Repurposing: Palette Table

Repurposing: Palette Table

As I mentioned previously, I enjoy making things. It is both a blessing and a curse, but we’ll focus on the good side for now.

When I need a piece of furniture in my Studio, I try to work backwards by determining exactly what I need, and then figuring out how to get it. I always start out by drawing what I have in mind, including any special features I want it to have. Once I have a clear picture laid out, it makes figuring out how to get there much easier.

If what I need is readily available and not too expensive I might just buy it, but that is typically not the case. Besides, where is the challenge in that? Instead, I choose to repurpose something I already have or can pick up very cheaply off of Craiglist or at a thrift store or garage sale.

I have 2 great examples of things I recently repurposed to get what I wanted.

Part 1: Palette Table. Since I completed the Hover easel and the latest Canvas Guard, it was time for a new Palette Table. In the past I had used glass topped computer desks off to the side of the easel to mix and hold paints, but now that I could use a table directly under the canvas it was time to design the Palette Table I have always wished for.

First I needed to get the glass. I figured that a 12″ x 48″ piece would be a good size, and I wanted it at least 3/16″ thick and tempered. I was quite surprised and disappointed to discover the price of such a piece of glass online. It was close to $300!! For that amount of money I could just as well buy a whole piece of furniture to use. However, in my design the top of the table could be inclined or lay flat. I didn’t think I could buy something like that, and I was unwilling to compromise on that feature. Like I said, start with exactly what you want the finished piece to be and work backwards.

After thinking about it, I turned to the always reliable Craigslist and began searching for glass sofa tables and glass shelves. Coffee tables and desks had glass that was far too wide, and I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t going to pay anyone to cut glass for me. I ended up finding a wooden bookshelf with 3 glass shelves. The shelves were 13″ x 47″ x 1/4″ – perfect for what I needed. For $25 I got 3 pieces of tempered glass! I also got the wood from the shelf, which was a bonus. Wood is good, and you can never have too much in the workshop (my wife would argue with that!). In addition to the glass, I now had the materials to repurpose into my Palette Table – all for $25!!

Here is the original design I had created for the table;
It has a tilting top, a shelf for my solvent cans and a paper towel holder. Once I measured all the wood from the bookshelf, I modified the illustration based upon my materials.


Here is the modified version;
I decided to eliminate the shelf and paper towel holder – I had already come up with a different solution for those.

Building the table obviously requires tools and at least some knowledge of their safe use. I have been fortunate enough to build up a collection of the basic power tools necessary for this type of work over the years. If you have the resources available and will-power, you can create most anything you need, and as someone who works with your hands, this is a logical extension of your skill set.

Here is the finished, repurposed bookshelf to Palette Table;

PaletteTbl1f PaletteTbl2f












All in all, with the cost of the original bookshelf along with wheels, paint and some hardware, I built this for well under $100.

Click here to see Part 2 of this project; the Mixing Station.

If you have questions, you can reach me at ,
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