Yesterday I saw a post on Tin Barn Market‘s Facebook page about a coffee table that was redone in Annie Sloan’s French Linen Chalk Paint, which got me thinking about my own coffee table makeover. I did this about 2 years ago and I guess I knew that one day I would have a DIY blog, because I documented the process. And who doesn’t love a good Before and After story?
Ick, I hated those vertical slats. This table was taking up a lot of room in our apartment without offering any kind of storage space, and the yellowish finish was not really my style. I was inspired to fix it up instead of scrapping it by this picture of a stained wood top coffee table that I found from The Feminist Mystique:
You often hear people complaining that they don’t like their furniture and can’t afford to replace it- but a little bit of elbow grease goes a long way! This coffee table came from my sister and brother-in-law when they moved to Thunder Bay for school, and it totally didn’t match any of our stuff. But it was free a good size, so we picked up some stain, some paint, and a piece of wood to fit a shelf on the bottom and Bob was our uncle! Actually Bob is our friend, but that is neither here nor there.
This was one of the first pieces of furniture (maybe the first piece of furniture?) that I ever attempted to refinish, and the main thing I learned was that it takes time, patience, and sanding. A lot of sanding.
Haha, neighbors! You thought you were going to have a quiet evening? Noooo.
After I sanded the snot out of the top, I applied Minwax stain in Special Walnut (couldn’t find Regular Ass Walnut anywhere).
Once the top was stained, we did a few coats of polyurethane and removed it from the frame after it dried. Then we disassembled the frame and went to town bashing the slats out, so we could install a shelf on the bottom.
My husband made the shelf out of a pine board that we purchased from Home Depot, and attached it to the frame with screws.
I painted the frame with white paint- in retrospect we should have used melamine but the guy at Home Depot talked us out of it for some reason. Not the biggest of deals but it probably would have been glossier and had a nicer finish if we’d ignored him and used melamine anyway. After a few coats of paint, we attached the stained top, and voila! The finishing touch was finding storage boxes that fit our board game collection, which made a huge difference in our living room.
I was really happy with how it turned out, it was a huge improvement in both appearance and functionality. We use our coffee table all the time- way more than we use our kitchen table or dining room table! Most often you can find us eating here.