Coffee Table Painting Ideas: 13 Creative Design Choices 2024

Looking for a way to add a pop of color to your living room? Look no further than your coffee table! Painting your coffee table is a fun and easy way to give your space a new look without breaking the bank. Whether you’re going for a bold statement or a subtle touch of color, there are plenty of cool ways with these coffee table painting ideas.

Why Repaint a Coffee Table?

Ways to paint a coffee table: Before & After

Breathing new life into old furniture

Repainting a coffee table can give it a fresh new look and breathe new life into old furniture. Over time, coffee tables can become scratched, stained, or just outdated. Repainting can cover up any imperfections and make it look like a brand-new piece of furniture.

Economical and environmentally friendly

Repainting a coffee table is a cost-effective way to update your home decor without breaking the bank. Instead of buying a new coffee table, you can save money by repainting your old one. It’s also an environmentally friendly option since it reduces waste by keeping old furniture out of landfills.

A chance to showcase personal style

Repainting a coffee table gives you the opportunity to showcase your personal style and creativity. You can choose from a wide range of colors and finishes to match your home decor and express your unique personality. You can also experiment with different painting techniques, such as stenciling or distressing, to create a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.


Test paint colors and techniques on a hidden spot or sample board first

Before you start your coffee table painting idea, it’s essential to test the paint colors and techniques on a hidden spot or sample board first. This will help you get an idea of how the color will look on the coffee table and whether it will match the overall decor of the room. By doing this, you can avoid any mistakes that may ruin the final look of your coffee table.

Preparation Process

Wait a moment! I know you want to start right away with your coffee table painting ideas. But before that, you should prepare some things. These are the steps you should follow:

Choosing a suitable table – wood, metal, glass considerations

Before you start painting your coffee table, you need to consider the type of table you have. Different materials require different preparation methods and paints. For example, wood tables need sanding and priming, while metal tables need special metal primers. Glass tables require special glass paints that can withstand scratches and heat.

Necessary materials: sandpaper, primer, paint, brushes, etc.

To prepare your coffee table, you will need several materials. These include sandpaper, primer, paint, brushes, and a drop cloth. You may also need painter’s tape to protect any areas you don’t want to paint. Make sure you have all the necessary materials before you start.

Cleaning the Table

Before you start painting, you need to clean your coffee table thoroughly. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust, dirt, or grime. If your table has any sticky residue, use a mild soap solution to clean it. Make sure the table is completely dry before you start sanding.

Sanding the Surface

Sanding the surface of your coffee table is an important step in the preparation process. Sanding helps to remove any old paint, varnish, or stains. It also helps to create a smooth surface for the primer and paint to adhere to. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface of your table. Make sure you sand in the direction of the wood grain.

Priming the Table

After sanding, you need to apply a primer to your coffee table. Primer helps to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. It also helps to prevent the paint from chipping or peeling. Apply the primer evenly using a brush or roller. Make sure you let the primer dry completely before you start painting.

Choosing the Right Paint

When it comes to painting your coffee table, choosing the right paint is crucial. You want a paint that will not only look great but also be durable enough to withstand daily use. Here are three types of paint to consider for your coffee table painting ideas:

1. Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a popular choice for painting furniture because it dries quickly and is easy to clean up with soap and water. It also comes in a wide range of colors and finishes, including matte, satin, and gloss. Acrylic paint is a great option if you want to add a pop of color to your coffee table.

Funny painted table with acrylic paint
IG: burtonmorrisart

2. Chalk Paint

Chalk paint has a matte, chalky finish that gives furniture a vintage, shabby chic look. It is also very easy to use, as it requires no priming or sanding before application. Chalk paint comes in a variety of colors and can be distressed for a more rustic look. Keep in mind that chalk paint is not as durable as other types of paint, so it may not be the best choice if you have kids or pets.

Wodden table with dark grreen chalk paint
IG: thomas.klotz

3. Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is a durable option for painting furniture, as it creates a hard, enamel-like finish that is resistant to chipping and scratching. It also creates a smooth, glossy finish that looks great on coffee tables. However, oil-based paint is more difficult to work with than other types of paint, as it requires mineral spirits for cleanup and has a strong odor. It is also important to note that oil-based paint takes longer to dry than other types of paint, so be sure to give it plenty of time to dry before using your coffee table.

