5 Creative Ways to Revamp Your Old Coffee Table

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Do you have an old coffee table that just doesn’t fit with your aesthetic anymore? Are you considering throwing it in the dumpster and buying a new one?

Well, you might want to reconsider that. Instead, learn about the top 5 five ways to revamp it and bring some life back into it.

Using a couple of techniques and a few tools, like the Makita orbital sander, you can take your coffee table from drab to fab in just a few simple steps. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Makita orbital sander

1. Sand and Re-Varnish Your Coffee Table

If you’ve never varnished wood before, you’re better off staying away from ornamental or veneer furniture. It takes a lot of work and fine detailing, not to mention time. The easiest piece to work with is just solid wood as you’ll only need a few tools for the job.

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First, run down to the home improvement store and grab:

  • Coarse sandpaper (60, 120, 360-grit works best)
  • Tack cloth
  • All-purpose cleaning spray and a cloth
  • A mechanical sander, like the Makita orbital sander
  • Stain or primer, whatever you want to use for the finish

Once you have your tools ready, you need to thoroughly clean your coffee table to get rid of any dirt and oils. Then, take your sandpaper or the mechanical sander and start taking off any paint or varnish residue left on the wood.

sanding a table

When you’ve wiped away the excess dust with the tack cloth, put Tung or Danish oil over it to protect your coffee table. It’ll also bring out the natural, beautiful colors of the wood. Wait for the first coat to completely dry and go in with another layer of oil or a clear coat.

If you’re going in with more than one coat, which you should, make sure to sand it before each next step. By doing so, you’re making sure your coffee table stays shiny for a long time.

3. Paint Your Coffee Table

There are some coffee tables that not even a mains powered orbital sander could help with. If you’ve got an extremely ornamental piece, you’d probably have to go over it using only sandpaper. That is a long and exhausting process and one that you can skip if you want to paint your coffee table.

To start, you could prep it with a bonding primer that you’ll put down as a base coat. The good ones only take an hour or two to dry, and you can use them on all kinds of surfaces, including wood, metal, vinyl, and glass.

You could also use liquid sandpaper or a deglosser that’ll completely strip away the shine from your table. That way, the paint will adhere to it better and you’ll get a nice, smooth coat.

painted table

All you have to do is dip a rag or sponge into it and go over your coffee table once. However, since the deglosser has a lot of chemicals in it, you’re better off doing this outside or in a well-ventilated room.

Once these chemicals have dried completely, use a brush to paint your table with your desired color.

3. Upholster Your Coffee Table

If you want to upholster your coffee table, you’ll need to sand it with the Makita orbital sander and re-varnish it as you did in the first method. You can also apply some paint here, depending on what kind of look you’re going for.

To make the cushion for your coffee table, you’ll need:

  • Foam
  • Thread, sewing needle, and buttons
  • Staple gun
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • A wood board

First, mark the board where you’ll be putting your tufted top and then drill the marks in. Also, cut the holes for the buttons to go in. Once you’ve prepped the wood, you can add your foam and batting to it and secure it in place.

If you want a smooth edge on your coffee table, you have to make sure the foam overlaps with the wood board. Then, you’ll have to focus on the tufted top and where you’ll be placing the buttons. You will also have to make the piping and staple everything in place.

Using a few screws, you can secure the upholstery onto your coffee table. You can also add a couple of L-shaped hinges to make sure the cushions stay in place for a long time.

4. Put Bottle Caps on Your Coffee Table

Putting bottle caps on your table is a fun little project that takes little time and money to complete, but looks great. First, using the Makita orbital sander or sandpaper, sand and clean your coffee table. Then, take a piece of plywood, carefully cutting it so that you leave a 1.5-inch space between it and the edges of your coffee table.

You can drill the plywood into the table or use a strong adhesive to make sure it sticks. Next, you’ll want to start placing the bottle caps onto the plywood in any pattern you like. Depending on the size of your plywood, you’ll need between 150 and 200 bottle caps.

Once you’ve glued the bottle caps, you can start assembling the band for the outer edge of the plywood and putting it down. Finally, put some ready-made grout over the caps, making sure you’ve filled every nook and cranny.

When you’re done grouting, take a damp sponge and go over every bottle cap. You can repeat this step one more time after 24 hours or a few days.

5. Faux Marble Coffee Table Top

If you want to add some depth and dimension to your living room, you could make a faux marble coffee table top. All you need for the job is some contact paper and a measuring tool.

The first thing you have to do is clean your coffee table thoroughly and let it completely dry. If you don’t, the contact paper won’t stick to it.

Then, measure the size of your table and transfer those measurements to your paper. Once you’re happy with the size, place it on the table and start cutting. You should start laying the contact paper from the edges to the center to ensure more precise results.

Also, to ensure you don’t get any bubbles or creases, you can use a vinyl tool or even a credit card to smooth out the paper. However, use these tools only on the flat surfaces of your table. If you used them on corners or edges, you’d get creasing and paper wouldn’t stick properly.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — the five easiest and most creative ways of bringing some life back into your old coffee table. Depending on your personal aesthetic, if you want to preserve the color of the wood, your best option is to just sand and varnish it. By using a few simple tools like the Makita orbital sander, you can do this in just a few short hours.

However, if you want a more intricate design, you could put some upholstery, contact paper, and even bottle caps on your table. Whatever you decide to go with it in the end, just remember to have fun with this project.