Refurbishing Tables -The Secret of Wheels


Vintage and antique furniture has been through a lot. After being used for years by a family or generations of a family, they are stored out of the way in a basement, garage, barn or shed. This is particularly true for tables.

After many years of use and being moved around – sometimes dragged across a floor – the legs on a table or dresser have experienced a lot of stress.

So here is a tip, something I routinely employ, when refurbishing an old table and often dressers.  I put casters (wheels) on them.



In addition to giving a table a little more height, they also help preserve the structural integrity of the piece of furniture.  Moving a table or dresser that has wheels on it is much easier on its joints and corners.  It’s also easier on you!  You can generally push the furniture to the location you want it to go.

This was a tactic I used on the tin top table that I recently found.



If an antique piece of furniture has casters but they are rusted/jammed and won’t roll, I usually replace them. This is a very common problem for antique furniture.

Such was the case with this dresser. (Although I didn’t take a photo of the new wheels)




Here is another antique table where the casters help extend the life and durability of the piece. If you look carefully, you can see the little wheels peeking out under the giant paws.



Finally, this beautiful antique pine table also got a new set of swivel caster.



If you don’t want your table to roll around your house freely, there are a couple of options. First, you can install casters that have a locking mechanism.  (I have these on my portable check out stand) These casters have a little metal plate you push down with your foot to “lock” the wheels in place.  To “unlock” the wheels you simply push down on the opposite side of the metal plate.

Second, you can use glass caster cups.   These will prevent your table from rolling willy nilly around a room.  A set of 4 vintage glass caster cups is usually $30 or less, depending upon their diameter.

Also, one final piece of advice based on my experience. When you purchase casters, please make sure they are “swivel” casters.  If the wheels don’t swivel, they won’t help the piece of furniture or you.  Trust me, there are many wheels out there that don’t swivel. I have learned the hard way.

Hopefully, you will find this information useful and can integrate it into some of your furniture projects.  Thank you for stopping by the blog today.  I always appreciate it when you take the time to see what is going on in this corner of the internet.

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  1. Can you recommend a brand of swivel casters that you would recommend over others?

    1. I can not recommend a specific brand – but I find if you look on Amazon and read the reviews – you can generally find a good set.

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