clean and polish the lower nesting table, it has some paint splatters on it ..

I'm also thinking about adding a few moroccan poufs in front .. maybe gold? If you have a gold one, has it held up well?

Total cost was ~$25 since we used the other piece of marble on our sofa table and the wood was free!

Can't wait to finish the rest of our projects for the living room!!


  1. holy wow, sarah! you guys never cease to amaze me.

  2. Love it!
    Looks like they were built to match, but one has anamorphized and is kneeling to scoot under the other. If that makes any sense.......

  3. Oh wow! You should make more of these coffee tables and sell them! I would buy one!

  4. This turned out so pretty. I love it. I can't wait to see what you do with the sofa too. Love the rug!

  5. Oh my gosh Sarah, it's so pretty. I can't believe you guys were able to build the legs strong enough. The table is a dream come true.
    I have a piece of marble in my garage too and was afraid to tackle it. Now I might just think I could try.

  6. Wow! These are amazing Sarah, they are gorgeous :)

  7. Sarah!! This is one of my all-time favorites you've done! Just beyond cool!

  8. You two really need to have your own shop. Amazing.

  9. Umm seriously! Who does this?! You guys never cease to amaze me Sarah! Gah. This looks incredible and expensive and no lie you should be starting a business ans selling your creations. They are absolutely fabulous.

  10. you two are incredible! These nesting tables look SO professional, I would order them right now if they were for sale ;) ps I need wood working lessons from you and your man lol.

  11. Such a helpful post! I've been dying for a desk with a marble top. I am definitely going to try something similar with use of your tips! Thanks xx


  12. I can't even believe you guys are cutting marble now. You should probably just go ahead and get welding equipment - no doubt you would put it to good use! I have a stone slab I want to use for my powder room and now you have me thinking we could cut it ourselves! But I am not you, so...dunno. These are really, really beautiful.

  13. These are amazing. The wooden legs look so great, beautifully done. Love the detail on the shorter one.

  14. Stop it. I love that you just whipped these up for $25. REALLY pretty.


  15. Absolutely incredible Sarah! The marble is gorgeous and I love the frame you built!

  16. Just wow! It's great how well y'all work together. My husband and I argue just hanging mirrors! ;)

  17. So beautiful! I thought for a minute it would be a faux marble top. But no, your table is legit!

  18. These are seriously stunning! People would pay big bucks for these!

  19. I was so glad to stumble upon this post. It's similar to a project I've had in mind, but wasn't sure it would work out. Now that you've had these for a while, can you tell me how they're working out? Is the base wobbly at all under the weight of the marble top? It looks like the base is made of 1"x1" material (actually .75"x.75"), is that correct?
    Thanks for posting this project; it turned out beautifully! Great rug, too!

    1. Thanks Peggy! We ripped the wood for the base (I believe it is exactly 1", however, I'm not there to check) Overall, the tables are very sturdy. The shorter base (with the greek key detail) has zero wobble. The taller table (with just straight legs) might have a little - the wider base at the bottom of the shorter table helps to really lock it in place, so I'd recommend going with a wider base if you're concerned about it. Also, if you're using wood, make sure it's a hard wood instead of pine. hope this helps :)

  20. When thinking about the coffee table for the living room, I wanted something pretty large .. I've always loved the look of marble, so I called a few ... coffeeroomset.blogspot.com


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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