Colorful Oil painted resin table

Coffee Table Painting Ideas: Unique Looks

Now let’s get into our specific coffee table painting ideas!

4. Distressed painting technique

White Brown Coffee Table distressed
IG: back40craftsman

There are many coffee table painting ideas, and one of them is the distressed look. It might look rough and older but it’s actually a very popular look.

This technique involves intentionally creating a worn-out or weathered appearance on the surface of the table. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Sand the table lightly to create a smooth surface.
  2. Apply a base coat of paint in a light color and let it dry completely.
  3. Apply a second coat of paint in a darker color and let it dry partially.
  4. Use sandpaper or a scraper to remove some of the top layers of paint, revealing the lighter color underneath.
  5. Sand the edges and corners of the table to create a more distressed look.
  6. Apply a clear coat of polyurethane to protect the finish.


Using chalk paint for a matte, textured finish

Chalk paint is a popular choice for achieving a matte, textured finish on furniture. This type of paint is easy to use and can be applied to almost any surface without the need for sanding or priming. If you want to use chalk paint for your coffee table painting idea, we have an entire blog post discussing chalk paint.

Modern and Abstract

If you want to add a touch of modernity and abstractness to your coffee table, there are a few ways to achieve it. Here are two popular techniques you can use:

5. Geometric patterns

White coffee table with squares
IG: p0ly_designs

Geometric patterns are a great way to add a modern and abstract touch to your coffee table. You can use tape to create straight lines or painter’s tape to create more intricate shapes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Triangles: Create a repeating pattern of triangles in different sizes and colors.
  • Hexagons: Use painter’s tape to create a honeycomb pattern of hexagons in different colors.
  • Squares: Use tape to create a grid of squares in different sizes and colors.

6. Gradient or ombre effect

Red white gradient coffee table
IG: jiri_krejcirik | Photo by: gabrielaknyblova

Another way to add a modern touch to your coffee table is to create a gradient or ombre effect. This technique involves blending two or more colors together to create a smooth transition from one color to another. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose your colors: Select two or more colors that complement each other. You can use colors from the same family or choose contrasting colors for a bolder effect.
  2. Paint the base coat: Paint your coffee table with the lightest color you have chosen. Let it dry completely.
  3. Mix your colors: Mix your colors together to create a gradient effect. You can use a paintbrush or a sponge to blend the colors together.
  4. Apply the paint: Apply the paint to your coffee table in long, even strokes. Start with the lightest color at one end of the table and gradually blend it into the darker color at the other end.
  5. Blend the colors: Use a dry paintbrush or a sponge to blend the colors together. This will create a smooth transition between the colors.
  6. Let it dry: Let the paint dry completely before using your coffee table.

7. Classic and Elegant

You can’t go wrong with this coffee table painting idea: For a classic and elegant look, consider painting your coffee table with a solid color. Black, white, and gray are all great options for achieving this look. You can also add a glossy finish to give your coffee table a polished look.

All black wooden coffee table
IG: athomewithamira

8. Monochromatic Shades

This coffee table painting idea is a rare one, but doesn’t it look great? If you want to add some depth to your coffee table, consider using different shades of the same color. For example, you can paint the top of the table with a light blue color and the legs with a darker shade of blue.

Monochromatic coffee tablle with blue shades
IG: facture_studio

9. Metallic Finishes – Gold, Silver, Bronze

For a glamorous look, consider painting your coffee table with a metallic finish. Gold, silver, and bronze are all great options for achieving this look. You can also add a metallic glaze to give your coffee table a shimmery finish.

Gold metallic coffee table
IG: stephaneparmentier | Photo by Sylvain Claire

Playful and Quirky

If you’re looking for a coffee table that’s anything but boring, try adding some playful and quirky touches to your painting. Here are two fun ideas to get you started:

10. Stencil Art

stenciling table in white and black
IG: fauxfarmfixer

Using stencils is a great way to add some personality to your coffee table. You can buy stencils at any craft store, or even make your own using cardboard or plastic. Here are some tips for using stencils:

  • First, choose a design that you like. You can find stencils with all sorts of patterns, from geometric shapes to animals to flowers.
  • Next, tape the stencil to your coffee table using painter’s tape. Make sure it’s centered and secure.
  • Use a small paintbrush or sponge to fill in the stencil with paint. You can use one color or multiple colors, depending on the design.
  • Carefully remove the stencil and let the paint dry completely.

