Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coffee Table Revamp

Like I mentioned before, I picked up a coffee table from the flea market on the day of our spring fling. I've been searching for a square coffee table to fix up, reasonably priced of course, for over 2 years. For some reason, everything I found was round or a long rectangle. The few I did find would be gone by the time I got Sean to go with me to get it.

This happened several times.


But I finally found one this day so I had to get it, even though I felt the $35 was a little much for the flea market. (I know, I know. I'm just so used to a bargain.) I needed square because of the layout of our living room...the long rectangle hand-me-down I have is always in the way, not to mention banged up beyond recognition.

Go figure I would find it just a few months before I'll move out of this house and undoubtedly have a furniture configuration that warrants a different shape. But nonetheless...

Here's the Before:

Are you saying, "What was she thinking?" yet?

Revamp Steps:

1. Using a medium sanding block, I sanded the entire thing, wiped it clean with an old tee and then sanded again.
2. After it was all clean, I removed the ugly brass pieces when I realized they were simply screwed in.

3. I decided the bars across each side were just more clutter for the eye and decided to remove them too. I knocked them a little loose with a hammer then, jimmied the edge with a flat head screwdriver.

4. They were held in place with wooden dowels, so I used some floral snippers to cut through the wood and break the bar loose. Then, I sanded down the wooden nub that was left and wiped it clean.

5. I chose a dark mahogany stain and was originally going to stain the entire table. But, just for something different, I decided to stain the wood top, then paint the legs black. Good decision! Following the can's instructions, I stained the top using a foam brush.

6. The next day, I covered the stained top with trash bags and painters tape, and primed the legs with primer.

*You should try to get a similar color to the top coat, but Walmart was out. Can you imagine that?

7. After the primer dried, I used my worn down sanding block to lightly brush over the primer. You should use steel wool if you have it, but I didn't. Then I wiped the legs clean with the cotton tee.

8. Next, I spray painted the legs with a black satin. I debated in the store whether I felt like painting from a can or spraying, and chose spray paint for 2 reasons. A, It was cheaper, and B, I thought spray paint would be faster and easier. That is true, when what you are covering is small or detailed, but while it dried much faster, it ended up taking longer because I had to go over it several times and ended up using the whole can. My right hand was numb for a half hour after.

9. After the legs were sprayed and the paint dried (10 minutes) I pulled away the trashbags and gave a 2nd and final coat of stain to the top. After 5-6 hours, it was ready to bring in!

I'm in Luuurve with it. It looks BRAND new sitting in the living room. I'm so glad I decided on the two-toned look. I would not have been so impressed with a same-ole wood stained coffee table. But, with every project, I learn new things and there are a few things I would do differently.

  1. Attempted to bargain with the flea market. I usually do, and I don't know why I didn't this time, but...I didn't. I just brought the sticker to the counter and paid. For goodness sake, the girl checking out in front of me had rainbow colored yarn sewn into her dreads and no shoes....Hence, its the type of establishment that wouldn't be offended by bargaining! Next time, I will at least ask.
  2. Used paint and a brush for the legs, rather than spray paint. It worked, and the results are great, but the process is where I would have saved. I'm well aware that while my end product is usually successful, my methods are always hit or miss. I learn something new everyday!
  3. Worn gloves. I had them. Again, I don't know why I didn't put them on...I just didn't. Stubborn? I had turpentine to get any stain off of my hands, but there are spots around my nails that look like they haven't been washed since the cute rainbow-dread girl last washed her hair.
Overall...Very successful revamp! The before and afters say it all.

Money Breakdown:

Coffee Table from Flea Market: $35
Primer: $2.30
Spray Paint: $2.30
Sanding block: $2.00
Stain: $4.58

Total: $46.18

Not bad for the beautiful piece I ended up with!


  1. The table looks fantastic! I absolutely love trash to treasure stories. I am also crazy about dogs and read cookbooks like novels. Guess that's why I look so forward to your posts! I'm going to try the Chicken Spinach Pizza tonight.

  2. Well you just made my day, so thank you! I hope you like the pizza as much as we did!!


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