How to upcycle your coffee table with furniture paint


Some individuals like the antique appearance and feel of a used, well-used old coffee table, while other people prefer to keep that freshly-painted and brand-new look.

All coffee tables develop wear and tear with time, reducing the finish and paint or dye.

If you want to give your coffee table a fresh new look, all you have to do is refinish the surface and paint it with a favorite color to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture.

Remove the old paint with a scraper, roller or power sander

If the existing paint job is good (no major cracks, texture issues), this step can be avoided. Instead, just lightly sand the table down and move on to the next step.

If you’re working with a table that has already been painted, remove the old paint to reveal the wood underneath. New paint adheres more successfully to raw wood than it does to an older, dried out, cracked and unclean layer of paint.

To remove layers of old paint, a putty knife is the most efficient tool, but a wire brush can also be used. To get the finest results, use a paint remover in combination with your putty knife. Soak the existing paint in the solution as directed by the manufacturer to loosen it for removal.

If you need to use a paint remover, be sure to open the windows or work in an outside area so that you do not breathe in any fumes.

A primer may be needed depending on the paint you use. However, there are ‘paint and primer in one’ products out there that save a lot of time and offer a great finish.

Removing Stain

Because stain goes into the wood rather than just coating the top, you can’t simply remove the top layer to show the wood. It’s not easy to cover old stain, which makes it more difficult than painting over raw wood, which is a natural hue.

To get the best results, you must remove the top layer of stain to expose the raw wood beneath, as well as sand away any existing finish that covers the stain. This is done with sandpaper.

Using a palm sander or belt sander for broad open areas of a table is an alternative to sanding by hand. To smooth the table down further after removing it, use finer paper grits to get the degree of smoothness you desire.

Choosing Your Furniture Paint

There are many furniture paints to choose from, and each variety provides a different finish.

If you are looking for a modern, glossy finish – opt for a high quality water based paint. One coat gloss paint is a great option, usually used for doors, molding and window frames. But they work just as well on coffee tables and nightstands.

Chalk based furniture paints are great for the vintage shabby chic appearance. People often use this type of paint and then sand down the corners for a rustic look.

Canned furniture paints provide a smoother finish as they don’t require a brush or roller for application, however they can be tedious to work with if you do not have any experience working with spray cans.

Painting & Finishing Touches

A paint job is not simply a coat of paint. In most cases, many applications will be necessary to achieve the desired finish, but it’s also essential to use the proper application technique for your chosen finish. For the most effective results, you could test on scrap wood or drywall.

Even the finest paint brushes leave tiny indentations or streaks from the brush strokes. Rollers can produce a somewhat pock-marked surface, although the higher the quality of the roller, the smoother the finish. Spray-on coats, whether with a spray gun or a spray can, provide the most consistent, uniform finish providing you take your time and don’t allow drips.