Finishing Cable Spool Table (With Decorating Ideas)

Few tips for finishing cable spool table

Cable spools are one of the most common types of recycled goods. Like pallets, they can be resurrected and reused in many different applications.

Despite the fact that they aren’t as versatile as wooden pallets, they may be used to make coffee tables or side tables.

I’ve had a chance to own one of these exciting pieces of cable spools for five years now. 

I bought this industrial spool from the roadside then at a dirt-low price and haven’t thought of converting it into something useful. 

Only recently, I got the idea to recycle it. So, I finished it with milk paint, and it looks so darn new and good.

Here in this blog post, I will show you how I did it and give some useful tips to get a great-looking coffee table from an old cable spool.

If you’re thinking of making a coffee table or side table from a cable spool, here you will find some brilliant ideas to get you started.

But before I start, let me tell you why you should use a wooden spool for the table in the first place.

Why Use a Cable Spool Coffee Table?

You’ve undoubtedly seen them numerous times and thought they looked fascinating, if not even amusing.

Making a coffee table out of a cable spool is very simple – because its shape and design will do all the work.

You merely need to pick the symmetrical circular pieces to create a coffee table.

You cannot only build a coffee table, but you can also use this recycled spool for many other purposes, like – making a side table, or nightstand, building a chair, or creating an outdoor bar.

You can even use two or more cable spools and make a dining table. The ideas are endless.

The circle within the middle gap may be customized, covered, or used for books, indoor plants, candles, or decorations, depending on your preference.

And without spending huge amounts of money, you could have an exclusive piece of furniture in your home in no time.

It’s why projects like these are getting so popular these days among DIYers.

Below you can find a fantastic video tutorial where they tell you how to build an outdoor table out of discarded wooden cable coil.

The legs of the table are made of an old sewing machine. If you want, you can keep the original part as it is to make the project super easy.

How to Finish a Wooden Spool Table – 3 Easy Steps

Now once we have learned why and how to make a spool table, let us see how we can prepare and finish it.

Let’s get to the tutorial part here.

The steps I have shared here are what I followed. If you want, you can make some changes and do it your way.

Step 1. Start by Preparing the Cable Spool

Firstly, I checked for any sharp objects, screws, nuts, and nails that might be sticking out of the wood.

There were a few staples, but they weren’t too bad. I removed some of them and have left the others that were not very harmful.

Then, I compared which face end would be more appealing for the tabletop – they usually aren’t identical.

One face end had an industrial stamping, a company logo, and some stickers, so I chose that to be on the top and decided not to sand it.

Actually, it also helped me save lots of time if I were to remove all of those.

On the other end, along with the rest of the spool, I decided to sand down to make the surface smooth.

I wanted a rustic appearance and a more antiqued look, so I used only fine-grit sandpaper to roughen it up so that it accepted the paint well. 

Step 2. Choose the Finish for Your Cable Spool Table

It’s always best to pick the right finish for the wood before you start painting or staining it.

I always take some time to think and decide what kind of look I’m going for with the project and where the piece will be placed.

This time I needed a natural wood distressed look with a little color. So, I chose to finish it with Milk Paint available at

When you want to give your wood item a professional-looking finish makeover, milk paints are the go-to choice for furnituremakers, designers, and DIYers because of their tremendous flexibility.

Milk paint also comes in a range of different color options and has the ability to produce a wide range of appearances and finishes, which is one of its greatest features.

If you want to go with the milk paint for any of your wood furniture projects, I recommend getting a convenient sample bundle of all 56 colors of Real Milk Paint®.

It’s available at a bulk discounted price and will help you choose the right color for your project.

In case you do not want to use milk paint, you can go with other options like chalk paint, enamel paint, latex paint, or even wood stain.

Step 3. Apply the Paint to Your Wooden Spool Table

Once you have chosen the paint, it’s time to apply it to the wood.

Since I used milk paint, I applied one thin coat on the raw wood with a paintbrush. I coated all the surfaces but not the top ones.

Once the first coat was dry to the touch, I added a second layer. 

After the paint was completely dry, I distressed the edges with sandpaper to give it a more worn-out look.

I also distressed the top a little bit by randomly sanding some spots.

And finally, placed a 15mm thick circled glass top on my table to add a layer of protection.

For me, the entire process was easy and quick. And the results I got were impressive – I am happy with them.

Electric Wire Spool Table – Decorating Tips and Ideas

If you want to keep it simple, clean, and modern-looking, go with milk paint and a clear glass top, as I have.

But if you want to be on a bit creative side, there are endless possibilities with upcycling, building, and decorating a coffee table with a wooden spool.

Like, you can decoupage the top or paint it with colorful acrylic paints to make a practical and fun surface for kids.

You can even use finishes like polyurethane or epoxy for your tabletop for a durable, shiny, and waterproof finish.

Just make sure you do the work in a well-ventilated area, and wear gloves and a mask for safety.

You can also make the surface of your table more interesting by adding beer bottle caps, tiles, mosaics, or even fabric to the top.

If you are skilled in woodworking and have hand saws (or electric saws) at home, you can cut the entire spool into half or quarters.

Then use a wire spool table as a plant stand by simply placing it beside the wall and adding a plant pot to the top.

You can also use this table as a workplace for your home office. No one would come and disturb you while you are working on your laptop around the corner.

The bottom of the spool can also be used creatively for adding some books, and if you want, you can keep the side closed by adding some plywood.

It makes a great storage space for things like gadgets, board games, and other household items.

As a last tip, you can add the wheels to the bottom of your rustic spool table to make it more mobile.

It will be helpful if you want to use it in different rooms or want to change its location occasionally.

The Bottom Line

These were some great ideas for decorating and repurposing an old cable spool into a beautiful and unique table.

And I hope this article inspired you to think beyond the obvious and come up with your own creative ideas for upcycling a wooden spool.

The good thing is you can use this table in any room for any purpose. Your family and friends will definitely love the idea.

Do you have any other great ideas for decorating and repurposing a cable spool table? I would love to hear from you via my contact page.

Happy Crafting!

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