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Transforming a piece of furniture into a new buffet table or bar (How to add new table legs)

Updated on April 8, 2010

Project Summary

My wife and I had a nice piece of furniture we had purchased to place our LCD TV on. It was a contemporary looking TV stand with two side cabinets. We only had the piece a few months when we decided to move our TV to a wall mount. This left us with a really nice piece of furniture with no function. After some discusion we felt we could take this piece and transform it into a buffet table / bar for our dining room. We had a budget of $300.00 to transform this piece. We spent $300.00 on the piece originally but a new buffet was going to cost over $1000.00. This article will be a mutli-part article as the project comes together.

Project Research

Ok, now that we had this great idea we were not sure how to accomplish this task. I am pretty handy around the house but never built anything more complex than a book shelf. We figured we had three modifications we needed to make the piece useable.

  1. Increase the height to about 34-36". Its legs were only about 4" and needed to be increased to 14" or so.
  2. Make the top surface more durable if used for making drinks or serving food
  3. Add wine storage to one of the cabinets, the other would hold our liquor bottles

With the above plan in mind, we set of to the home improvement store. No problem, right? We'll we struck out on what we could do to accomplish the above tasks, time for Google.

The first item we figured out was the wine storage. Our first idea was to make a simple X insert and store wine that way. We stumbled upon some stacking metal racks at Pier One that fit the cabinet perfectly, so instead of building something we just picked up three of these. This allows us to store 12 bottle of wine inside the cabinet and we bought a few more to use on top of the cabinet.

The next piece we researched was the surface. We thought about swaping the wood top for a hard material like granite but that would be out of our price range. We ended up keeping the wood surface and adding a simple metal tray. Later on we can always add a hard surface to use this as a buffet as well as a bar.

The last piece was the legs. This proved the most tricky. The options at the local stores all seemed too thin and not the right style. I thought about making my own legs but was not sure how to start. My wfie stumpled upon an online store call (who would have thought they had a whole site for this stuff!). There we found the perfect legs and even better they would provide a custom kit to your dimensions for a complete table base with mortised and tenoned legs and aprons, and pocket screw holes.

Hepplewhite Legs
Hepplewhite Legs

New Base Design and Construction

Ordering the base for the cabinet was very easy. I measured the base dimensions and the cabinet height. I wanted a simple apron with legs. I looked at several pieces of furniture to decide on how high I wanted the cabinet to be. In my case I decided on a height of 35". Classic Designs had a wide variety of leg styles and we decided that a simple Hepplewhite leg was the design I wanted. I worked with Sue at Classic Designs and since my leg height of 14" was not standard, they came up with a custom leg design to keep the portions correct. Just cutting down an 18" leg would have looked funny. The folks at Classic Designs were great and they completed my order in great time.

Construction was very easy and they provided very good instructions. Just some glue and wood screws. I had to purchase a set of pole clamps at the local home improvement store to help assembly the base.

I finished the base to match the black cabinet I had. I just used some high gloss paint that closely matched the existing piece. I found I did not have to repaint the whole piece, just put several coats on the base. The legs were a high quality cabinet maple and if I wasn't matching to a painted piece would have preferred to finish them with a high quality stain.

The whole kit was under $300.00 so it fit our budget perfectly.

I show step by step photos below

Assembly Steps

Instructions Provided
Instructions Provided
Dry fit the legs first
Dry fit the legs first
Mark legs so you can assemble
Mark legs so you can assemble
Glue mortise and tenons
Glue mortise and tenons
Clamp legs
Clamp legs
Clean up glue before it dries
Clean up glue before it dries
Both sets of legs clamped
Both sets of legs clamped
Full base clamped
Full base clamped
Corner bracket installed
Corner bracket installed
First coat of paint
First coat of paint
Third coat of paint
Third coat of paint
Finished base with corner brackets
Finished base with corner brackets
Installing base
Installing base
Wine racks
Wine racks


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    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Natasha Davis 

      5 years ago

      So great!!!

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I'm so happy to have found you. We've just moved into our first 'fixer upper' and I have a million ideas, but I don't want to get my husband in over his head, lol. You see I get the ideas, but he insists on actually doing them. (I may or may not have really screwed up some things in the past)

      But it's cool because he always gets my vision just right. I just don't want to get him into something too complicated. So - thanks for these hubs.

    • thevoice profile image


      8 years ago from carthage ill

      not just great detailed hub great carpentry thanks much


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