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Vintage Nesting Tables Updated the Easy Way

You would think by now I would have learned my lesson that there will be true gems that pop out at me at a thrift store. It’s happened time and time again, and this particular time was no different. If you remember in my recent post, I scored an antique library table and refinished it – see in this post. Now it’s time for the other find that followed me home that same day. These vintage nesting tables are too cute to leave behind, right?

Set of Vintage Nesting Tables Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

They were buried under other items for sale in the thrift store and I almost missed them since, as I mentioned in my other post, my kids were doing a thrift store scavenger hunt. I had no intention of coming home with more furniture. But…as you can see that quickly fell to the wayside.

This set was sturdy for the most part, but did have ample wear to the top surfaces. The part that got my heart palpitating were the beautiful turned legs, and the gorgeous heirloom maple tops. I spy potential!

Damaged Tops of Vintage Nesting Tables |


Although there are not obvious manufacturer markings, I am 99% sure these are Ethan Allen tables as I’ve seen these exact tables in other places. First, I wanted to uncover that delicious wood grain in that heirloom maple. Funny (not so funny) thing is during the restoration of the antique library table I just refinished, I killed my favorite sander, a DeWalt random orbit. It is a beast of a workhorse that lasted me for ages, so of course I bought another.

Apparently my old sander was in rougher shape than I thought because when I started this new one up I was like…ooooohhhhh… I couldn’t believe how smooth it operated and took the finish off lickety-split.

Sanding Nesting Table Tops with DeWalt Orbital Sander |

When I saw that wood coming to life, I couldn’t help but touch it. This maple was so fun to work with. I had no intention of covering the tops of these vintage nesting tables, rather wanted to showcase them. For the color selections I choose 3 different colors: a dark gray, a light gray, and a soft blue green.


I begin with working on the skirts and legs.

Painting Nesting Tables by Prodigal Pieces |

While letting the paint on the first table cure, I turned my attention to the largest of the set. It had some wobbly action going on, so I just removed the skirt and legs and reset them with wood glue. Easy enough to do, and now stable and ready to go.

Making Repairs to Nesting Tables |


While the larger table was drying, I painted the second table. Then it was the larger table’s turn. All of the bottoms of the tables were done in short order, and then it was time for the table tops to get some lovin’.

I’ve said it before, but I like a low-sheen, durable finish on most of my pieces, so I again turned to a polyย as my topcoat.

Apply Topcoat to Nesting Tables |

I apply two coats of the topcoat,then let it cure. Done!

How cute are these vintage nesting tables that were given new life by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Oh what fun the kids and I had seeing these vintage nesting tables come to life. We were telling each other which table was our favorite. I must say that we were all pretty smitten with each color as they individually make us smile. Which one is your favorite?

Cottage Style Chalk Painted Nesting Tables by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I went with the subtle tone contrast to make it more fun than just painting them all the same color. As a mama to 6 kiddos I know how fun it is to, “get the green table, or the light gray table”. We’ve all been there, right?

Vintage Style Set of Nesting Tables Refinished by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |


The vintage nesting tables came out as I had hoped – showcasing the grain in their natural state and solid as a rock. I wish I could show you how they shimmer. mmm…

Beautiful Heirloom Maple Grain in these Vintage Nesting Tables by Ethan Allen |

It was super fun to style all this with pastels and all sorts of fun colors. However, these tables have the neutral tones and would look good in almost any setting. How cool is that I even got to use my new Luggy Basket? I’m so lovin’ that thing!

Cottage Style Soft Pink, Blue, and Green Vignette by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Nesting Tables Set Painted in Soft Tones by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I really debated on keeping these until our family room is done, but since I have no idea how we will be able to finish it out, I am listing these in my shop. I guess I’ll have to find another set to redo when we’re done, won’t I? That won’t be any fun…hahaha…not.

  • Magic Linen Beige Waffle Blanket available at Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #bedding
    Magic Linen Waffle Blanket ~ $130

Set of Stacked Vintage Nesting Tables Refinished by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Do pin and share this vintage nesting tables makeover to inspire others to make their house their home. DIY is affordable, fun, and keeps your brain happy.

Such sweetness! This is an wonderful way to update a set of vintage nesting tables. All it takes is a DIY spirit! Get the DIY details at Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

blog signatureAlso, more fun projects like my vintage nesting tables:

Outdated dresser becomes 2 new pieces by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comUpdate your outdated furniture the easy way. No sanding, no prep work, just DIY! Get the details here at Prodigal Pieces |



  1. Christina in SW FL says

    Wow, Larissa, I am betting these sweet tables are going to be snapped up in a heartbeat. They look gorgeous! Another great makeover! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I got some free wood the other day, so I am going to try my hand at making some signs. ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS I have lived in Ohio and in Florida… people react the same way to winter storms and hurricanes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Larissa says

      Thank you for the smile, Christina. Sounds like you’re going to have some fun! I get it about the weather, just silly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Karen R says

    Another great makeover Larissa. The tables look so good. I love the colors you chose. I know what you mean about โ€œweatherโ€. I lived in Houston for 20 years & people always waited until the last minute to do grocery shopping when there was a hurricane in the gulf!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Karen! Yes so many are unprepared…makes me wonder.

