This coffee table went from well-loved and worn, to beautiful in black.  Painting furniture is a great way to change up a room, prolong the life of your furniture, and bring quality pieces back to life.  This coffee table makeover to Onyx black is a prime example.

Did you know that the best times to go looking for furniture flips or used furniture for your home is January and February?  I haven’t done any statistical research to verify this statement, but if other bloggers are preaching the same dates, then I’ll ride their coattails lean on their expertise.

It makes sense though.  The months leading up to Thanksgiving and the Holidays are a huge time for furniture sales in the big box stores, which means old furniture needs to get purged and out of the way after the guests have gone. 

While this coffee table makeover isn’t a flip, I needed a segway into why I was posting this now. lol

coffee table before

This is Steph’s coffee table and it has been well-loved.

It is big and beautiful and sturdy – perfect for a family – and you can see they’ve had many a game night together enjoying it.

coffee table before

It’s not a piece that is inexpensively replaced – based on the wood content and size of it- but it does need a little help aesthetically.

For the full write-up on how to refinish wood furniture read the blog post highlighted.  Today I’m just going with the highlight reel for painting an outdated piece.

coffee table before

Coffee table makeover


Because this coffee table makeover consists of painting the piece over staining it, a rough sand is usually enough to give the primer something to grip to.  This coffee table however had a lot of surface damage in the form of nicks, dents and scratches, so I wanted to sand right down to bare wood to remove as many as possible.

sanded coffee table

The table will still have some “patina” because I wasn’t able to remove all of the nicks, but a bit of wood filler and another sanding will eliminate most.

sanded coffee table


Please prime.  Please, please, please.  I’m not endorsing this to sell product or make life more difficult – I’m telling you flat out that any furniture makeover that involves paint needs primer for bonding, tannin bleed-through and durability.  You skip this step today and you’ll just have to do another coffee table makeover in a couple of years.

primed coffee table

Once the primer is dry I go over the entire piece with 320 grit sandpaper on a sanding sponge.  This smooths out any grain that may have raised and gives you a perfect surface for paint.


Paint sprayers are great if you dilute them properly, but I’ve also had great results with foam rollers.  The key to rolling is to have a second, dry roller handy to very lightly go over the paint finish and pop any bubbles that might be in the paint.  We’re talking no pressure on the dry roller – just hold it loosely and run in parallel strips to pop those tiny little bubbles.

coffee table makeover, black coffee table

I usually start with a paintbrush on the legs for furniture makeovers, then go over the entire section with the foam roller.  The paintbrush will get into all the nooks and crannies that the roller can’t reach, and the roller will smooth the surface of any paint strokes.

coffee table makeover, black coffee table

It always looks worse before it looks better… and the first coat on this coffee table makeover certainly looks like a dog’s breakfast.

Let the paint dry completely, then hand sand with 320 grit again.

By the time you’ve repeated this process twice (or three times since this will be a highly used piece of furniture), it will be perfectly smooth and rich in colour.

coffee table makeover, black coffee table

Wood grain is still visible – which I like because it shows that it isn’t layer upon layer of paint underneath.

coffee table makeover, black coffee table

The legs are buttery smooth.

This coffee table makeover is just gorgeous in Onyx Black from Benjamin Moore; my favourite being their Advance formula in a pearl or satin finish.

The Advance formula cures over 30 days and hardens to a finish almost as strong as an oil paint, but without the mess and fumes.  Three coats of Advance means that light scratches shouldn’t break through to the primer level so light scuffs will still show a black finish underneath.  (The absolute best thing I could have done would have been to have my primer tinted to black as well – but grey was what I had on-hand)

How about a before and after for dramatic effect?

coffee table makeover, black coffee table


coffee table makeover, black coffee table

Night and day right?  Steph’s coffee table is now ready for many more years of family fun and feet up time.

Pin it for later:

coffee table makeover, black coffee table

Items I use and recommend:

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I’m off to search out cheap furniture for flipping now.

Have a great one!

One Response

  1. I’ll have to try Benjamin Moore Advance for furniture. Thanks for sharing, great makeover.