20+ Exciting Coffee Table Refinish Ideas: From Old To Gold

Looking for coffee table refinish ideas? We get it. Over time, our beloved coffee tables see their fair share of spills, scratches, and wear. Instead of splurging on a brand-new piece, why not give that old table a fresh, new look? Refinishing it can not only be a fun weekend project but also a chance to let your creativity shine. Imagine transforming that worn-out table into a statement piece that gets all your guests talking! In this guide, we’ll dive into some cool and inspiring ways to give your coffee table a makeover. Let’s get started!

Why Refinish Your Coffee Table

Give your coffee table a new look

Coffee table refinish ideas are more than just aesthetic upgrades. They’re about cost-saving, being eco-friendly, personalizing your space, and preserving cherished pieces. Let’s delve into why refinishing can be a smart choice.

  • Why Refinish Your Coffee Table
    Refinishing your coffee table can be a great way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. There are several reasons why you might want to consider refinishing your coffee table, including cost-effectiveness, environmental impact, personalized touch, and restoring antique pieces.
  • Cost-Effectiveness
    Refinishing your coffee table can be a cost-effective alternative to buying a new piece of furniture. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a new coffee table, you can spend a fraction of that cost by refinishing your existing piece. This is especially true if your coffee table is still in good condition but just needs a little TLC.
  • Environmental Impact
    Refinishing your coffee table can also have a positive environmental impact. By choosing to refinish your existing piece of furniture, you are preventing it from ending up in a landfill. Additionally, refinishing your coffee table can reduce the need for new materials, which can help to conserve natural resources.
  • Personalized Touch
    Refinishing your coffee table can also give you the opportunity to add a personalized touch to your furniture piece. You can choose a new color or finish that better suits your style and décor. Additionally, you can add decorative elements such as stenciling or distressing to create a unique look.
  • Restoring Antique Pieces
    If you have an antique coffee table that has seen better days, refinishing it can help to restore it to its former glory. By carefully sanding and refinishing the piece, you can bring out its natural beauty and character. This can be a great way to preserve a family heirloom or a piece of furniture with sentimental value.

Our Inspiring Coffee Table Refinish Ideas

1. All White Coffee Table Refinish

 Before-and-after photos of a table. 'Before' shows a plain wooden table. 'After' displays a refurbished white table with a lower shelf holding three wicker baskets.
by Pinterest
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2. White Coffee Table with Grey Top

 Before and After photos of a coffee table. The 'Before' picture shows a table with a natural wood finish and visible stains. The 'After' image presents the table painted in a pale grey with white legs, placed on a wooden deck.
by Pinterest

3. Grey/Silver Colored Coffee Table

 Before-and-after images of a coffee table. 'Before' depicts a dark wood finish with ornate legs. 'After' shows a distressed gray finish, decorated with potted plants on top and decorative blocks on the lower shelf.
by Pinterest

4. White Distressed Farmhouse Style

 Before and After transformation of a wooden table. The 'Before' image shows a plain brown table priced at $15. The 'After' image displays the table with a distressed white finish, adorned with potted plants, placed in front of a sofa in a well-decorated living area.
by Pinterest

5. White Painted Coffee Table with Wooden Top

 Four-step transformation process of a wooden coffee table. Starting with a fully assembled table in natural wood, it progresses to partial disassembly, painting of the base in a cream color, and final assembly with the original wooden top on the painted base, set in a room with a bookshelf backdrop.
by Pinterest

6. Worn Out Table Top? Use New Wood For a Fresh Top

 Three photos showing the transformation of a table: Initial state with a shiny orange-brown top, followed by a stage with a pale wooden top and blue legs, and the final state with a dark-stained top and white legs.
by Pinterest

7. Lose the Glas Top

Sometimes glass can seem a bit cold and uncomfortable. If the table frame is in good condition, you can quickly replace the coffee table top with wood.

 Two views of a coffee table: Top image showcases a clear glass top with a basket of decorative balls underneath, and the bottom image features the same table with a rustic wooden inlay replacing the glass.
by Pinterest

8. Matte Brown Finish Coffee Table

 Before and After images of a round coffee table. The 'Before' photo displays a table with a rich brown wood finish and ornate legs. The 'After' picture showcases the table painted in a matte brown, set against a backdrop of white flowers on the ground.
by Pinterest

9. Light Top and Dark Bottom Coffee Table

 Before and after photos of a coffee table transformation. Top shows a dark wood table. Bottom displays the refurbished table with a lighter, distressed finish and dark legs, complemented by a decorative metal mat.
by Pinterest

10. Highlight Wood Details

 Before-and-after transformation of a coffee table. 'Before' shows an aged, all-wooden finish. 'After' displays the table with dark painted legs and borders, highlighting the natural wood panels on top.
by Pinterest

