DIY Industrial Side Table : A Tutorial

I know a lot of you wanted a tutorial on this table (you can see the reveal post here).  I’m really excited to share this project with you, but I want to warn you, this particular DIY project is not for the faint of heart.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

This project is a bit of a process and can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t careful.  PLEASE do not attempt this unless you feel very confident in your abilities.  Please be sure you take all safety precautions when using a power tool or dangerous chemicals or objects and read the instruction manuals before using them. I am not a trained professional. If you are uncertain, please consult an expert before attempting this or any projects on this blog. I will not be responsible for any injuries or damages caused by any attempts to recreate this or any projects posted on this blog.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, onto the tutorial.

Aging Galvanized Metal

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal


8 – 3/4″ x 10″ galvanized pipe ($29.60)

16 – galvanized floor flanges ($116.16)

48 – 1/4″ x 1″ galvanized lag screws ($22.08)

HCl / toilet bowl cleaner

Plastic container

Small map gas torch ($41.97)

Heat safe gloves ($4.46)

Vegetable oil


Metal pan

Metal pliers


Start by putting your galvanized metal plumbing supplies in a plastic container.  Add enough HCl / toilet bowl cleaner to cover all the metal and let sit for 2-3 hours.  This process will remove the zinc coating off the galvanized metal.  **DO THIS PART OUTSIDE OR IN A VERY WELL VENTILATED AREA – YOU DON’T WANT TO BE BREATHING THESE CHEMICALS IN!!

(This is a picture of the screws in toilet bowl cleaner.  We did them separately, but you can just put everything together.)

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

After a few hours, rinse all your metal pieces off.

Pour some vegetable oil in a metal container.  Wearing heat safe gloves and holding your piece of metal with a pliers, heat metal with torch until it is hot enough that it turns orange.  Once it is thoroughly heated, dip in vegetable oil.  Then reheat the piece of metal to orange hot.  Once it is hot enough, set in oil to cool for about 30 seconds.  **AGAIN – USE CAUTION.  DO THIS PART IN A SAFE AREA AND HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER NEAR BY IN CASE OF FIRE!!

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

The metal will still be very hot, so take the piece of metal out of the oil with a pliers.

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

Cool the metal with water.

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

Once it’s cool to the touch, scrub off burned oil residue with water and a wire brush.

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

Lightly heat metal again with torch (about 30 seconds) and coat with beeswax.  Once coated, rub with cotton rag while still warm.

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

Let cool before handling.  Metal will still be hot for a while.

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

And that’s it!  Haha!  I know the process is intense, but if you really want the aged look, it’s worth it!  Here is what your finished product should look like. Repeat process for all your pieces of metal.

The Golden Sycamore: How to Age Galvanized Metal

Now onto the wood shelves.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial


1 – IKEA Numerar oak butcher block countertop ($129.00) – we used a little over half the length, so the cost of what was used was roughly $70

Tape measure and pencil

Circular saw

Straight edge clamp


Orbital sander and sand paper


Silhouette Cameo and stencil

Paint and paint brush

Mineral oil


Start by measuring your Numerar butcher block to the size you want your shelves and mark where to cut.  Our shelves measure 19.5″ wide x 24″ deep.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Set up your straight edge clamp so that your saw will cut on your measured line.  You’ll probably have to set it to about a half inch over to allow for the width of the saw.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Cut butcher block with circular saw.  Repeat this process for second shelf.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Run orbital sander along the edges to ensure a smooth finish.  Then router the edges of each shelf – remember to do the top and bottom sides to keep the look cohesive.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

With your orbital sander, sand the finish off the top and bottom of both shelves.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Using Minwax Dark Walnut stain, wipe on stain and immediately wipe off to get a slightly darker color, but not too much penetration.  If you desire a darker stain color, either leave the stain on longer before wiping off or apply more layers of stain to darken it.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

I don’t have pictures of this part, but if you wish to add numbers to your top shelf, here’s how to do it.  Choose the style and size of numbers you want and cut them out using your Silhouette Cameo.  If you don’t have a Cameo, you can always print numbers out on your printer and then cut them out by hand.  Once you have your numbers, arrange them on the shelf the way you want them and then trace around them using a white or black colored pencil.  Once your numbers are traced, use craft paint and a small paint brush to paint inside the lines.  Let paint dry and sand lightly with sand paper to desired distressed look.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Once you are done with your numbers (or if you skipped that step) wipe both shelves with mineral oil (or some other sealant like wax or polyurethane) to seal the shelves.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Now to put it all together.



Wrench or impact driver

All your metal pieces

Both shelves



Drill pilot holes in each shelf.  You’ll drill four holes per flange.  Drill holes in the bottom of the top shelf.  The bottom shelf will get holes drilled in both sides – top and bottom.  Make sure to stagger your holes on the bottom shelf so that they don’t meet up with each other through the wood.

Using  your wrench or impact driver, on the bottom shelf, attach 4 flanges with your lag screws on the top side of the shelf.  Screw pipe into the four flanges.  Attach flanges to the bottom of the top shelf with lag screws.  Screw those flanges to the pipe that is already attached to the bottom shelf.  Attach flanges to the bottom side of the bottom shelf.  Screw pipe into flanges and screw final flanges to the bottom of the pipe – these are the table’s “feet”.  Check to make sure the table is level.  If it isn’t, screw or unscrew pipes until the table is level.

