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Stair-Tread Side Table

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2004


  • Handsaw and miter box

  • 1-by-4, for recessed skirting

  • 1/2-inch cove molding

  • 1-inch stair-tread nosing

  • One 48-by-11 1/2-inch wooden stair tread

  • Wood glue

  • 1- and 1 1/2-inch finishing nails

  • 8 L brackets and screws

  • 2 wooden balusters

  • Four 2-inch wood screws

  • Electric drill with screwdriver bit

  • 1 quart each primer and paint


  1. For the recessed skirting, cove molding, and stair-tread nosing, you can have the wooden pieces cut to measure at the store or do it yourself using a handsaw and miter box. Attach the stair-tread nosing to the short sides of the tread (its front edge is already curved) using wood glue and 1 1/2-inch finishing nails.

  2. Glue three pieces of 1-by-4 skirting to stair tread, recessed 2 inches from edges; screw in two L brackets on each side. Position balusters inside the two corners of skirting; attach them using two 2-inch wood screws per leg, as shown. On the exterior, where the tread joins the skirting attach three pieces of cove molding (mitering the corners) with glue and 1-inch nails to hide the seam.

  3. When the glue is dry, prime and paint the table. Attach it to wall with two L brackets (as shown), using 2-inch screws and the appropriate anchors for the wall, and 3/4-inch screws on the underside.

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