How to Make an End Table Taller

How to add height to an end table or furniture piece using casters.

What do you when you find a gorgeous piece of furniture at an antique or thrift store that is so perfect minus one tiny issue, such as it’s a hair too short? Well, if you’re me, you whip out your debit card and buy it anyway and figure out a solution later…which is exactly what I did. So, today we’re discussing how to add a bit of height to an end table or other piece of furniture.

I have been on the prowl for some end tables to flank my chesterfield for awhile. I initially had a glass end table, but I wanted something to complement my chinoiserie inspired bamboo counter stools. Bamboo-esque end tables are so hard to find brand new, and when you do find them, they cost over $900 each like these beauties.

White bamboo chinoiserie end table gets a glam makeover to make the table taller.

One Friday afternoon I decided to visit my go-to antique stores in town, and I came across this pair of end tables. I could tell they had been repainted a creamy ivory color, but despite a few minor flaws they were in fantastic shape for only $29.99 each. I excitedly ran over to the cashier and told her to please clear them off because they were coming home with me.

A crystal cabinet knob gives a chic and glam look to an antique bamboo end table revamp.

Immediately I swapped the knob out for something a bit more fancy, and then I got to doing research on how to make the end tables a few inches taller. I quickly ruled out sticking a bunch of felt pads under the legs for obvious reasons, I also thought about adding in self-levelers, but the tables would end up looking like they were on mini stilts.

Finally the idea of casters came to me, and I found these beautiful gold/brass mini 1″ casters by Liberty Hardware. They were kind enough to provide my sweet wheels for this tutorial, and this project couldn’t have worked out more beautifully. I am thrilled with the results.

1" vintage brass caster by Liberty Hardware

I’ve written up a detailed tutorial below about the process I took to elevate (quite literally) my end tables to new stylish heights. And yes, the casters do work well and I can easily roll around the end tables should I need to when sweeping or mopping. Don’t you just love when form and function work hand in hand?

Supplies:
-1, 1″ vintage brass caster for each leg of your furniture piece
-Marker
-Cordless drill
-1/4” drill bit
-5/16” drill bit

Time:
The project from start to finish should take about an hour or so, and anyone from a beginner to an advanced DIY-er can successfully complete this project. You’ll want to add Liberty Hardware casters to all your furniture pieces- check out all of their caster options here.

Instructions:
Step 1: On a flat, sturdy and protected surface (to prevent damaging the top of your furniture piece), flip your end table upside down so the legs are facing upward.

How to add height or make a piece of furniture taller using mini casters.

Step 2: Mark the center of each leg with a marker so you know where you will be drilling.
Note: please ensure your furniture leg is beefy enough to not break or splinter if you drill through the center of it. My end table legs are solid wood.

How to drill a hole into a furniture leg to add a screw-on caster.

Step 3: Using your 1/4” drill bit, drill a hole where you marked center. You’ll need to go deeper than you feel will be reasonable, but you can always make yourself a template with a spare drill bit and blue painter’s tape to ensure you’ve drilled deep enough for the caster screw to fit in there easily. Once you’re in the “blue” you know you’ve drilled deep enough. It took me a few bursts of drilling to get the pilot hole deep enough.

How to drill a hole into a furniture leg to add a screw-on caster.

Step 4: Using your 5/16” drill bit, drill a slightly countersunk hole in the exact same hole. See figure below to see what I mean. Essentially you want to create an area for the area just above the caster screw to rest flush and eliminate any gaps.

How to drill a hole into a furniture leg to add a screw-on caster.

Step 5: Screw in the caster- you’ll do this by hand. If you’re having an impossible time trying to get it in there, likely one of two things is happening: you didn’t drill the pilot hole deep enough (go back to step 3 and try again) OR you’re twisting it in slightly crooked and getting met with a lot of resistance (unscrew it and try again). The last few turns can get a bit difficult, so I had to use a work glove to get some grip for the last bit of it to get on there snug.

How to add casters or wheels to a furniture piece such as an end table to add height and style.

Do the above steps on each leg until you’re all done and have a swanky set of casters on your furniture. I can’t believe the difference in height- it is definitely visually noticeable, and now I don’t feel like I’m reaching down to put a drink on the table when I’m sitting on the sofa. It’s at a more natural level.

How to add casters or wheels to a furniture piece such as an end table to add height and style.

The little bit of gold really glams them up, plus the casters add a modern vibe to a vintage furniture piece.

A vintage chinoiserie bamboo end table gets upcycled with some gorgeous mini brass casters. Full tutorial at monicawantsit.com

I mean… isn’t this just meant for my home?

A vintage chinoiserie bamboo end table gets upcycled with some gorgeous mini brass casters. Full tutorial at monicawantsit.com

Below is a sneak peek of the new rug! I’ll have full details about that on Tuesday. We’ve had it since June, and I couldn’t love the rug any more than I do. We’re smitten with it. Ignore the mess on the island…seriously, I cannot figure out a way to keep that island cleared off. Anyone else have that problem? It’s become a dumping ground for mail and random things.

Karastan custom bound rug paired with a chinoiserie bamboo end table and a gray chesterfield.

The next item on my to-do list for the end table is to get a custom mirror top cut to replace the cheap white veneer top. And eventually I may repaint them, but for now I am so happy with how they look.

Gorgeous brass mini casters add style and function to a thrift store vintage bamboo chinoiserie end table.

Pin this project for later and let me know what you think in the comments. The next time you’re out antique or thrift store hunting, don’t let a tiny issue like height keep you from bringing a piece you truly love home. And thanks again to Liberty Hardware for supplying the gorgeous casters!

How to make a furniture piece taller using mini casters from Liberty Hardware.

Follow:

6 Comments

  1. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    August 9, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    Monica, this is genius. It totally upgrades the tables. I love this idea.

  2. Michele
    August 10, 2018 / 3:01 am

    They are gorgeous—and beautifully styled!!

  3. LMoore
    August 10, 2018 / 1:25 pm

    I have a counter like that too, haven't solved that problem in 16 years and have given up. LOL

  4. Lisa @ Shine Your Light
    August 13, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    These casters you used are so pretty!! I used this trick to raise up a bed to fit a trundle underneath. Worked great.

  5. Nellie's Cozy place
    August 18, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    What a brilliant idea……..not only adds height it adds style too, love the pretty castors and it makes it easy to move when cleaning or rearranging the room.Good for you…..and thanks for sharing this great idea.Blessings, Nellie

  6. Unknown
    October 4, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Always looking for great hints like your chair legs ideas.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.