The Golden Sycamore: DIY Industrial Side Table Tutorial

Alright, if you’ve made it to the end of this post, I applaud you!  I told you it was intense!  I definitely can see why our inspiration piece was almost $700!  Not only are the materials relatively expensive, but it is also quite labor intensive!

In the reveal post, I said that the table cost us about $300 to make.  We had a lot of the tools on hand, but we had to purchase most of the supplies.  In this post I’ve added up the supplies we bought and calculated our total cost (using about half the countertop cost since we can use the remainder of the countertop for another project).  The total came to $284.27.  If you add MI tax, it comes to $301 and some change.  That’s a pretty good estimate on our part, if you ask me!  :)

If I didn’t explain something well enough or you have any questions, PLEASE feel free to ask!  I’ll do my best to help you out!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today and reading my loooong tutorial!  :)  Hope you have a wonderful week!

*this post contains affiliate links

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    • Allison says

      For sure! It really was a lot of work, but now that it’s done, I’m SO glad we did it! Totally worth it for us!

  1. says

    Woo – this project is hardcore!! The table looks amazing, though – if I had all of the tools I would make it in a heartbeat. What I wouldn’t give to live close to my parents and have access to their garage – they’d have everything I would need to get this done!

    • Allison says

      Haha! I know what you mean! My hubby is REALLY good at convincing me he “needs” all these tools! So glad he’s at least putting them to good use!

  2. says

    WOW. This is such a stunning project! I wouldn’t dare try it because I am a little too accident prone when it comes to power tools or blow torches but I give you all the props in the world!!! It turned out fantastic, you should be so proud!!

    • Allison says

      Thanks Sarah! Hubby is definitely more brave than I am! I mostly played photographer on this one – blow torches scare me a little, too! Especially while I’m pregnant! Maybe next time I’ll have him keep a close eye while I try it out! :)

  3. says

    I just came over from the House of Rose link party. This is amazing work – like buying a designer furniture piece. Would have any photos of the iron before it was treated? I’d love to see the before and after effect..

    • Allison says

      Thank you, Tricia! I almost didn’t want to post the tutorial b/c I REALLY don’t want anyone to hurt themselves. I’d feel terrible! If you do try it, I’d love to see the outcome!

  4. says

    That is just incredibly cool! Looks a little scary, but I got used to working with lye in my homemade soaps, so this can’t really be that much scarier once you’re used to it. I love the finished product of your table! I’m pinning this! :-) I may tackle this project once summer gets here.

  5. says

    Just stumbled across your cute blog! Love your style!! And totally love this table – thanks for the tutorial! I’m following you – looking forward to reading more! :)

  6. Julie Buchler says

    I love your table! I may need one for my family room!

    My husband has made a few similar pieces of furniture for our home and he has a MUCH easier method for aging the pipes that you might want to try. He uses a product call Perma Blue Liquid Gun Blue. He buys it in the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart near the gun stuff. They also sell it on Amazon. Less then $10 for a small bottle. He’s used the small bottle on many projects and it’s still half full. He starts by removing the black stuff (is that the zinc?) from the pipes with sand paper. He then puts a very small amount of the Perma Blue on the pipes using a rag. Instantly aged. No waiting. If you email me, I’ll send you a picture so you can see how it looks.

  7. says

    This is absolutely awesome. I love how you aged the pipe, and i just may have a section of this very countertop in our garage leftover from our kitchen remodel. I smell a new project … =)

    Stopping over from House of Hepworth’s.

  8. Connie says

    There is a spray paint that gives a rather real galvanized look to metal. Safer, if you don’t want to do this method. ;-)

  9. says

    I wanted to thank you so much for sharing this tutorial! It inspired our industrial console table for our foyer. We went the lazy route and used stain to age the metal, so our legs aren’t quite as fancy as yours, but we love it. Thanks again!

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Thank you, Stephanie! Your table is gorgeous! Love the leg color! Sharing it on my Facebook page now! :)

  10. Pete says

    Hi Allison! This table is awesome! I’m pretty new at this – can I ask why you used galvanized steel? Thank you!

  11. Janet Taylor says

    Gorgeous table.. Do you think this would be strong enough for an aquarium? Or should I use a block of wood instead of the laminated? Thanks

  12. Michael says

    Thanks for the guide, table looks great.

    I’m wondering why you used galvanized pipe since you’re just stripping off the zinc coating. Wouldn’t it have been easier to get the black paint off iron pipe if you wanted to get to bare iron before applying your heat/oil technique?

  13. says

    What is the purpose of coating with beeswax? also I’m making a tall bookshelf, do you think it would be just as sturdy if I custom cut and threaded the pip to match the shallow threading of the flange? and finally, what if I don’t have welding equiptment…I thought about building a hot fire outdoors and laying the pieces on a sheet of hardward cloth to burn for an hour or two…not sure I’ll get the same effect….I also have a creme brule tiny torch! hahaha….

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Haha! I wouldn’t recommend a fire unless you feel totally confident about keeping it under control. There has to be an easier way than that!

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