Tile Your End Tables

Tile Your End Tables

Give side tables a facelift with fresh paint and a new tiled top.

5 col

Refresh salvaged or your current side tables with a new coat of paint and an eye-popping tiled tabletop.

Side table
Drop cloth
Dust mask
2 sheets of 150 grit sandpaper Damp rag
2 cans of primer
2 cans of semi-gloss paint


  1. Set out a drop cloth in a well-ventilated area and place the side table in the center.
  2. Put on a dust mask, and sand the side table using 150-grit sandpaper to remove the existing finish.
  3. Wipe the side table down with a damp towel to remove all the excess dust.
  4. Prime the table, and let the primer paint completely dry. 
  5. Once primer paint is dry, paint the side table a semi-gloss color of your choice.

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5 sheets of 12” x 12” tile
Mastic (putty-like glue)
Small container of premixed mortar for ceramic
Small bag of non-sanded grout
Grout float
1/8” mortar trowel
Putty knife
Utility knife
Tape measure Bucket of water Tile sponge


  1. Layout 12”x12” sheets of tile to determine how many sheets you will need to cover the tabletop. Position the tiles up against the edge of the table, covering the tabletop as you move across.
  2. To cut a tile sheet to a smaller size, flip the sheet over so the tile is facedown, reveling a woven backing. Use a utility knife to cut through the mesh and separate the pieces. (The tiles should line up in rows and columns all the way across the tabletop.)
  3. Once the tiles are laid out to cover the entire tabletop, remove them from the table and set off to the side.
  4. Open the premixed mortar and use the putty knife to scoop the mortar on to the tabletop.
  5. Use the 1/8” mortar trowel to spread the mortar around evenly, covering the entire tabletop.
  6. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle at the far end of the tabletop. Position the 1/8” teeth of the trowel down and pull the trowel back towards you. This will remove the excess grout and create 1/8” grooves along the tabletop. Scrape the excess grout back into the bucket and repeat until 1/8” grooves cover the entire tabletop.

Tip: Keep the grooves running parallel to one-another across the entire tabletop. This will ensure that the mortar dries evenly.

  1. Carefully place all the tile sheets on the tabletop in their original position. Keep in mind, once you put the tiles down you cannot move them around.
  2. Use a clean putty knife to scoop the non-sanded grout onto the tile.
  3. Use a grout float to push the grout around the surface of the table, working the grout into the lines so there are no holes or air pockets between the tiles.
  4. Lightly run a damp sponge over the tile surface to clean off the excess grout. Do not press down or pull hard as you may accidently drag the tiles across the table.
  5. Set the table off to the side where it won’t be disturbed, allowing the grout and mortar 24 hours to dry and set. 

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