October 5th, 2012

I made a new coffee table for the den and so can you! You know, if you want to or whatever. I don’t care! It’s your coffee and a place to put it, homeslice.

The den has always been my nemesis in terms of awkward layout, weird wainscoting and overall browntown-ness and remained so despite a year living with that gorgeous tulip table. Sometimes marble isn’t able to solve all your problems, so when I ran across this wood slab top on Craigslist I thought, hey, why not throw in some more brown to browntown and maybe – just maybe – add a touch of neon pizazz to fix this mess of a room.


– Table Top (I found this slab on Craigslist – eBay is a great source or THIS might work for you, but any top can work)
Hairpin Legs (Logan from OneFortyThree made these ones – oh, and check out his shop too)
Florescent Spray Paint
ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
3M Advanced Abrasives Sandpaper (I used the 150 and 220 grit)
3M TEKK Protection Saftey Gear (gloves, mask, ect.)
Orange Glo Spray Cleaner
Howard Feed & Wax
Cordless Drill
– Tape Measure
– Screws (length and type best suited for your table top)
– Rags


1. My wood slab had some surface scratches and vintage grim that needed to be ‘refreshed’, so I started hand-sanding with the rougher 150 grit sandpaper to knock down the majority of the damage and finished up with the very fine 220 grit for a nice smooth finish.

*Tip Corner: Depending on how rough your wood is or if it has any sort of lacquer or stain finish, you might prefer using a power sander to expedite the sanding process. Wear some eye protection and a mask if power sanding off any kind of preexisting finish, ’cause seriously who knows what it is or if you should ingest it (you really probably shouldn’t FYI). Anyways, my wood was in pretty good shape and didn’t need a ton of sanding to look and feel good.

2. After sanding, go ahead and remove all the dust and icky stuff with some Orange Glo Spray and a clean rag in order to prep the wood for the final buff.

3. Sometimes when refinishing wood I’ll use Danish Oil to restore and treat the wood and then buff it, but this slab was already in pretty good shape and didn’t really need it, so I finished up by buffing on some Howard Feed & Wax (aka my favorite thing ever).

*Tip Corner: After years of gross oil hands turning into gross oily hobo hair (when I inevitably touched my hair with my oily hands) I finally threw on some gloves and avoided the whole situation. Now I am an adult. An adult doing things safely or something.

4. After the top was all finished up I flipped it over and roughly placed the hairpin legs to eyeball where they should go.

5. Once placement was decided, I taped off the legs at 4″ to prep them for the neon spray paint.

*Tip Corner: I taped the legs all the way down in order to avoid any over-spray. Why? Because I’m a messy and lazy spray painter, duh.

6. I threw on some gloves to avoid that messy nozzle spray paint finger thing that always happens and then gave each leg a few coats of paint. Also, go ahead and wear a mask and some eye protection for extra safety – you know, if you go all willy-nilly and spray paint crazy and want to protect stuff like your health. SAFETY.

*FYI, florescent spray paint seems thinner than normal paint and ended up taking more coats than I expected.

7. I screwed on the legs and then pulled off the tape.

BOOM. Done.

Easy-peasy custom neon fun times.

I’m super happy with how the coffee table turned out and really enjoy this little florescent touch to what has always been browntown central. Now if that lame wainscoting would just disappear without me having to do anything…


This post is a collaboration with 3MDIY. To learn more about safety and preparation, visit

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  1. Janet on 10/10/2012:

    Totally going to try this. Thanks Morgan!

  2. Alex on 10/10/2012:

    Thanks! I think I’ve got my weekend plans cut out for me now…

    Morgan, it would only drive you further down the long road to brown town, but have you considered covering the wainscoting with something funky from Stikwood? You could run the slats vertically or horizantally:

    Full disclosure: I’m a renter obsessed with Stikwood, which unfortunately is not yet renter friendly. So is it possible I’m just trying to live vicariously by foisting Stikwood on you and your awesome sauce home? It is possible. But for reals, it could look neat!

  3. Rachel on 10/10/2012:

    I have been wanting a coffee table like that forever now. Now I have no excuse not to make one. I think I might do red legs!

  4. Mari on 10/10/2012:

    HAWT! I am completely smitten. I adore your adobe.

  5. Amber on 10/10/2012:

    Love how it turned out! The table is so classic then you go and add neon dipped legs to make it all trendy and interesting. Awesome.

