Coffee table makeover

My first DIY post! :)

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved arts and crafts and making things (think friendship bracelets, needle point, paper mache, pottery, etc). Fast forward 20 some years and I still love arts and crafts and making things. I took a hiatus from anything crafty and artsy during college (thinking that I wanted to go into public policy or international relations; you know, more important stuff) but after college I knew I had to indulge my creative side a bit more or I was going to become a miserably boring person. I took some interior design classes post-college which I really enjoyed, which led me to sustainable design. More details about that later but more recently, with planning my wedding and “nesting,” I’ve rediscovered my crafty side.

With my meager background in interior design, I love furniture. I love browsing beautiful, well crafted furniture pieces that cost thousands of dollars that I could never dream of buying. So for me, the next best thing is to make something old, forgotten, and not-so-nice, nicer with some elbow grease. My first furniture makeover for our new apartment, which was a coffee table, came out surprisingly well.

I found this coffee table at a second hand furniture store. My husband and I were driving past the store when I saw this piece out in front on the sidewalk. I got an immediate feeling that this was a piece that could be transformed into a beauty and made my husband turn around so that I could take a closer look. Despite his reservations about the beat up piece, the perfect size and good bones made me adamant about getting it. I even bargained for it and got it at a whopping $34.

First DIY 01


The legs were in good shape but the top was pretty beat up and scratched up. One corner had teeth marks and was chewed up from what I’m pretty sure was a dog. I wanted to make it a “two-tone” table by painting the legs an accent color and staining the top to preserve the grain of the wood. The hardest thing was sanding the top to get rid of the varnish. Even with an electric sander it took some muscle.


Thank goodness I didn’t have to sand the legs since I was going to paint it rather than stain it. It would have taken forever and I might have given up…

It took a while but the top was finally ready for the wood stain! And yes, I did this project on a tiny balcony on the 14th floor of our apartment building for the lack of a work space. Talk about city living…


Here’s how it turned out!

I was going for the imperfect rustic look so I took some sand paper and went to town sanding the edges and corners and random spots after the paint had dried. The husband looked at me like I was crazy but I told him to trust me and continued to nick and chip parts of the paint we had so carefully applied just 30 minutes before.

Some detail shots:




I also replaced the original wooden knob on the drawer to a more rustic, antique-y looking knob from Anthropologie.


I had so much fun sprucing this baby up from a sad old reject to a functional fun modern piece. Not to mention furniture makeover like this is everything CPL wants to be: reusing and repurposing things that might otherwise have been thrown out into the landfill and giving it a stylish makeover. Let me know if there’s ugly old beat up furniture pieces in your life that you want to give new life to! I’d love to help make it into something you can love again :)

More DIY’s to come~


6 thoughts on “Coffee table makeover

  1. Sharon

    I love this Caroline!!! I wanna see it in person now! Can you change my ugly gray metal bed frame into a white antique looking one (like Anthro style)??
    Besides becoming a Unite fitness instructor, this can be another side job, plus preparing lunch bento boxes for us =)


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