Coffee Table Makeover

I’m slowly but surely chipping away at the project list for the living room. For the most part we didn’t use a coffee table in the loft and we really missed having one. So remember this vintage coffee table? In the loft, we used the marble top on our kitchen island (both incarnations). I kept the fruitwood…

I’m slowly but surely chipping away at the project list for the living room. For the most part we didn’t use a coffee table in the loft and we really missed having one.

So remember this vintage coffee table? In the loft, we used the marble top on our kitchen island (both incarnations). I kept the fruitwood base, thinking I would use it to make a foot-of-the-bed bench, but I liked the marble in our living room, so the frame and marble top were joined together again…
I knew the wood would have to be painted out though – it was not pretty up close. I thought about doing a gray shade, but the room really needs more white, especially for when the sofa fabric gets changed to a darker color.

I remembered seeing this Christine side table from Oly Studio with a client and I love the painted and gilded finish. I especially liked that the gilding was a little worn and not so new looking. 

I didn’t want to do an antiqued white paint though, but I did want it to look chalky and very matte, so I knew I wouldn’t spray it. I had a tupperware of the flat paint that was on our walls in the loft. It is a very soft, creamy white, with some gray undertones. I think it’s BM’s Arctic White.

I sanded the old finish just enough to sort of rough up the surface and then I dry-brushed a base coat.

I lightly sanded again – it goes really fast with those handy little sanding blocks. I use them way more often than my electric hand-sander for light jobs like this because I feel like I have more control.

Then I did another dry coat. Sometimes, if my paint is a little on the dry side or my brush is not perfectly new, I’ll get more brush strokes than I want and that’s why dry brushing works well. For the final coat it works well to sort of quickly beat the barely wet brush on the surface. It makes for a soft, burnished finish.

To make the finish look more like the Oly table, I used my favorite Krylon gold leaf pen to lightly draw on some faux gilding.

To make it look a little more beat up and not so new, I lightly sanded the gold, too.

I thought about gilding down the ridges of the legs too, but I think it would have been overboard. I might go back and add it later though, once I lay down the new rug I’ve been working on.

Along with the rug I’ll layer on top of the jute, I have plans to reupholster the green chairs and the vintage sofa and to change out the pillows.
I also really need to add a window treatment. I think I’ll make three roman shades in a medium gray color and layer those under curtains in a shade close to the wall color (which is all washed out here). The goal is to sort of hide most of the unfortunately placed a/c unit.

Lots to do still, but it feels good to be steadily knocking out the projects. :)
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32 thoughts on “Coffee Table Makeover

  1. I love the coffee table transformation and all the plans you still have. I can't wait to see the reupholstered pieces. (I had a coffee table change this weekend too, because we missed one as well)

  2. First of all, Happy Belated, Jenny! The 30s are terrific…don't be sorrowful! I'm about to turn 40 and I think it will be my best decade yet!

    I see you're going to make roman shades for the living room. Do you have a favorite tutorial that you can recommend? There are so many online and as a first-time roman shade-maker, I'd love any advice you can give. Thanks!

  3. The way to have energy to implement all your plans is amazing! I am so happy that you are feeling better.

    I am so excited to see how everything turns out!


  4. You always make great DIY projects looks easy, but I'm convinced this one might actually be that way! I have a gold paint pen already – going to give this a try!

  5. I have a dining table that is in that 70's fruitwood. Not sure if I should stain over it or paint it. I already dry brushed the base with white. You table turned out fantastic!! Love the accents.

  6. what a beautiful transformation! i absolutely love the gold pen idea for accents! i bought a similar shaped bench at an antique store this summer (with the intention of repainting) and you've given me just the inspiration i need to get moving! thank you!

  7. Your table looks fantastic! Glad you are back to feeling 100%…you have a lot of energy. Loving seeing your new home come to life.

  8. Beautiful. I can't wait to see how you cover the AC. Someday someone will design AC units, vents and switches that aren't eyesores, I hope.

  9. Your room is really coming together. Cant wait to see the layered rugs. I love that look. Also just want to send a shout out for Nate Berkus' new book "The Things That Matter". I read it over the weekend and it is exceptional. Beautifully written and stunningly photographed. He really put his heart into this book and I highly recommend.

  10. I have a 60yr old indian hand carved teak sofa at home ( my grandparents bought it when they got married ) its always been brown but I wanted an all white and black drawing room in my new house so I painted it a matte black but its not working out. I feel like I haven't done it justice. What do you think I should do with it ?

  11. I love the table and the glimpse at your further plans for the room!

    I also second the request for your advice on where to find good roman shade instructions. I am pretty confident in my sewing skills but the thought of that project has always overwhelmed me.

  12. if you ever come to california, i would love for your help in my home. everything feels new and stale. really need some 'roughing up' and character around here!
    love your style and the vision for your living room.

  13. Love how the table turned out. I've been looking to do a similar gold highlighting that wasn't too gold over an old brown piece that needs painting. So glad for your tutorial.

  14. What was the length and width of the table? The slab of marble looks so narrow as a coffee table but then seems quite wide when you used it over your kitchen island.

    Great project :)

  15. How did you re-attach the marble to the coffee table, I'm guessing no adhesive because you managed to take it off the kitchen island without ruining it. Is it just placed on?

  16. wow, such a great makeover! I love the idea of the worn gilded edging! Though I love my gold pen, I would've never thought to use it on furniture, for some reason, so I'm extra glad I stumbled upon this blog!

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