$60 Coffee Table Makeover

Sanding + Spray Paint + Stain = Whole new look

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I was ready to settle down and take on a good home project. You know how you have that list in the back of your head of all the little things you would do around your house if you had the time? Well I actually had some time at home over the holiday break (believe or not) and decided that it was the perfect time to tackle our worn out and dated coffee table.

The coffee table in our family room gets LOTS of wear and tear. It's used for lego building, coloring, play dough, eating and lots more. All of this use is great, but it had really taken a toll on the table (which is about eleven years old). Most of the time my natural inclination would be to run out and buy something new. But I just didn't want to with this table. It's large, functional, crafted from hardwood, and we paid a pretty penny for it when we first bought it. 

I was bound and determined to restore the coffee table and give it the facelift that it so desperately needed. I hope you'll enjoy the details and photos, including some step-by-step instructions, that might inspire you to take on a similar project in your home. 


As you can see, years of use had really taken over the table top. The dark stain showed every little mark and scratch, and I wasn't really in love with the warm tone of stain that was originally used on it. The base color was almost a yellow/cream which matching knobs that were chipped and worn. 

Step-By-Step Process

Materials List:

Belt Sander
Palm Sander
Damp Clothes (to wipe down)
Paint (color of your choice)

The first thing I did was have the hubs help me carry it into our garage. I knew that the sanding process would be messy, so this seemed to make those sense. I started with a belt sander because it was the quickest way to removed the old stain and poly. You could always try and strip it first, but I'm impatient :)

This is what the top looked like after one round with the belt sander. 

This is the top after a second round of belt sanding, followed by using the palm sander and even hand sanding a bit. You'll notice that I left some of the original dark stain in spots. That was intentional as I wanted that antiqued effect. 

Once the sanding was complete we brought the table into the basement. It was too cold in the garage for painting and the basement was a bit warmer. 

The next thing I did was use Minwax Stainable Wood Filler from Lowe's to fill in the spaces in between the wood planks on the top. These spaces have driven me nuts for years because all kinds of crumbs and dirt get lodged in there. And because I'm completely OCD I would clean them out with a toothpick almost weekly. It was time to fix that problem.

Filling these spaces with this product was super easy. I used a paint scraper to apply and smooth out the product (try not to look at my horrible painting clothes that are probably 20 years old....LOL).

After the wood filler was applied, smoothed out and dry this is what it look like. I gave it a light hand sand and then wiped everything down with a damp cloth.

Next I was onto the painting. You can obviously use any paint product, color or brand that you wish but I chose the path of least resistance. I just didn't have it in me to hand paint anything ---- so spray paint to the rescue!!!  I have to tell you that this Valspar Premium Finish spray paint was 'da bomb'! I probably did about 2-3 coats to the base of the table and let it dry overnight.

After the spray painting was complete we were onto the next step --- stain.  The stain color I selected is called "Weather Oak" by Mixwax and you can see that it has those gray undertones that look great on natural wood.  I employed my daughter Evey's help and we used an old rag to apply two coats. 

The look was really starting to come together and I remember feeling so excited over the outcome!

I almost forgot to mention the idea I had for new pulls! I got this pack of ten file cabinet pulls from Amazon for only $9.00! I had spent about $50 on the spray paint, sand paper and stain - so in total I spent only $60 on this makeover --- so stoked!!!


Well - what do you think??? I really love how it come out and I think that the new pulls give it so much character. It's hard to believe it's the same piece right?

I really <3 these pulls!!!

I couldn't only style the table just once --- not with so many pretty design books lying around!


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