Asked on Feb 18, 2015

Updating glass and wood coffee table

by DevonMarie
I would really like to update my coffee table, especially the glass. With 3 children, it is a pain to keep clean. Plus, it is a little dated. I also have matching end tables. Any tips are very welcomed :)
  26 answers
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Feb 18, 2015
    Looks like the perfect size to replace the glass with tiles you could put them in with clear silicone. I would paint the table first or replace glass with thin plywood pictures of your kids and a clear lucite cover again holding the lucite in place with silicone or window putty again paint table first
  • Cindy Carley Cindy Carley on Feb 18, 2015
    We have the same table and end tables at our home. One of the pieces of glass is chipped in the coffee table and would be to costly to have replaced since it's "tinted & beveled"; so I thought about sanding down the table and painting it. Then I've thought about using a piece of wood in each of the areas where the glass is and upholstering it with a faux leather material. This would give us a "Western Theme" that we are looking for!! But, we do agree with "Funnygirl's" idea of replacing the glass with "tile" pieces!! Good Luck & if you end up doing something, please share your photos of the finished product!! :)
  • Barbara McCleskey Barbara McCleskey on Feb 18, 2015
    I agree with the tile mentioned earlier.. They make such beautiful pieces now, and would hold up to most anything u throw at it.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 18, 2015
    Could spray the underside with that frosting. Would give you a break from constant wiping.
  • Stacey Deen Stacey Deen on Feb 18, 2015
    I have been meaning to ask this question for months. I loved the tables BC (before children). Now in addition to finger marks, add crumbs from snacks they eat while watching a movie or TV shows getting into the tiny crevices near the glass and I lose my mind. I tried tile after one of our side table tops broke in a move. The tile was too thick and made the whole top higher than the rest which caused things to that were slid or moved over to fall or lean. I love the wood idea but would wonder about the thickness. i can't wait to hear ideas. Thanks and good luck!
  • T T on Feb 18, 2015
    I did a table just like that about year or so ago.. i don't have any photos tho. But, I used a chalk paint for the table and then used a frostrd glass paint for the glass. I used a dark color on the table, it was an eggplanr color which looked nice with the frosted glass.
    • Stacey Deen Stacey Deen on Feb 19, 2015
      Did the frosted glass paint hide the finger prints like you wanted? I love the idea of replacing it with wood, but the glass is fairly thin. I think I'll take it to my neighborhood hardware store and see what they suggest wood-wise. The big box store employees weren't much help.
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on Feb 18, 2015
    I don't know that kids and glass go together, nor would it domuch for the fingerprints, but the mercury glass that is so taking the world by storm (or was last year ;-) ) would be fun. Do it on the bottom to make it more wear-proof?
  • Sally Sally on Feb 18, 2015
    Consider ModPodge'ing pictures, paper etc on top of glass. ModPodge isn't the water and glue we remember. "Mod Podge Rocks" is a good site. They even have a Furniture Formula. Something to look into
  • K K on Feb 18, 2015
    you could put thin wood covered with thin tile sheets in for the glass. we did that after our daughter broke the top of our coffee table. you can use various size tile if the measurments are an issue
  • Karen Ward Karen Ward on Feb 18, 2015
    Any kind of tile should be "set" on a base of plywood or sheet metal. Sheet metal is thinner, so your tiles wouldn't set so high up. Also, you can adjust the height of the plywood/sheet metal base my using "L" brackets attached to the inside of the edge of the table. (Very easy......just screw in.) The edge of the table looks at least 3-4" wide, so you could install the "L" brackets a little higher or lower, depending on the thickness of your tiles. If this table is in a family room & you've ever done any mosaic work.........You could have your children decorate large tiles (6"x6") at one of those "Paint-Your-Own-Pottery" studios. Set the decorated tiles on plywood/sheet metal, and use glass or ceramic tiles as borders to fill in any extra space. Then grout & seal, and you've got a pretty indestructible table top. :)
  • Dottie Unruh Dottie Unruh on Feb 18, 2015
    I would paint the frame with chalk paint and decoupage family photos on the underside of the glass. Copy the photos onto matt photo paper, then tear the edges of the photos and place them randomly in collage fashion. Interesting conversation piece.
  • Ann Ann on Feb 18, 2015
    I like Dottie's idea. And if you used mod pudge you would be able to wipe them off. If the glass comes out easily you can measure the thickness and then get wood cut to fit. I also like the mercury glass idea. It would probably hide a lot of fingerprints. Hope to see after pics.
  • How about photos of your children on thin wood and sealant.
  • Awilda Agront Awilda Agront on Feb 19, 2015
    You could replace the glass,with some nice tiles over wood. Change color of the table
  • Cisco Cisco on Feb 19, 2015
    If it were my piece I would get rid of the glass altogether. Measure the entire area of the top. Go to Home Depot and have them cut a piece of plywood to fit. Next pick out some fabric that compliments your current decor and then buy some padding. Smooth the edges of the plywood with sand paper then add the padding and attach the fabric to the underside with a staple gun. Paint your piece if needed then attach the plywood to the table.
  • A couple ideas that I have is to get some tile and add that in instead of the glass. Depending on the color that you are going to paint it, some of the glass tiles out there would be really cute with it. Another idea is to cut out wood the same size and thickness and glue that in, then paint it all the same color.
  • Stacy Stacy on Feb 19, 2015
    they have new styles of sticky tiles they are inexpensive and would change the look easily. You can update any furniture or a kitchen back drop with these tiles.
  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Feb 20, 2015
    You have three children and three glass panels... Change out the glass with wood painted with chalkboard paint, and let the kids use the table to do activities. You can also change them out for holidays etc...
  • Cindy Marks Cindy Marks on Feb 20, 2015
    @DevonMarie I would sand and paint the wood portion of the coffee table and check at your local paint store to see what they do with tile samples when they are out of date. I know here they just throw them out - and if this is the case where you are simply measure you glass and find tile you like and insert where the glass used to be. You could also use the long rectangular tile and have them cut to fit. (maybe you could score some marble) There are all sorts of ideas you could come up with as far as tile is concerned - let your imagination run wild.
  • Oliver Teske Oliver Teske on Feb 20, 2015
    Cover it with a cloth.
  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Mar 01, 2015
    You can buy veneered plywood in many different types of wood. If you don't have a table saw, have it cut at the lumber yard. Switch it out for the glass. When the kids are older and it is safe to have glass again, switch it back again.
  • Ray Woodson Ray Woodson on Mar 01, 2017

    I know this is an old thread, but did you get rid of the glass? Did you keep it just in case? If so, what size are the panels?

  • Rhea Schroeder Rhea Schroeder on Feb 05, 2024


  • J Brown J Brown on Feb 05, 2024

    I picked up a table on the side of the road 7-10 years ago. It was missing ALL the glass inserts. I removed the little dated verticle rodsrods and then gave it a couple good coates of stain. Added tiles and uphostry tacks to cover the rod holes and voila.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 05, 2024

    Hello, hope this helps you. You could put a peel and stick right on the glass. it would hide fingerprints and because it's vinyl can be easily wiped clean. Or you could put a coat of chalk paint on the entire table glass and all. And lastly you could fill the spaces for the glass with wood like the attached photo

  • Janice Janice on Feb 05, 2024

    I would take careful measurements and then search for floor tiles in that size or larger and have them cut to fit. The tile would be much safer for your children.