11. Switch the Table Top

 Comparison of an oval coffee table. The top image shows the table in its original light wood finish with a centerpiece. The bottom image depicts the table's legs painted in black, retaining the wooden tabletop.
by Pinterest

12. Go All Black

 Before and After comparison of a coffee table: 'Before' shows a light brown wooden table with ornate legs, and 'After' displays the same table painted in black
by Pinterest

13. Add Some Color with a Distressed Look

 Comparison of a wooden coffee table. 'Before' image shows a dark brown table with drawers. 'After' depicts the same table painted in a light teal color with a preserved wooden top, placed in a bright room.
by Pinterest

14. Light Natural Top and Matt Coffee Table Legs

 Comparison of a wooden table. 'Avant' depicts the table in its original dark finish. 'Après' shows the table repainted with a light top and teal legs, accessorized with coffee mugs and jars.
by Pinterest

15. Go Full Pastel Mint-Green with Gold Accents

 Before-and-after photos of a table. 'Before' displays a dark metal table on blue tarp. 'After' showcases a mint-green painted table with decorative items like a vase of yellow flowers and a book in a living room setting.
by Pinterest

16. From Coffee Table To Ottoman

I know what you might be thinking:
How is this a coffee table refinish idea? This isn’t a coffee table anymore.

Well, yes and no. An ottoman is very similar to a coffee table and is used in the same way. Usually with a tray so that you can put things on it.

 Transformation of a coffee table. 'From this' shows a wooden frame table with glass removed. 'To this' presents the renovated table with a cushioned, tufted beige top and white ornate legs.
by Pinterest

17. Add Some Stencil Art

 Set of three nested tables in gray, each adorned with intricate white floral and geometric patterns, displayed on a wooden floor.
by Pinterest

18. Just Paint It How You Like

Ok, how about you let all your creative energy flow and just start painting what comes to your mind?

 Multicolored striped wooden coffee table on a turquoise shaggy rug, adorned with magazines and a gray vase, flanked by a sofa with decorative cushions and a teal chair.
by Pinterest

19. Use Tiles as Table Top

If you’re tired of wood, you could refinish the look with some tiles on the tabletop. This looks particularly good on a coffee table made from pallets, as you can see.

 Collage of a rustic wooden coffee table with colorful tiled top, featuring storage drawers and compartments, displayed in various angles on a wooden floor, with one image showing snacks atop.
by Pinterest

20. Repurposed Wooden Door Transformed into a Coffee Table

So, your coffee table is already pretty worn out but the table feet are still okay? How about simply mounting a piece of a door on the table legs? Definitely an eye-catcher and conversation starter, hehe

 Repurposed wooden door transformed into a coffee table with decorative carvings in the center, set on pale blue legs, placed on a hardwood floor between two patterned sofas.
by Pinterest

My Personal Favorite Coffee Table Refinish Idea

21. Gold Details on a Black Coffee Table

Remember our blog title “From Old To Gold?” – We (literally) didn’t promise too much. This is definitely a very unique Coffee Table Refinish Idea and one of my personal favorites. However, you also have to make sure that the rest of the living room matches the look.

 Close-up of a dark blue ornate cabinet corner, with chipped gold detailing revealing the underlying wood, placed on a wooden floor against a white wall.
by Pinterest

Popular Design Aesthetics: Coffee Table Refinish Ideas

Diving into coffee table refinish ideas can be an exhilarating DIY adventure. Breathe new life into that old furniture piece, be it with rustic farmhouse allure or a modern, sleek twist. Here are some popular design aesthetics to spark your creativity.

  • Rustic Farmhouse
    If you’re a fan of the rustic farmhouse style, consider distressing your coffee table and adding a weathered finish. You can achieve this look by sanding down the surface of the table and then applying a coat of paint in a muted color, such as gray or beige. Once the paint has dried, use sandpaper to distress the edges of the table and create a worn, vintage look. To finish off the table, add a coat of wax or sealant to protect the surface.
  • Modern and Sleek
    For a more modern and sleek look, consider painting your coffee table in a bold, high-gloss color, such as black or white. You can also add a pop of color by painting the legs of the table in a contrasting shade. Another option is to cover the top of the table with a bold wallpaper pattern or graphic design. This will add visual interest to the table and make it a standout piece in your living room.
  • Bohemian Charm
    If you’re looking for a bohemian-inspired coffee table, consider using natural materials such as wood, rattan, or wicker. You can also add a bohemian touch by painting the table in a bright, bold color, such as turquoise or coral. To finish off the look, add some eclectic accessories such as a colorful rug, patterned throw pillows, or a collection of vintage vases.
  • Industrial Edge
    For an industrial-inspired coffee table, consider using metal or reclaimed wood. You can also add some edgy details such as exposed bolts or rivets. To add some color to the table, consider painting it in a matte black or gray finish. You can also add some industrial-inspired accessories such as a vintage clock or metal bookends.
  • Beachy and Relaxed
    For a beachy and relaxed coffee table, consider using natural materials such as driftwood or reclaimed wood. You can also add some coastal-inspired details such as seashells or beach glass. To add some color to the table, consider painting it in a light, airy shade such as pale blue or seafoam green. You can also add some beach-inspired accessories such as a woven basket or a collection of coastal-themed books.

