DIY Industrial Side Table (and the day he finally said no!)

When it comes to decorating our house, my husband is a pretty easy going guy. By easy going I mean, he usually takes a back seat and just lets me do my thing.


An easy tutorial on how to upcycle the IKEA MARIUS stool into a rustic industrial side table – arterfect as a nightstand for a small spaced bedroom!
How to turn the IKEA MARIUS stool into an industrial side table / Grillo Designs

When it comes to decorating our house, my husband is a pretty easy going guy. By easy going I mean, he usually takes a back seat and just lets me do my thing.

For example (and these are real life examples I might add)

Me: Hey Vince, should we paint this wall room black? And the ceiling too?

Him:Yeah sure why not.

Me: Hey Vince, do you mind if I decoupage the washing machine ? With fabric?

Him: Go for it!

Me: Hey Vince, I know you’ve literally just put the TV on the wall over there, but I’ve changed my mind. Can we put it on the other wall please? 

Him: Ok, Yh if that’s what you want? Is this what you want?

You get the picture…. super chilled..

Then one day…this happened.

Me: Hey Vince, I think we should swap our King size bed for a double size bed instead, our bedroom room is way too small.

Him: No


Me: No?

Him: Yes no.

(More silence) …. obviously, I’ve never prepared for the ‘he said no’ scenario

Me: ‘But, I really think-

Him: No. I like the bed we have.’

(FYI: pictured below is the bed in question)

Next bed frame next to DIY industrial side table / Grillo Designs

Bed frame: Next UK  /  Duvet cover: Argos UK


Me: Oh okay…. then?

And that was that. I respected his decision for the simple fact that he rarely said no without good reason. I still died a little inside though.

So, huge bed… small room. What’s a girl to do?

I was forced to re-think my whole floor plan and find other ways to save space. Thankfully our freshly painted wardrobes (oh god thats another crazy story you might want to read) were built in and didn’t take up much room. However, in terms of other bedroom furniture, i.e bedside tables (you know, for all the useless junk we liked to store within arms reach of our bed), I needed to keep it small and compact .



The IKEA MARIUS stool seemed like the perfect starting point for the industrial side table I had always wanted, and at a whopping £3, I was saving quite a few pennies


Easy way to turn a stool into a wooden industrial side table / Grillo Designs


What’s the deal with all the IKEA hacks, you ask? God, I wish I knew.. I don’t even realise I’m doing it anymore.



This post contains affiliates for your crafting convenience, see full disclosure here








Paint the black ikea marius stool / Grillo designs


It doesn’t really matter which way you choose to do this, but I decided to paint the stool first. I thought a brighter colour would really make the ‘industrial side table’  pop against my dark bedroom walls (see in previous picture above).

So mustard yellow… that was the gorgeous colour I chose.


Paint diy industrial side table / Grillo Designs


To achieve the best result for this colour, I spayed on two coats of white primer (here is a US alternative


How to primer industrial side table / Grillo Designs


followed by two coats of mustard yellow spray paint for the finish. Once all the paint was dry, I spray painted with varnish (also known as polyutherane) to seal it all in and prevent future chipping or scrapes..

If you’re unsure about this whole painting thing, I have a great article you can read which explains exactly how to paint IKEA furniture. 


Painted mustard yellow industrial side table / Grillo Designs




For a slightly less complicated route, you could use a round wooden chopping board for the table top as explained in this tutorial by a very talented  decorator I met on Instagram.


I wanted a more chunkier style table top that looked similar to the bench I built a few months ago. So this is what I did (it involves some serious DIY- but please do not be put off. If I can do this, you can too!)

1. With a jigsaw, I sawed the wood into 5 lengths (basically a rectangle slightly bigger than the top of the stool – use the top of your stool as a guide or you could used a compass).


Create the wooden base for your industrial side table / Grillo designs


2. Each full side of the  wood was glued together with gorilla glue and left overnight to dry.


Use gorilla glue for the industrial side table top / Grillo Designs


(you could also use a Kreg Pocket Hole tool to connect the wood together for this but I don’t own one yet. Here is a great tutorial on how to use one if you’re interested).


Clamp the wood together to make the table top for the industrial side table / Grillo Designs


3. Next, using the top of the IKEA stool as an outline, draw a circle with a pencil. Then you need to cut out that circle.  The drawing part was a piece of cake, the cutting, on the other hand, was a nightmare!

My husband and I initially used a jigsaw to try and cut the circle.


Use a jigsaw to cut the industrial side table top/ Grillo Designs


Huge fail. I’m sure it can be done, but it just didn’t work for us. The wood was too thick and as a result the blade kept bending.

Here’s attempt  1 and 2 -total disaster!

