Industrial Work Bench Turned Coffee Bar

Hello!!!  I'm back with a new post and this one was a lot of fun for me!  

A couple years ago I bought an old printers work bench at The Elephant's Trunk in CT.  I paid a lot more for the piece than I wanted to, but there was something about it that I fell in love with.  The bench had writing on it from the person who used the bench as well as lots of marks and character that I'm drawn too.  

When I brought the work bench home the top was in pretty good condition, but over time it became covered in paint and stain from me.  It was a good height for working on so I used it a lot.  

Once we moved, I found I wasn't using the work bench anymore.  It sat lonely in the basement covered in miscellaneous junk.  One day I decided to reconfigure my kitchen area and add a coffee bar.  I wanted to move the coffee stuff off my counter and figured if I refinished the work bench it would work nicely.

Here are some before pictures of the work bench:

You can see it was well used and covered in paint and stain.  

I sanded down the top with 120 grit sand paper and the character started to show through all my layers of paint and stain.  It took some work, but it was well worth it.   After sanding, I stained the top in and apron in my favorite dark walnut gel stain.  I loved how the top was turned out, but I needed a shelf.

The work bench didn't have a shelf because it was used with a stool.  Luckily I had some reclaimed cedar boards I could use to build a shelf.

With my miter saw and some vintage nails, I added a shelf and some supports.  

To finish off the new coffee bar, I painted the bottom with Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan Decorative Paint in Pure White.  I watered the paint down and lightly brushed it on, then wiped it back.  Once it was dry I used 220 grit sand paper and distressed the piece.

To finish off the industrial look I added casters to the bottom of the legs.  This gave it a bit more height, plus made it a lot easier to move.  

The final step was to give the whole piece a coat of clear wax and I was done.

Here's the finished coffee bar!

Here you can see all the nails and character from years of being used in factory.

This is my favorite part!  The person who used this bench signed their name to the front.  I didn't want to sand it off because it added to the character and history of the piece. 

Here you can see the shelf I added.  It's a perfect place for my basket that holds our collection of Starbucks mugs.

The reclaimed wood goes perfectly with the character of the bench.

The casters add to the industrial feel and make it a lot easier to move.

For my coffee storage I use vintage canisters.  One of my favorite vintage finds is this real slate chalkboard I found at an estate sale.

This is the coffee bar's home in my kitchen.  It's right off our eating area.  I hung my EAT marquee above it to finish the look.

I'm love how this work bench turned coffee bar turned out.  My day doesn't start until I've had at least one cup of coffee!  This works great and frees up a lot of counter space.  Now we have a space for our coffee and the counter looks less cluttered!  

How about you, do you have a place for coffee making in your house?  Are you a coffee drinker like me?  

Thanks so much for reading!



  1. Love it!!!! Wish I could stop by for a cup of coffee!

    1. Thank you! I wish you could stop by for coffee too! Anytime girl, anytime :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Lynn...I love it too! And it's so funcitonal!

  3. I just LOVE the CHARACTER of this piece. I wish it could tell all the stories of the life it has led.
    I love that you brought it back to a useful piece while keeping its Character.
    Just PERFECT!

    1. Thank you sweet lady! My favorite thing about this piece is the character too! And you're right if it could tell its stories!!

  4. I think I'm new to following you. That table today turned out perfect. As you said, you left the character! But I'm impressed for ID have no clue how to add a shelf to a finished piece and make it fit right in but you did. Looks perfect.

    1. I'm so glad you're following along now Gwen! Thank you! Adding the shelf wasn't hard...if I can do it, you can too!

  5. I love this! Such a cute little cart now. I'm also totally in love with the Eat marquee sign!

    1. Thank you MIchelle!! That EAT sign is great, right? I got it at Home Goods!!

  6. I love the character of this piece! You do beautiful work! Please come and share! I would love it if you would join in on my Making Broken Beautiful party! It starts 6:00pm (MST) this Thursday September 10 and I would love to have you join up each week!
    Smiles for a great week!

  7. Cute! I think it was a great decision to only sand it enough to remove all the paint splatters but leave all the character behind. It looks great and looks like a fantastic way to get the coffee stuff off the counters (that's one of my pet peeves - too much stuff on the counter!)

    I am co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty link party this month and would love to have you stop by for a visit. The door opens for the next party tonight at midnight!

  8. Loving this coffee bar! Those wheels....!
    Thank you for sharing this week at Brag About It link party on VMG206 (Mondays at Midnight). I plan to feature you next week!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  9. What a beautiful transformation! It's great that you kept all the fabulous character of the piece while re-purposing it into something else. I love the accents you added like the chalkboard and the EAT sign too. Thanks for linking up with us at the #HomeMattersParty!

  10. Oh my word... I want and need this. So beautifully staged! Really gorgeous project! Featuring you on FB on Sunday. Thanks for linking up to Party Junk!

  11. Great job Melody! I love all the character in this piece and the signed name is excellent! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link! I'm pinning your design!


  12. Oh, I love this piece. The charm that only years of use can create is just perfect, especially that carved name! I love how you repurposed it into a functional piece in your home.

  13. Woah! I'm completely amazed. Love how this turned out!

  14. This is just too awesome! You did an amazing job. One day when my boys are a little older I think I will do a little tea and coffee station but for now I won't because anything within reach of little hands gets destroyed. x

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