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Once a nondescript catchall for books, photos, and knickknacks, this bedside perch now boasts one-of-a-kind style, thanks to strips of decorative molding. To make your own, start with a table that has a tall, slightly recessed apron. Assemble lengths of stock molding, available at home centers for $5 to $8 for a 6-foot piece­, into a pattern you like. Cut pieces to size, and use wood glue to adhere them to your table. Finally, stain them to match the table, or coat with latex paint in a bright hue for an extra pop of color.

Step 1

Overview for Trimming Out a Plain Table

Photo by Michael Chini/Time Inc. Digital Studio

For the best look and fit, choose profiles that are about the same depth. Ornate moldings, such as rope and astragal, are good choices.

Step 2

Mark the Molding Lengths

Photo by Allison Chin

Hold a length of molding up to your table, and mark it to the width of the apron. Use that measurement to mark the other lengths of molding until you've marked enough pieces to cover the apron.

Step 3

Cut the Molding

Photo by Allison Chin

Cut the molding along the marks you made in Step 2. We used a hand miter saw with a stop block to make it simpler to cut pieces to the same length.

Step 4

Apply Glue to the Molding

Photo by Allison Chin

Lay the strips of molding on a work surface, and arrange them into a pattern you like. Starting at the top of the apron, apply wood glue to the back of the first piece of molding and press it into place.

Step 5

Attach the Trim to the Side Table

Photo by Allison Chin

Repeat for the rest of the strips until the apron is covered. Let dry.

Step 6

Apply Stain to the Side Table

Photo by Allison Chin

Using a clean, dry rag, apply stain to the entire table. Or, if you want a pop of color, prime the table and apply two coats of a brightly hued latex paint.