  3. Deb says

    Simple but beautiful! Also in my fave colors:)

  4. k says

    Cute tables! Glad you found them to give them new life!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you! Yes, so glad the peeked out at me. Fun to do!

  5. Bonnie says

    These are really pretty. I love all three but my favorite is still the duck egg blue. Oh the possibilities with those brushes. I have an old rocker with spindle backing I would love to redo with those brushes. Take care Christy!

    • Larissa says

      Mine too. Love grays in any shade, but blue for the win. Woot!

  6. Gladys says

    I would use them to repaint a few bookshelves.

  7. Alicia H says

    I really love how you refinished these! So creative! I would not have thought of it!
    Thank you for sharing your passion with us! xo

    • Larissa says

      My pleasure to do and share. Thank you, Alicia. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Sherry Fram says

    My kitchen table needs updating badly. These brushes would make it so much easier!

  9. Michele Branham says

    Larissa, I love the idea of painting the bottom portion of the tables different colors. They look amazing!

  10. Linda says

    I am always so inspired by your makeovers, and would LOVE to do my own makeovers with brand-spanking new Zibra brushes! I have a set of folding wood tray tables that are just waiting for their update…thanks for the chance to win a set!

  11. Maryann Smith says

    Nice little project. I have some similar tables and might copy your idea.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! If you do show us, we’d love to see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Lee Oliverio says

    I just love nesting tables and yours are gorgeous! The colors are beautiful. Duck egg is my favorite!

    • Larissa says

      They are so fun to have! I really wish we were done with our space so I could keep them, but if I need them I’ll have to hunt some more. Half the fun anyway!

  13. Anne says

    Super cute look Larissa! Love the different colours!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Anne. I needed to mix it up and have fun – cabin fever here! ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Susan Welsh says

    I love the tables, the colors are great and so glad you left the tops the natural woodgrain

  15. Judy says

    Love the tables. Love Dixie Belle paint!

  16. Alison S says

    I have some dining room chairs I’d like to paint. Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. Susan says

    My bathroom door needs to be painted so that would be my first task. The nesting tables came out great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. carly says

    Love the makeover! I would update some of my furniture.

  19. Staci says

    THOSE are cute tables. Sweet & dainty. I love how you stage each piece that you do. I would love a tour of your home & warehouse! ?

    • Larissa says

      I just love the design of these for those reasons. Thank you. You’re so fun!

  20. Cathy says

    love the color choice! Excellent! And about people going crazy over a winter storm – they do that too here in upstate NY. We have 4 seasons people and one of them is WINTER!!!

    • Larissa says

      So happy to hear it! Thank you, Cathy. Yes, so very true! hahahaha…

  21. Lezlie adams says

    Love these. Iโ€™d call dibs on the aqua table every time!????

  22. Maureen Clipperton says

    Cute tables. I’d paint my office desk with the brushes. I’d love to win them.

  23. Kaycee says

    Another beautiful transformation Larissa! I love that you did each a different color on the skirt and legs!! It looks like your new sander works well indeed!

  24. kimmylouwho says

    super cute tables and I love the colors that you chose with the natural wood tops! Great job! Stay warm!

  25. SONJA HANSEN says

    I especially like that you painted everything but the tops in different colors. Very pretty. I am just wrapping up the pre-prep to repaint my kitchen cupboards. That mean I am buying paint and painting supplies today. That means I will probably start without Zibra brushes. All of the retro fitting for the new walloven Santa brought and all of the other prep is going to take quite a while.

    • Larissa says

      Sounds like you and I are in the boat and will have a blast. Either way, I hope you win! I have another giveaway later this week you can surely use. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Fonda Rush says

    I have a bookshelf that needs painting. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  27. Lisa Dickens says

    โค๏ธ what youโ€™ve done with the nesting tables!

  28. MoeWest says

    your tables look great! i like the legs in different colours. I have a sofa table that needs redoing.

  29. Paula says

    Again, I am so amazed by your vision! Using the three colors and just on the skirts and legs make them look more like a set. It gives them dimension and a whole lot of interest. I love wood and I love paint. I am constantly tickled by how you can bring out the best in a piece by utilizing both. My heart beats faster when you pull out that duck egg blue, but oooh those grays….they really set off that delicious blue. I have a pair of nesting tables (I say a pair because there are only two–one for each kiddo I guess, but hey they nest). I have not considered painting them, however, If I win the Zibra brushes, I will paint the skirts and legs of them. I may let the boys choose the colors; I can always repaint them right?