    I color blocked/leg dipped (weird way to make a verb there) some bentwoods in hot pink, because well it is the right thing to do.

  6. tamoto on 10/10/2012:

    I was just telling my friend Becky- Morgan’s house is amazing and my inspiration and blah blah blah, but lately its been needing a little something modern and/or bright. I’m so smart. Kidding! Now the living room just needs something awesome like a geometric chair from the future. Thanks for this blog.

  7. amy h on 10/10/2012:

    Excellent table. I’d be all over it if I weren’t 100% certain my hyperactive children would impale a body part on it. I can’t seem to find a wood stump with the consistency of a marshmallow. Huh.

    ALSO, get yourself a spray can handle! It makes life with spray paint so much easier:

  8. Ladybug on 10/10/2012:

    Sweet slab action!

  9. Karen on 10/10/2012:

    The wainscoting is awesome! Please don’t get rid of it…

  10. Simone on 10/11/2012:

    Hi Morgan;
    I have been following your blog for a really really long time. I really like and trust you and enjoy reading your posts. You started including advertisements a while ago (without explaining your decision like Anna did f.i.), OK, it’s your blog, your business. Then the ad’s became not just static but they became animated as well.
    And now, well you know for me, with this post, I come here in good faith and then in the end I find out I am reading an advertisement. I guess in the US people are used to that, but i’m not and I really can’t appreciate it. (Makes me wonder about the post about the music-box thing, in hindsight)
    The sentence: “After years of gross oil hands turning into gross oily hobo hair (when I inevitably touched my hair with my oily hands) I finally threw on some gloves and avoided the whole situation. Now I am an adult. An adult doing things safely or something.” struck me as inauthentic. Now I know why, it was inauthentic.
    I’m sorry to say all this, but I think sometimes you have to be sincere when you respect people and I am very sorry to see what is happening here.
    Kind regards.

  11. tamoto on 10/11/2012:

    @ Simone. I hear where your coming from, I thought the same thing as a I read some of the lines and wondered why the pics of spanky new gloves and tape. then I saw the 3M thing at the bottom. Ive also been reading this blog for about a year, and I do recall Morgan toying w the idea of advertising. Im ok with it as long as its disclosed, like at the end of this post. I figure Morgan has literally devoted HOURS and HOURS to this blog. shes funny and smart you can tell in her 3M post shes not totally comfortable with the plugs, but I figure that if that by doing so she can make a little money in this hard scrabble world, Im ok with it. She’s not Lady Madonna. She gotta make money too and for the most part, she makes this enjoyable blog FOC to you and me. I dont want her to feel too guilty for doing what we probably all would do. I hope she made a pretty penny. And after all, safety IS important,I hope she continues to use gloves 🙂

  12. Lucy on 10/11/2012:

    Hey, girl’s gotta eat.

    That table looks great.

  13. Halen on 10/11/2012:

    Such a lovely coffee table, I like the the photography!

  14. Keates Nelson on 10/11/2012:

    I love the look, including the wainscoting.

    PS Ads are fine with me, but then, I’ve never felt surprised or misled by them, anymore than I would by finding them in a magazine. You work hard and I’m glad you’ve found a way to make it “pay” so I can enjoy this lovely free content. Besides, it’s helpful to know the products involved, whether or not I end up using them.

  15. Mary on 10/11/2012:

    I don’t understand what all the hubbub is about ads. It isn’t like I click on your blog and an ad pops up and overwhelms it. I can check out the ads or opt not to. I appreciate that you give the how-tos as well as the exact info on what you use. What do I care if you get paid for it or not? Good for you if you do! Also, you have introduced me to a lot of products that I never knew about and now have in my arsenal of refinishing products, ie-Howard Feed N Wax and Danish Teak Oil.

    Thanks for also giving a link to a place to purchase the wood slabs in case I want to give this awesome table a try.

  16. Jen B on 10/11/2012:

    Whaaat??? Can anyone really be upset by having sponsors for a DIY…? It’s not like Morgan said, (scenario 1) “Check my cool, new table…now, go figure it out for yourself!” OR, (scenario 2) “There is a charge for this DIY, please click link below to purchase.” People like Morgan should be paid for their awesomeness & it is not coming from our pockets so who cares? Don’t read it if it upsets you. We all need to work & we all need to get paid for it.

