Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and/or Craig’s List are a GOLD MINE of furniture projects that you can get for next-to-nothing and makeover to look like a million bucks – like this upcycled coffee table I refinished in a two-tone.
I couldn’t call this a “coffee table makeover” because I have 4 or 5 posts that are already titled that and SEO would give me a slap on the hand.
Instead I’m hoping you found me either because you follow my awesome adventures 😉, or because you searched for upcycled coffee table on Pinterest. 😂
I found this coffee table on Facebook Marketplace for $15 (Cdn).
The top was the worst part with a lot of wear and tear:
It’s definitely a mass-produced table with a veneer top – so there were limits as to how much I could sand it down without going through the veneer – but at $15 I decided it was worth a shot.
I loved the edging around the table top (which will keep things from falling off), and the detailing on the sides was a bit different from other tables I’d seen for sale…
so I bought it and got to work.
If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my form of therapy; sanding.
It’s so easy to do, the before and after are so gratifying, and it shuts off your brain to any other worries or stresses so you just focus on the slow, methodic movement.
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I started with 120 grit sandpaper on my DEWALT Random Orbit Sander so as not to break through the veneer. Worst case I would have painted the top of the table, but I was really trying for a two-tone coffee table, so I wanted to attempt to save the top.
A couple of hours later and it was stripped down to bare bones!
You can see in the photo above that there is a tiny edge on the table that sort of frames the table top. It’s perfect for keeping things from sliding off, but not-so-perfect for sanding, especially in the tight corners.
Instead of fighting to get those tiny crevices sanded bare, I gave them a light sanding and then taped them off to be painted with the bottom of the upcycled coffee table.
After a coat of black primer and a light sanding it was time to paint.
I went with my favourite black – Benjamin Moore’s “Black Beauty” in their Advance formula so that the finish would really stand up to vacuum bumps, spills, kicks/stubbed toes etc. Advance formula is a bit pricier, but it hardens as it cures and is as close to an oil-based finish as you can get (which is incredibly hard and durable) in a latex paint.
I applied the paint with a paintbrush, but to remove any brush strokes I use a foam paint brush to smooth the surface out. The marks you see above are actually the grain of the wood showing through, so it turned out really well.
For the top of the upcycled coffee table I went with Minwax Pickled Oak stain. Two coats, with dry time of 12 hours in between, then a coat of Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane:
You’ll find that the grain – even a veneer grain – will raise slightly with the stain leaving the surface NOT perfectly smooth. I smooth it out after the first coat of Varathane by lightly sanding with a piece of 320 grit sandpaper. Remove any and all sanding residue and apply your second coat of Triple-thick – again using the paintbrush, then sponge technique to remove any brush strokes.
The surface of your upcycled coffee table will be smooth as a baby’s bum, and thoroughly protected from scratches and wear.
I apologize, I didn’t notice it needed dusting before taking the photos. 🤦🏻♀️
I really love the two-toned look! I’m not sure it would have been as striking if I’d just stained it all one colour?
How about a couple of before and afters of my new and improved “upcycled coffee table”.
(AKA a super-awesome coffee table makeover)
Other coffee table makeovers you might like:
- Refinishing a curb-find coffee table
- Industrial cart to coffee table
- Round coffee table – you won’t believe the before!
- Coffee table with storage
Still working on the office built-ins guys, but I hope to have it trimmed out by tomorrow so I’ll be able to show you more progress on my Instagram feed!
Have a great one!