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DIY Coffee Table | How to Transform a Thrifted Coffee Table

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Who likes a little DIY project? I do! I’ve been working on a DIY coffee table for a couple of weeks now and I need YOUR help! Keep on reading and ease my indecisive mind!

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

Post may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you on your purchases. Decor sources are affiliate linked below images. Simply click the image thumbnail!

DIY Coffee Table | From Trash to Treasure

I started this DIY coffee table project with the thought in mind that I would give you a full tutorial on how I transformed this beast of a table into a modern farmhouse beauty. I was all about showing you how easy it is and how much money you could save with this simple DIY project.

(After all, this beauty cost me $100!! New coffee tables this size easily range from $250-$500!) Then I realized that I used the exact same process on my dining room table refinishing project! So, I changed directions!

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.
If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.
If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

If you’d like to learn about how I stripped the top of this table, simply follow the tutorial here. After stripping the varnish off the top of this table I simply painted those curvy legs (the best kind) with Magnolia Kilz Brand chalk paint in Shiplap. If you’re interested in my thoughts on the Magnolia brand paint, I’ve written a review of it here!

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

DIY Coffee Table | The Process

Instead I want to walk you through the process of the DIY coffee table project, start to {almost} finish.

Here she is in all her refinished glory! Now, remember, I need your help! So keep reading because I’ve got a dilemma on my hands.

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

First off, let’s chat about where to look when you want to take on a quick DIY project. Think sources like Craigslist.com, Facebook Marketplace (which is where I scored this beauty!), Salvation Army, Goodwill, thrift stores in general, and don’t forget family and friends!

Parents are always a great source for old furniture hand-me-downs. (Thanks Mom for basically every piece of furniture in my first home!) 😉

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

DIY Coffee Table | What to Look For

You know how you always hear designers talking about seeing “good bones” in a house, furniture item or basic design? Well that’s what you need to look for!

Good Bones.

Good bones simply mean that the piece is structurally sound, has appealing design elements (like the curvy legs of my table), and has potential for modernizing. Or making it look old. To each their own. 😉

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.
If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

Specifically on my DIY coffee table, the first thing I noticed was the thick curvy legs and the simple molding accent. I knew that those pieces would pop after I got my hands on them and add lots of interest to the table.

DIY Coffee Table | What to Do

You’ve done your search, you bought your table for a ridiculously cheap price, and you’ve got good bones. What now? Now you make some decisions. Do you want to refinish the entire table? (There is a lot of commitment to stripping detailed pieces so know yourself and your comfort level!) Do you strip just the top or just the legs? Do you just paint the entire thing instead of stripping anything?

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

These are all questions to consider, keeping in mind that stripping (or sanding if you prefer) takes more work. Painting is the simplest option. But if your heart desires some contrast and interest then go for both!

 

Take your time, evaluate your space and your complimenting decor, and take a few days to mull over the decision. A hasty decor decision usually ends in regret and a second DIY refinishing project. 😉 So here’s where you come in!

DIY Coffee Table | What Should I DO!?

Ok ya’ll. I’ve taken my time. I’ve lived with it in my space. And I still don’t know what type of stain I prefer to finish this beauty off with! The pictures shown are with my DIY coffee table top completely stripped of poly and varnish. It is raw and natural in all its glory.

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

I like it quite a lot, but I keep letting my indecisive mind go back and forth on whether or not to re-stain the table top. So I need your vote! Leave me a comment below with your vote!

  1. Option 1: Leave natural as is and just put a coat of poly to protect the surface.
  2. Option 2: Stain Special Walnut
  3. Option 3: Stain Weathered Oak
  4. Option 4: Your own favorite go-to stain color!!
If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.

For now though, I will enjoy her in all her natural beauty. And yes, I do call my DIY projects personal pronouns.

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.
If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to transform a thrifted coffee table then this is the post for you! I've taken a thrifted coffee table and made it the modern farmhouse table of my dreams with this DIY coffee table transformation.
Sarah Signature

It’s all up to you friends! Help this indecisive DIYer finish up my DIY coffee table. 🙂 Thanks in advance!


{Do one thing every day that scares you.} – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

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99 Comments

  1. I am looking beyond the coffee table to the table by the fireplace with the white bracket on top. Which ever stain matches that is my vote. ?