Failed table top for industrial side table attempt 1 / Grillo Designs

Failed table top for industrial side table / Grillo Designs

Then my husband did a little research and thats how we discovered a new power tool – a router (not the internet kind)!

When we saw all the wonderful things that could be done with it on youtube, we immediately went out and bought one – that same day. A good investment for the future we told ourselves (also it was pay day..duh!)

The router is an amazing power tool that allows you to cut rounded shapes, rounded corners, and a million other things I don’t know yet, but I’m sure ill soon discover  (the focus on this project was just the circle though)




4. In order to cut a perfect circle, we had to use a circular guide for the router. My husband put together a quick one from scrap wood using this tutorial on youtube (pictured above). You can also skip this step and  buy a guide kit from here


Nail the guide to the centre of the circle (draw an x across your wood to locate the centre)


Using the router to cut the table top for industrial side table / Grillo Designs


And from then on its a simple as moving the router across the wood (with a little man-power).  We had to go around the circle twice as the drill piece we used hadn’t been deep enough the first time.

Be sure to wear protective goggles and a mask for all the saw dust particles!

Here is the end result – the circle we had hoped (and prayed) for


end result of table top for industrial side tableUsing the router to cut the table top for industrial side table / Grillo Designs


5. I also cut out a 2cm thick circle from mdf wood and painted it the same yellow to make the base of the wooden table top.


MDF cutout for industrial side table/ Grillo Designs


6.  I sanded, then stained my oh so perfect circle with Wickes Warm Oak Varnish (here is a great alternative stain if you’re in the US) and added in some knocks and scrapes with a hammer


Stained wooden table top industrial side table / Grillo Designs


7. Finally, you can  either use screws to attach the the wooden top to the stool or extra strong wood glue!


Industrial side table made from the IKEA MARIUS stool / Grillo Designs

Diy industrial side table for the bedroom / Grillo Designs


Here is a picture of my new industrial side table in my bedroom (although I do like to move it around the house a lot). What do you think?


Mustard yellow industrial side table in the bedroom / grillo designs


I really LOVE the yellow against the black wall. Hopefully more bedroom makeover progress shots to come soon (I work at snail pace at the best of times)


Has there ever been a time when your partner has said no to an idea you have proposed – and just would not budge on the NO? Share your stories with me in the comments below – I would love to hear! 





industrial style utensil holderIndustrial side table made from the IKEA MARIUS stool / Grillo Designs



industrial mason jar holders / Grillo Designs



how to build an industrial bench / Grillo Designs



rustic wooden snowman / Grillo Designs




  1. Greetings from Wisconsin, USA Thank you for the add! I love Apartment Therapy’s site. I’m so glad that I’ve found your site!!! Your small room make over was so clever and unique! I used to love DIYs long ago, way before it became a “thing”. We called it “necessity is the mother of invention”!!! I really like the little office space you created for yourself! I have a small top pedestal table that I have by my chair in our small living room apartment that I put my tablet on so I can read, or play cards or read my crochet patterns. I’ve recently started to have my meals in that chair and have discovered that little topped table is just too small…I’ve been looking for a unique piece to replace it and your IKEA stool is absolutely perfect! Now for the top…I was originally thinking of a cutting board but I’ll have to check out my local hardware store for some other ideas…now that I know what the base will be the New Year is looking even brighter!!!! Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours!

    1. Welcome Rosalie! So glad to have you here and that you like my bedroom makeover. I know some parts are a little out there haha. I would suggest using a cutting board – I think that would totally work and is much less hassle than what I did. Happy new year to you too!

  2. This is such a great Idea and I think you finished the chair beautifully! A+ on style 🙂 Popping by from Snickerdoodle create-bake-make party 🙂 Have a beautiful week!gr. Kat

  3. What a clever way to use the stool. It looks wonderful. The color pops so well against the wall. Thanks for sharing your tutorial with us at Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Party. We’ll be featuring this at today’s party.

  4. My husband has been complaining for years about wanting a king sized bed and I keep telling him absolutely not! We just do not have the space for it. I agree that routers are awesome! Hope you have fun making many more projects with yours!

  5. Seriously, this is so awesome looking. I’ve passed those stools up so many times thinking they were nothing much to look at. And, I have to say I’m very jealous, I’ve wanted a router for over 10 years. You’d think hubby would have bought me one for Christmas or something. I guess I have to get better at hinting 🙂

  6. Love this hack, you’ve turned a rather boring stool into something more stylish and of course in your signature yellow. I was having a conversation with my husband this morning saying that he should just leave the house to me and let me make all the decorating decisions life would be so much easier if he did. Unfortunately, he didn’t buy it so I still have to compromise, but I’m working on him.

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