Painting a Coffee Table: Transform Your Furniture with a Fresh Makeover

Have you ever had a piece of furniture sitting in your space for years, waiting for a much-needed transformation? Well, that’s exactly what happened with my coffee table. Despite being a cool piece with six drawers, it had been neglected for far too long. But fear not! I finally came up with an exciting coffee table makeover idea that breathed new life into this forgotten gem!

Table of Contents

Supplies Used for Black Painted Coffee Table Makeover

Before diving into the detailed transformation process, let me share the supplies I used for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and I may also receive free products for review. However, rest assured that all opinions expressed here are my own. Here’s what I used:

  • Nail Gun
  • Electric Screwdriver
  • Krud Kutter
  • 220 Grit Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth for Cleaning Dust
  • Shop Vac
  • SurfPrep Sander (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order)
  • Clear Shellac
  • Pre Taped Plastic and Painters Tape
  • Fuji Q4 Paint Sprayer
  • Country Chic Paint in Liquorice (Black Chalk Paint)
  • Staalmeester Paint Brush (Touch up paint inside drawers)
  • My Favorite WaterBased Polyurethane – Matte and Satin Mixed
  • Fine Grit Foam Sanding Pad for SurfPrep Sander
  • Whitewash
  • Country Chic Paint Brush (Whitewash)
  • Misting Bottle (Whitewash)
  • Lint Free Rags
  • Foam Sponge and Pantyhose for Topcoat
  • New Black Knobs

Preparing Furniture Before Painting

First things first, I had to ensure the coffee table was in the best possible shape before applying any paint. I nailed back a loose drawer track and removed the knobs with my trusty electric screwdriver. Of course, I couldn’t skip the crucial step of cleaning off dust, gunk, and grime. A razor blade came in handy to tackle the particularly stubborn spots.

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Next, it was time to sand the top using 220 grit sandpaper. I had previously done a less-than-ideal sanding job, resulting in unsightly swirl marks. Additionally, after sitting for years, the table had acquired some marks that needed attention. To achieve a smooth surface, I sanded inside the drawers and scuff-sanded the rest of the table. Cleaning up the dust, I then applied 2 coats of clear shellac to protect the entire piece.

Painting A Coffee Table

With the table prepped and primed, it was finally time to transform it with a fresh coat of paint. I opted for black chalk paint from Country Chic Paint, as it’s one of my personal favorites. Before loading the paint sprayer, I thinned out the paint with water for better application. Then, using the sprayer, I painted the coffee table with two coats of black chalk paint. For the finishing touches, I used a paintbrush to touch up the inside of the drawers.

Spraying paint is always a joy, and this project took approximately 3 hours in total, with only about 20 minutes dedicated to actual painting. The remaining time consisted of drying periods. If you’re curious about the best paintbrushes for furniture, I recommend checking out my post on the subject.

Spraying Polyurethane on Chalk Paint

As the last coat of paint dried, I mixed water-based polyurethane with the remaining black paint in the sprayer. After the chalk paint had fully dried, I sprayed the black-tinted polyurethane onto the table, giving it an added layer of protection. To achieve a smooth finish, I lightly sanded the surface with a fine grit foam pad. I then applied three more coats of polyurethane, ensuring to cover every inch of the coffee table.

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If you’re new to using sprayers, don’t worry! I have a helpful tutorial on how to spray polyurethane and, if you prefer, you can also learn how to apply polycrylic to painted furniture. Alternatively, there are all-in-one paints available that don’t require a topcoat. In my post on painting furniture black, you can see how we achieved a stunning result using Heirloom Traditions Paint.

How to Whitewash Wood

Although progress was being made, I wasn’t satisfied with the appearance of the wood on the table’s top. It had an orange hue that didn’t quite fit the desired look. After sanding it lightly to address some smudges in the shellac, I decided to whitewash the wood for a more appealing finish. Whitewashing can be a bit tricky, especially on a large surface with different wood grains, but with a little patience and quick action, I achieved the desired effect.

I applied two coats of whitewash initially, but it didn’t look quite right. So, I sanded it back down until I was almost content with the result. To add some subtle touches, I dry brushed a bit more paint in a few spots. Once dry, I lightly sanded those areas to eliminate any visible brush marks.

If you’re interested in learning more about whitewashing furniture, be sure to check out my comprehensive tutorial. You can also find additional inspiration for whitewashed furniture ideas there.

The Final Result: A Stunning Coffee Table Makeover

And voila! Here’s the final result of the coffee table makeover. Take a moment to appreciate the transformation! What do you think? I must admit, I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out. The table now exudes a rustic charm, perfectly concealing any remaining swirl marks from the not-so-perfect sanding job. Best of all, this project was not as challenging as it initially seemed. It only took a couple of days, including drying time.

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In terms of cost, I spent around $75 on the coffee table itself, and approximately $65 on supplies. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that I also invested around $2000 in various tools needed for this and future projects. If you’re considering a similar endeavor, keep in mind that building a collection of tools and supplies is an ongoing process.


With this coffee table makeover, I’ve shown you that even furniture that has been neglected for years can be transformed into something beautiful and vibrant. It just requires a bit of time, effort, and the right tools. So, if you have a piece of furniture gathering dust, why not give it a fresh coat of paint and a new lease on life? Get creative, unleash your inner DIY enthusiast, and see what amazing results you can achieve!

For more coffee table makeover ideas or to learn about other exciting DIY projects, be sure to check out the Marmalade Cafe blog. If you’re looking for top-quality materials and paints to bring your own projects to life, visit the Marmalade Cafe website for a wide selection of products.

Remember, a beautiful, refinished coffee table can be the centerpiece of your living room, adding style and character to your space. So why wait? Start your own coffee table makeover today and let your creativity shine!