    • Larissa says

      I’m happy you think so. Making a change like that is exciting to me and always a fun job. Thanks!

  30. Kathy Milliken says

    Love the table make overs! I’m getting ready to refinish my dining room table paint the legs and stain the top! The brushes would be a huge help.

    • Larissa says

      Those are always fun to redo because you can enjoy your work daily. I know I love mine!

  31. Frances Batson says

    I have 2 book cases and a kitchen table and a small table to start. I love the nesting tables. They are great. The maple tops are soon pretty.

  32. Nancy says

    I have Ethan Allen tables in my family room that I’ve been thinking about doing something to. My Mom bought them in in the late 80’s or early 90’s. All three have drop leaf sides but each has a unique shape. The smallest table has a lamp in the middle. The lamp needs to be rewired so the that one is in the garage. The finish has held up well–which I expect from Ethan Allen–but there are some chips in the coffee table. The legs and cross braces are square. The wood is beautiful so now I’m thinking I’ll try sanding the finish off and go from there!

    • Larissa says

      I think I’ve seen those. They would look awesome redone. Hope you win!

  33. Debra Wise says

    Nice job. I have a dining table that I want to do similar to this by leaving the top wood and painting the skirt and legs. I think I would like to paint them gray as I haven’t used this color before. Thanks for the giveaway and your inspiration!

    • Larissa says

      Your table will look amazing, Debra. Show me when you do!

  34. Linda Petteys says

    I also have some nesting tables that I have considered painting. They are a dark stain and you have inspired me to go to some fun colors. I owe the round Zibra brush but would love to owe more! thanks

  35. Mary says

    Great job, as usual! I learn so much from you on refinishing , painting and what to buy . Thanks so much.

    • Larissa says

      Mary, hearing that is why I do what I do. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Cherie says

    These tables turned out really cute !!! I’ll bet you’re glad you didn’t miss seeing them. I know what you mean about not being able to pass up a great looking piece………..even though you really don’t have room for more furniture!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Larissa says

      Yes, I actually gasped when I saw them. I’ve always wanted to redo a set. yay!!

  37. Debbie says

    Beautiful tables! I plan to get some Dixie Belle paint and work some magic ( I hope) on my secretaries desk.

  38. Sandy K says

    I like how the tables turned out. You have a great eye. I really would like to give the Zibra brushes a try.

  39. Sue Pagels says

    My favorite is the duck egg blue! They all turned out so great though – I think people pass these up not knowing how cute and useful they can be.

    • Larissa says

      Good pick! Fun color and so many ways to use it. Glad the pass and I get! hahaha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. Cindy Downing says

    I love that these tables are different colors. Very cute. I am about to build my house, so probably would paint my kitchen cabinets with these brushes.

    • Larissa says

      Kitchen cabinets would be a breeze with these. I wish I had them when I did mine. Particularly the triangle one. Oy!

  41. Lisa Wilson says

    What a fun makeover! Like all the colors, my favorite is the light grey. I am getting ready to start a wardrobe project and these brushes would definitely be helpful, but first I must get my makeover decisions decided on. How do you go about deciding on colors?

    • Larissa says

      That gray is just the right tint and goes with so many colors. The brushed would knock out that wardrobe in no time.

  42. Valerie Hdz says

    I love seeing how you revamp so many items that can be intimidating at first sight. I do eyeball your tools quite a bit haha so itโ€™s awesome to be able to participate in this giveaway! Thanks!

    • Larissa says

      Yay! I’m delighted to hear it. It’s fun to share and inspire, as well as give gifts! Hope you win. ๐Ÿ˜€

  43. Pamela says

    Once again an Awesome job. I have a cute little antique cabinet that needs some love and these brushes would make the job much easier.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! Love those cabinets – so useful for most any room in the house.

  44. Valerie Hdz says

    Accidently wrote my email incorrectly! ?

  45. Sara says

    I love the gray table! Iโ€™m planning to paint a small vintage desk for my boys this Spring & would love to use brushes like these.

  46. Robyn D Wright says

    What a clever color choice! I love it!

  47. Janet Kynerd says

    Always enjoy your blog and all your projects. Would love to win the brushes as I don’t have a good set. Thanks for the giveaway.

  48. Charlene says

    What a great set ! They look nice. Thanks for another giveaway opportunity ! You rock !!!!!!!

  49. Tess Stephenson says

    Love the colors and maple is beautiful. I just found a maple cutting board that I can’t wait to bring back to life.

    • Larissa says

      Ooh…those have so much life in them. I snag them when I can too. Enjoy!

