Nov 212014
Mid Century Pinterest 2 copy

MCM tables with classic MCM update

This past  summer, I picked up two blond wood step tables for less than $10 for both.  They were not the typical “country” look but rather, a  sleek look with nice lines and angles.  Very MCM / Mid-Century Modern!  However, they were not especially sturdy or heavy duty.  Regardless,  they have survived years and I was smitten!

mid century step table mcm geometric

Great lines and angles!

I hummed and hawed about how to paint them.  Two-toned?  Two toned with dark and light stained wood?  Plain single colour? 

I tried out a few MCM patterns in Photoshop but they didn’t grab me.

I love playing in Photoshop!
pattern for tables 3 copy

Geometric 1

pattern for tables 2 copy

Geometric 2


 After some research on Google and Pinterest, I found the perfect inspiration I needed!
Check out this super cool Mid Century Plant table. 

MCM Plant table

How cool is this mid century plant table?? I was crushing on the black surface! Source

I loved the black level and decided to use narrow painters tape to tape off the angled lines and let the wood show through. Then add colour in random triangles.

To begin, I stripped the tops and stained them with my go-to walnut stain to darken up the wood. I just love the rich brown it produces. Then rather than trying to plan a pattern in Photoshop, I just grabbed the roll of tape and went to town, randomly taping various angles. The result is the two tables are completely different. 

To get crisp lines, you must ALWAYS paint the base colour over the tape to seal it. But since I wanted wood to show through and not paint, I used Mod Podge to seal the tape edges.

mid century step table mcm geometric

Taped and sealed with Mod Podge to get crisp lines

I love the cool tone of SW All Purpose Enamel in 6990 Caviar,  which I used to paint the base colour.  For the splash of colour in the random triangles, I used craft paint in MCM colours I had on hand. Finally, I topped it all off with a couple coats of Varathane Diamond non yellowing finish.

 I just love how they turned out!  

mid century step table mcm geometric

Mid-Century Geometric Design

 Mr. Nice thought they were brilliant!

mid century step table mcm geometric

The designs were random and different on each table.


Mid Century Pinterest 2 copy

MCM tables with classic MCM update


 If you are in the Toronto area, they are for sale!  Email me. 
Or they may go in Miss Nice’s first apartment when she leaves university residence.


What do you think about this revival of Mid Century style furniture? 

I think the show Mad Men has helped make it more mainstream. 

Betty Draper would love these!

Do you have mid-century pieces in your home?


  12 Responses to “Geometric Mid Century Step Table”

  1. I love how these turned out! The wood shining through looks amazing!! Always nice to see another Canadian blogger too!!
    Lindi @

  2. Wow, I love these. I did a something similar on a wooden tray but these are fantastic and so suitable to the time period. I have written a couple of blogs about the subject-one on atomic design and one where I unconsciously channeled my inner Star Trek. The design that you made reminds me of the 50’s-60’s bark cloth. You should offer them to a MCM vintage store.
    I don’t understand about the mod podge- what happens when you pull up the tape?

    • Thanks for the compliment. I love them but to be honest, I wasn’t sure I would!

      Regarding the tape… in order to get very crisp lines with no seepage of paint under the tape, it is best to seal the tape edges. To do this, if the base is paint, you simple paint over the tape edge with the base paint. However, since my base was wood, I used clear Mod Podge which achieved the same seepage deterent. When you pull up the tape, the lines are nice and crisp. Have a great weekend!

  3. My grandparents had tables like these & I’ve wanted to find them to do the same. You did a great job at the geometrics. I’m stopping by from SITS & I hope your having a great day!

  4. I love what you did with these tables! The paint works so well with the lines of the tables! Thank you for sharing at Talented Tuesdays – hope to see you again this week!

  5. You did a terrific job. The design seems so relevant to the design of those tables. Very, very creative. Thanks for sharing. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey

  6. Where did you get that skinny painter’s tape? Did you have to cut it yourself?

  7. This turned out really neat!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up! 🙂

  8. Wow, Joan, those are some super cool tables! Love the vision you had for them and you carried it out beautifully. Also, your mod podge tip for sealing on stained finishes is so helpful for me! Never would have thought of that. Lovely job, thanks for linking up with us at Best of the Nest!

  9. […] Nicer Than New did an amazing job on these mid century  end tables. […]

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