$2 Coffee Table Makeover!

I’m a big fan of saving money. I mean, who isn’t?! The best part about a friend moving out and downsizing – you get old stuff they couldn’t sell on craigslist. I inherited a table from some friends, it was in pretty bad shape, as you can see.

photo 1

You can tell that it used to be a nice table! Used to be. So, I set to work! Off to Home Depot to find some bargain paint! I made a beeline for the ‘Ooops paint’ section, and found two simple colors, 50c each to create my vision.

In case you weren’t aware, in most Home Depots, there is a section of paint that the machine mixed wrong. There is nothing wrong with the paint, other than it wasn’t the exact color of the swatch the customer picked out. So, they reduce it to a crazy price to get rid of it. They all look like this, with paint splodged on top of the can. (Yes, I’m fully aware that ‘splodged’ is not a word).


I spent $1 total on paint, buying two contrasting colors. So, after my savings I was feeling thrifty. I went to the dollar store and picked up a 100 pack of sandpaper (an unbelievable bargain – in regular stores, 3 sheets nears $7. Yes, you use more as the quality is lower, but nowhere near $7 worth!) to sand my table with. If you don’t have a roller and brushes, you can pick them up at the dollar store too. I always save my brushes and rollers for other projects.

I carried my table onto my front lawn, and took out my homemade sanding block (instructions here). Sand along with the grain. My table had different sections going in different directions so be sure to pay attention (I didn’t, are we surprised? Anyway – I ended up with a small patch of table that looks a little scratchy).

photo 2

Warning – I did not use a rock to sand the table, this was an effect for the photo. Always use a proper sanding block and be sure to cover your mouth and nose to ensure you don’t inhale the sawdust. Eye protection doesn’t hurt either! You can see all that wonderful sawdust on the floor – this is why I chose to do this one outside.

Once you have sanded every surface you intend to paint, wipe the sawdust off. Then using a damp cloth, wipe every inch of the table. Wait for this to dry.

Now, it’s time for the fun part! Painting!

I like the look a roller produces for the main section of the table, so use that for the top. If there are ridges in the table, paint those with a brush first and then go over the whole table with the roller. Use a thin layer of paint as you will be applying multiple layers.

While you wait for the top to dry, we can start using the contrasting color. Paint the legs and any edges you like with a brush. Wait until the paint is dry to the touch before you apply the second  and third coat.

All done! Unless you want to use polyurethane to make the top shiny and easier to clean. If this is the case, wait 24 hours and then follow the directions on the can. I only did the very top of the table, but you can always do the edges and legs if you so desire.

photo 4


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