11. Hand-painted motifs or doodles

Table and vases by mrdoodle black and white
IG: mrdoodle

Use this coffee table painting idea to add a unique and funny charm to your living space: Paint some hand-drawn motifs or doodles. This is a great option if you’re not confident in your painting skills, since the imperfections will only add to the charm. Here are some ideas:

  • Paint some colorful polka dots or stripes on the surface of the table.
  • Use a small brush to paint a simple design, like a heart or a star, in each corner of the table.
  • Draw some doodles with a pencil first, then go over them with paint. You could draw anything from flowers to animals to abstract shapes.

Cultural and Ethnic

If you are looking to add some cultural and ethnic flair to your coffee table, there are a variety of ways to do so. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

12. Mandala designs

Green Mandala Coffee Table
IG: ladybug_art_studio

Mandala designs are intricate and beautiful patterns that are often used in Hindu and Buddhist art. They can be a great way to add some spiritual and cultural significance to your coffee table.

  • Use stencils or freehand drawings to create a mandala design on your coffee table.
  • Choose colors that are traditionally associated with mandalas, such as gold, red, and blue.
  • Consider incorporating symbols or images that are important to you or your culture into the design.

13. Tribal patterns and color schemes

A white table with geometric pattern design
IG: littlehouseonmaui_designs

Tribal patterns and color schemes can be great coffee table painting ideas to add a bold and vibrant look to your coffee table. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Look for inspiration in traditional African, Native American, or Maori designs.
  • Use bold, bright colors like red, orange, and turquoise.
  • Consider using geometric shapes like triangles and diamonds.
  • Use natural materials like wood or woven fibers to add texture to your design.

Adding Finishing Touches

When you finish your coffee table painting ideas, you should consider adding some finishing touches to make it truly unique. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Sealing the Paint

After you have painted your coffee table, it’s important to seal the paint to protect it from wear and tear. You can use a clear polyurethane sealer or a wax finish to give your coffee table a glossy or matte finish.

To seal your coffee table, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the paint is completely dry before applying the sealer.
  2. Apply the sealer in thin, even coats using a brush or roller.
  3. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.
  4. Sand lightly between coats to remove any bumps or imperfections.
  5. Once you have applied the desired number of coats, allow the sealer to dry completely before using the coffee table.


After Painting Your Coffee Table: Decorate a Tray

Now that you’ve given your coffee table a new coat of paint, you shouldn’t leave the table empty. Personalize your coffee table by decorating it with a tray. There are many options: shapes, materials, candles, plants, books, etc.

FAQ – Cool Ways to Paint a Coffee Table

What paint can I use on a coffee table?

When it comes to painting a coffee table, you can use a variety of paints, including acrylic, chalk, and spray paint. Acrylic paint is a popular choice because it is versatile and can be used on many surfaces. Chalk paint is also a great option because it requires little to no prep work and can give your coffee table a vintage look. Spray paint can be used for a quick and easy update, but be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How can I make my coffee table look better?

There are many ways to make your coffee table look better, including painting it a new color, adding a stencil design, or applying a decoupage technique. You can also add decorative elements, such as a tray, books, or candles, to give your coffee table a more personalized look.

Can coffee tables be painted?

Yes, coffee tables can be painted, and it is a great way to give an old or outdated table a new life. Painting a coffee table can also be a cost-effective way to update your living space without having to buy a new piece of furniture.

How do I revamp my coffee table?

To revamp your coffee table, you can start by cleaning it thoroughly and then sanding it to remove any old finish or rough spots. Next, you can apply a primer to help the paint adhere better and then paint it with your chosen color. You can also add decorative elements, such as stencils or decals, to give your coffee table a unique look.

Can I paint a coffee table without sanding it?

While sanding is recommended to ensure the paint adheres properly, it is possible to paint a coffee table without sanding it. However, you should clean the table thoroughly and use a primer to help the paint stick to the surface.

If you liked this blog post about the topic: Coffee Table Painting Ideas don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience with it.

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Wadim Urbanowitsch

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