Materials and Tools for Refinishing a Coffee Table

To implement Coffee Table Refinish Ideas, you need some basic materials and tools. Here are some of the essentials you will need to get started:

  • Sandpaper Varieties
    To sand your coffee table, you will need sandpaper of different varieties. The most commonly used sandpaper grits for refinishing furniture are 150, 220, and 320. You can use a coarser grit, such as 80 or 100, for removing paint or heavy finishes.
  • Wood Stain or Paint Options
    You may choose to stain or paint your coffee table. If you choose to stain it, you will need wood stain, which comes in a variety of colors and finishes. If you choose to paint it, you will need paint, which also comes in a variety of colors and finishes. Make sure to choose a high-quality product that is suitable for the type of wood your coffee table is made of.
  • Brushes and Application Tools
    You will need a variety of brushes and application tools, depending on the type of finish you are using. For example, if you are using wood stain, you will need a brush to apply it, as well as a cloth to wipe off any excess. If you are using paint, you will need a paintbrush or roller, as well as a tray to hold the paint.
  • Protective Finish Essentials
    To protect your coffee table from wear and tear, you will need a protective finish. This can be a furniture oil, varnish, or polyurethane. Make sure to choose a product that is suitable for the type of finish you are using and the level of protection you need.

Step-by-Step Guide to Refinishing a Coffee Table

Diving into coffee table refinish ideas can be a great DIY project that can breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. Follow these steps to transform your coffee table into a statement piece that will add a touch of style to your living room.

  1. Table Assessment
    Before you begin refinishing your coffee table, it’s important to assess its condition. Check for any structural damage, such as cracked or broken legs, and make any necessary repairs before proceeding. If your coffee table has a finish that is badly worn, chipped, or scratched, it’s time to refinish it.
  2. Cleaning the Table
    The first step in refinishing your coffee table is to clean it thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and warm water to remove any dirt, grime, or stains from the surface. Rinse the table with clean water and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.
  3. Sanding Process
    Once your coffee table is dry, it’s time to start sanding. Sanding the surface of the coffee table is important because it will help to remove any old finish and prepare the surface for painting or staining. Start by using a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove the old finish. Then, switch to a finer-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the table. Be sure to sand with the grain of the wood to avoid damaging the surface.
  4. Choosing Stain or Paint
    After sanding, you can choose to either stain or paint your coffee table. Staining will give your coffee table a natural, wood-like finish, while painting will allow you to add a pop of color to your space. If you choose to stain your coffee table, be sure to choose a stain that matches the color of the wood. If you choose to paint your coffee table, consider using a primer to help the paint adhere to the surface. For a matt look you can use chalk paint.
  5. Applying a Protective Finish
    Once you have painted or stained your coffee table, it’s important to apply a protective finish to help protect the surface from damage. You can choose to use a clear coat of polyurethane, wax, or oil to protect the surface of your coffee table. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the protective finish to ensure a smooth, even finish.

💡Protip

Post-Refinishing Maintenance: Avoid Heat and Moisture

To prevent damage to your coffee table, it’s important to avoid exposing it to extreme heat or moisture. Keep hot dishes and beverages off of the table, and use coasters or placemats to protect the surface from moisture. If you do spill something on the table, clean it up immediately to prevent staining.


FAQ – Coffee Table Refinish Ideas

How do you refinish a coffee table?

First, you need to remove the old finish by sanding or stripping it. Then, you need to sand the surface to prepare it for the new finish. After that, you can apply the new finish of your choice, such as paint, stain, or varnish. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the best finish for a wood coffee table?

Some popular options include polyurethane, which provides a durable and glossy finish, and wax, which gives a natural and matte look. Oil-based finishes, such as tung oil or Danish oil, are also a good choice as they penetrate the wood and enhance its natural beauty.

How can I make my coffee table look better?

You can add decorative elements, such as a vase of flowers or a stack of books, to create a focal point. You can also use a tray to corral items and create a cohesive look. Another option is to change the hardware, such as the knobs or handles, to update the style. Finally, you can use a tablecloth or runner to add color and texture to the surface.

What finishes to use on a coffee table?

Some popular options include paint, stain, varnish, polyurethane, wax, and oil-based finishes. Paint can provide a colorful and opaque finish, while stain can enhance the natural grain of the wood. Varnish and polyurethane can provide a durable and glossy finish, while wax can give a natural and matte look. Oil-based finishes, such as tung oil or Danish oil, can penetrate the wood and enhance its natural beauty.


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Wadim Urbanowitsch

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