Outdated Coffee Table + Side Table Redo

12 Materials
$70
3 Days
Medium

Have an old outdated table set in your living room and want a change? Get some paint + stain and you'll have a fresh new look in no time!
Step one - Prep your furniture
  • Clean off any grime and dust with a clean rag or cleaning wipe and remove legs using an eklind tool.
Not pictured - Gloves for staining
*Optional Step* - Fix Broken Piece
  • I wasn’t so lucky when it came to one of the pieces of the set. A corner of the coffee table was missing quite a big chuck out of it. No need to worry though, It’s an easy fix! I took some wood filler and shaped it into what the other corners look like. This was no problem because I was painting that part of the table anyways, so it was going to get covered up very easily.You want to allow proper drying time for the wood filler to dry. In the end I had to fill, sand, fill again, sand again, and fill one more time and sand for a final third time to get the shape correctly.
Step Two - Sand
  • When sanding start off with a medium to fine medium grit sandpaper (100 - 150). You never know exactly what material you’re sanding down to, it’s always better to start off safe with a higher grit than with a coarse grit like 60 and sand down too far.If painting the furniture piece you don’t have to sand down completely to the wood. You just want to sand down enough so the paint will stick. If sanding down to stain (piece must be wood), you’ll need to completely sand down to the original wood removing all paint or stain previously on the piece.Once you do your initial sanding with whatever grit you use, you’ll want to finish it with a finer grit such as 220. This is extremely important when staining.

What a difference just sanding away all that old stain can do for a piece! Bringing a piece back to life isn't as hard as you think.
Step Three - Dust
  • Once done sanding all the dust needs to be removed. I use a little handheld duster and a rag, but you can also use an air hose, damp cloth or “oil free” tack cloth.
Step Four - Paint and/or Stain
  • Use your color of choice and paint away. Most pieces usually take 3 coats, 2 if you’re lucky. Make sure you’re painting with an even coat throughout the whole piece. Allow drying time between each coat (this is why it can take a couple days to complete).
  • For these pieces I stained the whole top, and painted the bottom. Since they were so separate I did my painting and staining all at once. This saves time too! Make sure to wear a glove, stain can be a pain in the butt to get off your hands and finger nails.
Paint used - Toasted Poppyseed by Kilz
For the top of these pieces I stained with two coats of Special Walnut by Minwax. I use a scrap piece of cloth to stain. I find it gives me the most control with the product. I've also seen people brush stain on with a paint brush, I just prefer a cloth - it's easier to wipe off if you get a little too much on.
Step Five - Seal
  • Depending on what kind of paint you use you’ll seal with poly or a wax or a glaze finish, something that’s relatively new to me (thank you American Paint Company!) For this piece I used a chalk finish paint and used the Glaze Finish from American Paint Company in Black to seal it. If you were using a chalk paint I recommend using a wax or glaze to seal.
  • To apply the glaze I use a clean paint brush and brushed it on evenly. I did two coats of this. You want to allow proper drying time for this, it doesn’t take too long, their products are really great quality.

I love how well this picture shows the difference between non sealed and sealed. It's like two completely different pieces!
To seal the stain I always use Polycrylic Matte finish, it’s my favorite. I usually do two coats of this and sand with 220 grit in between coats, making sure I remove all dust particles with a cloth before applying the next coat. For these pieces I did do a third coat just because they’re living room tables and most likely will be getting a lot of things set on them.
Step Six - Find your finished piece and home and enjoy!
  • Now that you have a beautiful new piece of furniture, the fun part starts - finding it’s new home in your house and decorating!
I love the look the Black Glaze finish from American Paint Company gives a finished piece.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
31 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
These Herb Garden Ideas Will Make You Want To Start One Of Your Own
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sandy
    on Jan 24, 2020

    looks great... how about showing something In A oak stain???

  • Debbie in Atlanta
    on Jan 26, 2020

    Did you sand the top in all the different directions of the wood grain?

    • Ashleigh Sommer
      on Jan 26, 2020

      I always, always sand with the grain, never against. So yes for pieces like this that the grain meets in the middle I do rotate around the table while sanding in order to sand with the grain of the wood.

  • Mks4855434
    on Feb 9, 2020

    I have coffee & end tables that are similar. However on the coffee table, there are 3 glass inserts... one is broken.

    what could I do with these??

    • Jo Langevin
      on Feb 10, 2020

      You could also try a stone or a tile insert, a small glass tile or metal backsplash tile could be interesting also.

Join the conversation

2 of 47 comments
  • Barb Stiv
    on Feb 10, 2020

    Just love the look. I'm going to give it a try

  • Linda
    7 days ago

    Thank you for not painting a white I am getting so tired of the farmhouse look. Yours is a refreshing change and very classy looking.

Your comment...