  50. Deidre says

    The tables are beautiful but as usual I’m interested in your staging. I love the floral painting. Do you know anything about it or is it something you did? Thanks!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Deidre. I found the painting at a thrift store along with others. I just loved the colors and vibrancy.

  51. Maura says

    Outside the vanity you did a year or two ago I think these tables are my fav!!! Love the mix of colors!

  52. Erin says

    I really love these tables!

  53. Allie says

    The tables look fantastic! Youโ€™ve inspired me to finally get to work on a table and some chairs that have been waiting for their facelift for waaay too long. Those paint brushes look like they will make the job much easier! ?

    • Larissa says

      Allie, that’s wonderful! I’m so happy to hear it. Wish I had brushes to give to everyone!

  54. Patty Soriano says

    Well, I picked up some dining room chairs for a refugee family, and I think they need some paint. Might be just the right project for the new brushes! Thanks for a shot at them, Larissa! Love these little nesting tables!

  55. Lois says

    Who wouldn’t love those tables! Beautiful as always.

  56. Maria Howard says

    I Love the brushes I already won!!!! Whoever wins will love them too!!

  57. Rebecca - Knoxville,TN says

    If I see any stacking tables in my future shopping endeavors I will certainly pick them up. They are Wonderful!

  58. Melissa Storms says

    The tables are gorgeous. I have a side table I have been meaning to redo for a really long time. I would paint it first.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you. Those get so much use that you often don’t realize how much TLC they need.

  59. Cheryl b. says

    The tables would ok perfect in my home. My exact three colors. Love these. Also what wood glue were you using? I’ve tried several and they weren’t working .well. Thank you

  60. Kristina says

    I love these nesting tables Larissa although I think if I had done them I would have stuck to one color for all three. I truly admire how you always attempt to keep the natural wood exposed but add some fun color to!
    As far as these Libra brushes I adore them! I currently have 3 of them but am missing the one I really would love to try (and need lol!) the round brush. I just finished painting my stairway railings using the square brush instead because I cant seem to find the round one in any local stores and I was too anxious to get it done to order online and also have to pay the extra shipping fee lol! It worked pretty good but I’m guessing the round one would have been much easier. Wish me luck! Have a lovely and warmer day. (i’m in northern Illinois and it will be a balmy 32 degrees today, yay some warmer temps!)

  61. Janella Johnson says

    Painting chairs & a hutch soon We need these brushes so badly. I volunteer with a nfp that teaches women in recovery how to redo & renew thrifted items that are then sold to support the program. Having the right brushes makes all the difference. Love my round zibra brush & have used the Sq brush before

  62. Nancy says

    I would never have thought to use 3 different colors! I love how your brain works. Thanks for sharing.

  63. Norma Brock says

    I’ve tried many brushes as we’ve been building our own home and restoring vintage furniture for years. Anxious to try these brushes on a dining set I inherited from my parents. Plan to restore the lovely maple tops and paint the base and legs similar to your nesting tables!

    • Larissa says

      I have too and I had about completely given up hope. I am not kidding as I was praying about what to do, Zibra contacted me to give them a try. My kids thought me nuts when I was dancing around after giving them a test run. I was sold.

  64. Carole says

    My kitchen table has been waiting for these brushes! I keep hoping to win some, but I may have to break down and buy them.

    • Larissa says

      I hope you win, Carole! Don’t forget you can use your subscriber discount on your first order if you ever want to purchase some.

  65. Charissa says

    I have an old magazine rack that was my husbands grannyโ€™s and I am wanting to bring new life to it through paint. New paint brushes would be wonderful!!! Thank you for such great projects and ideas!!! ?

  66. Amy says

    Love thes nesting tables! So cute! I have this beautiful antique dresser that needs a little love. Those brushes would come in handy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  67. Lisa Viles says

    Do I have to choose one?!? I love all three tables…but that dark gray! Oh, I just love it!

  68. Pam says

    I just love the nesting tables. I will have to find some to do this with! Thank you for blogging and sharing your work with us all ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Larissa says

      There creative design has made me always want to find a pair. Thank you for the kind words on my work.

  69. Kim Banko says

    I’m such a fan of nesting tables! So handy ๐Ÿ™‚ I would have scooped these up too Larissa!
    I really love how you transformed them. Don’t make me pick a favorite colour!
    I hope when the time is right, you find the perfect set for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Larissa says

      Thank you bunches, Kim. I’m sure the timing will be just right when it’s meant to be.

  70. Sandra Arends says

    Absolutely love these darling tables. Sorry if I missed it in the post, but I am wondering what the two grays are that you used. I saw the reference to the Duck Egg Blue, but not the others. Many thanks.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Sandra. The paints were a mix of colors I used that I don’t have the name for.

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