    1. Thank you Linda! If it stays natural I was definitely going to put a protectant on top but I’ve never tried hemp oil. I’ll look into that as an option for sure.

    1. Thank you Jenny!! I do tend to have a lot of wood in my home. Haha. That is a great idea! I’m thinking option 2 would blend with most of my woods.

  2. I vote a light staining of special walnut…It seems like it might coordinate with the other woods on your room but without matching!

  3. I know this wasn’t an option, but I would paint the top to match the rest of the table. However, if I were staining it, I believe I would go with the darker stain since most of the other wood in your living room is dark. By the way, I love your living room. It is beautiful.

    1. Painting is always an option! 😉 I think I’d paint the whole thing if I were going for a more cottage look but I am liking the contrast for now. I like the thought to match it to our other woods! And the best part is, if I get sick of it I can always paint it later! Thank you Lesa!

  4. I LOVE the color of your mantel. Would that be something you would consider? I did a table with white on bottom, and a dark gray on top. It made a beautiful statement in the room. If you don’t like…you can always change. I’m a person that steps outside the comfort and goes for the unusual. What ever you do, I’m sure it will be beautiful!!

    1. Thank you Deborah! Yes I think if I did a couple of coats of the walnut it would be close to my mantel color. A few people have suggested that so it’s definitely one to consider!

  5. The walnut looks like it would match your other table better so I vote for it!! Good job on the refinishing. I have a hard time envisioning things sometimes, and that turned out better then I thought it would!! Bravo!

  6. I think you should use the special walnut stain. It will bring out the wood grain and look really rich, and will contrast with the neutrals in the room.

  7. Wow! You’ve done it again! A great transformation! We love your savvy tips and step by step tutorial. This is invaluable information for anyone looking to transform furniture on a budget. Thanks so much for linking to our Friday Friends Parade! We love your inspiration. XO ~ Julie & Jodie

    1. Thank you so much lovely ladies! I appreciate your kindness and I’m grateful that you give others an opportunity each week to link up to your Friday Friends parade!

  8. Your coffee table turned out great! I love it as is, but if you decide to stain it, maybe match it to the little table beside the fireplace. I am wanting to redo my dining chairs, but stripping and sanding is such a chore! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you Tammie! A few have suggested matching it to other wood in the room and that’s a great idea! Good luck on your chairs! The sanding is the worst part but it’s always worth it in the end!

  9. I think going with option 3 would be different, it would be not as dark melding with the gray tones in the room. It would bring out the tones in your fireplace,walls,and furniture. It’s a great piece good job!!!!!

  10. I think a dark stain would tie the blinds, fireplace mantle, and the floors together. But if you buff or sponge some parts lighter on the stain it will blend the light wood accents that are in the room and kitchen. I’m thinking like an espresso colored stain.

  11. Hi Sarah! You definitely have a gift to decorate! As for me decorating doesn’t not come naturally, Either i love something or I’m not sure. As soon as I saw your livingroom the first thing that came to mind was the coffee table top would look beautiful matching the same stain color as your mantle!

    1. Thank you Donna Sue! Many others have suggested the same thing so maybe you have more of a gift to decorate than you think. 😉 I appreciate your feedback!!

  12. Sarah,

    Oh my goodness, the transformation of your coffee table is fabulous! The basic style of your table is fantastic and once you unearthed it, the details stand out so nicely! It is such a centerpiece in your family room! Thanks so much for joining our Friday Friends Parade Linky Party!

  13. Love your room! Where did you find your rug? Have dark hardwood floors and light furniture. Haven’t found the right color combo

  14. I’m indecisive too. I do like the table the way it is. It’s refreshingly clean with the color of the walls, and the white flows in with the white cuboards of the kitchen together. But I think I would keep it matching with you other wooden tables so it is not too many contrasting wood tones competing with your beautiful floor. You would then have your 3 consistent colors that would flow together to other rooms, if that is what you wish. Keeping the rest of your Decor to change when the mood stricken. ?

      1. Really amazing post. Love the idea behind this post. Your post amazing and Helpful my business. I will try to implement your idea to design such a beautiful coffee table.

  15. Hello I enjoy reading your articles.
    It’s the nice low table remake!! My question is, where did you get this low table?
    Is it an antique, as it is a design that is not often seen?

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, this is an antique. I’m always on the hunt in thrift stores and facebook marketplace for these kinds of finds!

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