More in Furniture

How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

A newel-post pedestal, plus a ceiling medallion on the base, add decorative flair to this practical piece

How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table
Photo by John Gruen

Whether it holds bedside reading, potted plants, or bowls of snacks for guests, a compact pedestal table is one of the handiest pieces you'll ever own. With a bit of DIY know-how and some simple materials, you can make this mirror-topped version for a lot less than the cost of a new look-alike. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva built it using two precut wood rounds, a newel post for the pedestal, and a beveled-edge mirror and ceiling medallion to dress up the top and base. Paint yours a favorite hue, and put it wherever you need a little landing spot.


Steps // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table
1 ×

Mirror-Topped Accent Table

 
Step One // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Mirror-Topped Accent Table

mirror-topped accent table
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Accent tables are usually 18 to 24 inches tall, so the newel post is cut to height and fastened to the tabletop and base with lag screws. We chose a post with a square bottom; for aesthetics, Tom used a hole-saw bit to round it off where it meets the round base. "It makes the pedestal shape more streamlined," he says. Use mirror adhesive for the tabletop, as regular adhesive may damage the mirror's backing.

 
2 ×

Prep the Tabletop and Base

 
Step Two // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Prep the Tabletop and Base

tabletop and base
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Find and mark the center point on each wood round. Place one round on top of a piece of scrap wood. Use a No. 10 countersink bit to drill through the center; this will create a pilot hole for the lag screw and a shallow recess for the screwhead so that it will sit flush with the surface. Repeat with the second round. You now have a tabletop and base.

 
3 ×

Glue the Ceiling Medallion to the Base

 
Step Three // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Glue the Ceiling Medallion to the Base

ceiling medallion and base
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Flip the base over so 
that the side with just the pilot hole (not the countersink recess) faces up. Center the medallion on the base and mark its location. Apply vinyl adhesive caulk to the back side of the medallion and press it into place. Use caulk to seal gaps around the medallion's perimeter and center hole.

 
4 ×

Size the Pedestal

 
Step Four // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Size the Pedestal

pedastal
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Choose the table's height and mark two cuts on the newel post, one at each end. (For a stable table, don't cut within the narrow, turned section.) Make sure to leave just enough length at the bottom, typically 13⁄4 inches, to drive your hole saw all the way through (see Step 5 photo). Use a miter saw to cut the pedestal.

 
5 ×

Drill Pilot Holes in the Pedestal

 
Step Five // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Drill Pilot Holes in the Pedestal

drilling wood pedestal
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

At each end of the pedestal, draw an X from corner to corner to mark the center. Drill pilot holes into the center points for the lag screws.

 
6 ×

Reshape the Bottom End of the Pedestal

 
Step Six // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Reshape the Bottom End of the Pedestal

reshape wood pedestal
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Clamp the pedestal to a work surface with the bottom end hanging over the edge. Fit a hole-saw's drill bit into the pilot hole you made in Step 4. Drive the saw through the end to cut off the corners, leaving behind a round shape. Sand the cut surface smooth.

 
7 ×

Fasten the Base to the Pedestal

 
Step Seven // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Fasten the Base to the Pedestal

glue base of table to wood pedestal
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Apply wood glue to the bottom of the pedestal. Begin driving the lag screw through the underside of the base. Once the screw protrudes through the base, slip it into the pilot hole at the bottom of the pedestal. Tighten the screw.

 
8 ×

Fasten the Tabletop to the Pedestal

 
Step Eight // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Fasten the Tabletop to the Pedestal

pinpoint center on each wood round
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Apply wood glue to the top of the pedestal. Begin driving the lag screw through the top of the tabletop. Once the screw protrudes through the top's underside, slip it into the pilot hole at the top of the pedestal. Tighten the screw.

 
9 ×

Paint the Table and Add the Mirror

 
Step Nine // How to Build a Mirror-Topped Accent Table

Paint the Table and Add the Mirror

painting table with mirror top
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Sand and prime the table, then paint it using semigloss paint. When it's dry, center the mirror on the tabletop and mark its location. Use a caulk gun to apply dollops of mirror adhesive to the tabletop. Press the mirror into place.

 
 
 

TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.