Asked on Mar 16, 2021

How do I rescue my bench turned coffee table?

BbunnyMorgan McBrideCarrie @ Curly Crafty Mom


I recently bought a wooden bench which has "slats" for the top and the bottom shelf. I love it; however, I'm running into problems painting it white. I cleaned it, sanded lightly (probably should have done more), tried spray painting it (didn't work well), and after consultation with a member of the big box paint department I spray primed it, then put two coats of white paint + primer on it (using brush and foam brushes). It still looks blotchy and I have drips from the top to the bottom. Do I need to sand the drips and do another coat of paint? Can I spray it now? I saw a picture in my new HGTV magazine of a "speckled" coffee table and I liked it. I'm thinking about touching up the blotches, then "spatter painting" the table with different colors to blend with an abstract-y floral bouquet painting above the couch. What do you all think? It will have magazines, etc. on the bottom shelf and likely a tray of some sort with plants, etc. on the top so I don't feel like it has to be absolutely perfect.

10 answers
  • Vimarhonor
    on Mar 16, 2021

    Hello. One of my favorite bloggers addresses used furniture painting issues when she refurbs it.

    Please consider popping by this bloggers website for her wonderful accessories and furniture rehabs. She details useful repair products, techniques and has a nice result. In addition to trays many of her furniture items are from the thrift store or furniture pieces donated to her.


  • Em
    on Mar 16, 2021

    If you want a smooth finish yes you have to sand the drips. You could at his point since there is now so much paint on it, chalk paint it or crackle paint it. Use use a base coat you buy where you purchase chalk paint that is the crackle paint medium. Paint bottom layer one color use crackle medium then top layer color. The top layer shrinks and exposes fine lines that show the bottom layer. Look up examples online. I love the look.

  • sand the drips and then spray it again. Very light layers so you don't get drips

  • Janice
    on Mar 16, 2021

    Hi Bbunny, you wil likely need to resand the piece so there's no drips or runs. Then you could respray with white for a more even finish, then decide if you'd like to do the color spatter pattern. In any case, I've found that I am much moe critical of my own work than of other's work.

    You could also repait the piece with a sponge type brush and take more time as you go so you clean up the runs and drips as you go. Much of the redo's really are more work than a person realizes.

    Here's a good inspiring article with splatter painting ideas..... most important ...have un with your project and enjoy the process, it can always be changed at another time if you grow tired of it.,paint%20directly%20onto%20that%20surface.&text=%E2%80%9CSplatter%20painting%20celebrates%20spontaneity%2C%20improvisation,physical%20approach%20to%20making%20art.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    on Mar 16, 2021

    Bbunny I'm suspecting the blotchiness is the old finish coming through your new paint. I would hand sand the piece until its smooth and then try for a more serious type of paint. I've found Rustoleum's primers and colors make for an even coverage that nothing bleads through because they're oil based paints. I hope that helps, good luck!

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Mar 16, 2021

    You will need to sand it down smooth. Spray paint is great if you have no issues but I have so many issues that I rarely use it, I just use a brush.

    The speckled idea sounds really cool if you want an eclectic look. It would definitely solve your need for perfection issue.

  • Mogie
    on Mar 16, 2021

    When applying spray paint it is best to apply many layers but very FINE coats almost a mist. The better the application the better the final product.

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    on Mar 16, 2021

    I would lightly sand where there are paint drips that have dried. That can happen sometimes when spray painting, even if you do lots of thin coats. The speckled look may help distract the eye from any imperfections and sounds fun, so I say go for it!

  • Morgan McBride
    Morgan McBride
    on Mar 17, 2021

    Drips mean too heavy paint. Sand off and start over.

  • Bbunny
    on Mar 18, 2021

    Thank you all so much for your suggestions. Looks like there's a lot of sanding in my immediate future (good thing I bought myself a new sander today!). After a little more prep and paint I think I will try the spatter/splatter idea. Thanks for the encouragement!

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