Ugly Broken Coffee Table Gets a Beautiful French Makeover #FreeFinds

2 Materials
2 Days
I love finding furniture on the side of the road. I am always amazed at what people will just get rid of if they think it's broken. The truth is... a lot of modern furniture is not very well made or is made of particle board. Real wood furniture can be quite pricey. I am all about finding fun DIY projects to keep me busy and to make old pieces look pretty again.
When I find a piece with good "bones" I have to pick it up and try to work my magic on it. I am a big fan of painting furniture to give vintage pieces a new life.

When I was working at my union a couple of weeks ago, I was on my lunch break and I stumbled upon this amazing Lane® Wood Coffee Table from the 1970's/1980's. It was pretty beat up and the bracing on the bottom was broken.

Here is a little clip of what the coffee table I found in the San Fernando Valley looked like when I first got it.
Here is the before of the table with the leaves folded down. This table would be perfect in a small apartment of home. This piece was pretty beaten up when I found it.

I started by cleaning it and then sanding it for a smooth finish. There were some rough spots on this table.
Then I had to decide if I was going to try and repair the bracing under the table or just cut it off. I made the decision to cut it off and I am so happy I did. I used my Ryobi electric cordless jigsaw to make this happen.
After I removed the old bracing, I needed to use wood putty and a spatula to fill the holes in the legs.
After the putty dried and I sanded that down, it was time to start painting the table with my chalk paint in the color  “Vintage.” I like to try and use supplies I already have for random projects like this one.
I got out my painters tape. I measured from the base of each leg up and marked it. I placed my painter’s tape at the 8″ marker so I could create gold dipped legs on the table. The paint I always love to use for gold pops of color is my “Olympic Gold” Modern Masters paint.

I also decided the detailing on the side of the table should also be painted gold so it didn’t get lost like it was before I painted it. How pretty is this ornate detailing?
I was having trouble deciding what to do with the top of this table. I was actually torn between a couple different stencils. But I ended up deciding on this french poem stencil that  I used to make over an old dresser in 2016.
I used a tray and a sponge roller, but this stencil is tricky. Paint dries in the openings of the stencil so easily, that I ended up having to go back over each word with a small artist paint brush to clarify what it said. This took a lot longer than I had remembered. But it was so worth it. I love DIY projects like this one.
After completing the stenciling, I took out my furniture wax and a rag to apply in a circular motion to this table. All over.
After rubbing all the furniture wax in, I sat back and admired my work. The coffee table was COMPLETE!!! What do you think of how it turned out?
If you like this project, check out more info on my blog!
Suggested materials:
  • Poem Stencil   (Cutting Edge Stencils)
  • Ch   (Deco Art)
Meredith Schneider
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • C Crow C Crow on May 27, 2017
    You are one brave lady! Your makeover is lovely, but the photos make it look as if you worked over that pretty rug without any floor protection. Did you? Or is the rug ruined already so it was the underlayment? Just curious, as I can lay tarps over everything in the room where I paint and still end up with paint where I don't want it!

  • Jan Haines Jan Haines on May 27, 2017
    No question - just to say what a lovely makeover. You certainly have vision.

  • Sharonbraun Sharonbraun on May 27, 2017
    It have a square asian-style coffee table with glass inserts that I love. However, the black lacquer paint has chipped on the edges, rendering it unsuitable. Can I duplicate the finish and use the table again?

Join the conversation
2 of 22 comments
  • Ernestine Allen Ernestine Allen on May 31, 2017
    I am more inspired each time I get a new email from DIY. You guys really rock! I am doing more projects now that I have retired. Thank you for your ideas !

  • Nancy Murphy Nancy Murphy on Jun 25, 2020

    I like what your did, but am a little confused by the legs. They look brown rather than gold. Maybe it's the lighting. Love the French script.