  17. Bec on 10/11/2012:

    Love it!
    Morgan is my favorite blogger. She makes me laugh and she inspires me. The amount of hours she has put into this blog, we should all be sponsoring the girl! (specially now, with so many dogs to feed!)

  18. Furpants on 10/11/2012:

    The table looks awesome. I hate that wainscotting, but not very much. Meh, figure it out someday. Sponsored posts = Morgan keeps blogging. I don’t mind at all.

  19. the brick house on 10/12/2012:

    Hey all, I’ve been running around all day and just saw this. Thank you guys, I appreciate the input (critical and positive) and just need a bit of time to mull it all over if that’s cool. I have discussed this stuff in previous posts, but that was a such a long time ago that it might need to be revisited.

  20. Leesa on 10/12/2012:

    Ohman that table is rad. My city seems hell bent on cutting down all its trees so I’ve been seeing tons of huge wood slices that I’ve wanted to rescue. Those legs kinda decided the for me.
    – – –

    aaannnd… I don’t get the problem with the ads. Is the project any less awesome or more difficult to follow because it’s sponsored? The superior, judgey attitude is super obnoxious. Unless you’re willing to send an unsolicited donation every time she posts something “genuine” enough for you, maybe dismount from the high horse you’re riding around the interwebs on.

  21. Simone on 10/12/2012:

    Right I’m wrong, stuff just has to look “awesome” and then it doesn’t matter if it is rotten on the inside, plastic or fake or whatever, just as long as you get our daily fix of “awesomeness” from your “favourite blog” and please don’t burst the bubble or make things complicated.

    It’s insincere, that’s the problem, it -basicly- is a lie. I used to come here -and love it -because I had the feeling Morgan was sincere, enthousiastic and inspired and fun. But most of all she was very real and full of energy and I liked that most about it.
    If this were my blog I would be worried when people viewing it don’t really care about keeping it real anymore as long as it’s “awesome”. It means you’ve really reached the gates of Disneyland.

    Leesa, Personally I don’t feel that expecting people you like and trust live up to a standard of integrity (or honesty) is judgy, obnoxious or being on a high horse or whatever. Saying that just shows that you have no understanding of integrity (or quality for that matter).
    I never asked Morgan to blog she did it on her own accord. So don’t start telling me I need to take responsibility for that. Furthermore she has ad’s so she already is making money off of all the people coming here to read her posts.
    Kind regards.

  22. Leesa on 10/12/2012:

    Do you think it might be a bit presumptuous, even arrogant, to assume that your personal definitions of what’s real, genuine or authentic are universal? Or that it might be unfair to take strangers to task for not living up to an ideal that might only be yours?

    You could always step away from the internet (which is inherently *unreal*), stop taking a decorating blog so personally, and go make something beautiful.
    And then give it to me for free 😉

  23. Ann on 10/12/2012:

    Wow! @ Simone I think you’re being incredible rude and harsh to Morgan! Calling this post “insincere and a lie” ; she CLEARLY states it is a collaboration post but she also links to OneFortyThree’s shop a very small business.
    If you start a sentence by saying “I’m sorry to say all this…” maybe you shouldn’t be saying it at all.
    If you look back over Morgan’s posts ( and many other blogs as well) there are always questions in the comments …what did you use to …where did you get… how did you …
    This post answers all those questions! It may not be of interest to you but it may be helpful to many others.

  24. dave on 10/12/2012:

    I think Morgan is awesomely awesome and her awesome table is the most awesomey awesome piece of awesomeness that I have seen in anawesomely long time!

  25. Jamie Herzlinger on 10/14/2012:

    Great project! Gorgeous.

    Love, Jamie Herzlinger

  26. Love the red!

  27. n on 10/17/2012:

    Hey I have been reading your blog for a while; and what a lovely surprise that I saw in the paper (internet) today too!! congrats 🙂

    ps: i havent actually ever seen the picture they feature there!

  28. the brick house on 10/17/2012:

    Oh awesome! Thanks for the link.

  29. Sonja on 10/19/2012:

    That’s a really cool idea! When I first read the title, I started scrolling down and seeing that beautiful piece of wood and I frantically scrolled to the bottom because I thought you were going to paint over it with neon!! Thank God that didn’t happen 🙂 Table looks great!

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  31. Jeff on 05/08/2013:

    This table is awesome! You cant duplicate something that cool.

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