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Coffee Table Update

24 April 2016

As I mentioned before, I’m moving soon, and that has me wanting to make over or get rid of all my furniture. I wasn’t sure which category our secondhand (originally IKEA?) coffee table fell into, but I’m on vacation this week and felt like experimenting, so the table is at my mercy.


It’s cheap-looking and waterstained. But it has a neat shape and a glass top, so let’s see what we can do with that.


I browsed Pinterest for inspiration (duh) and decided on an industrial style: steel and aged-wood like. I wanted the legs to look like metal and the two wood surfaces to look antique.

The table was wobbling…better fix the structural issues before I attend to aesthetics. The legs are connected to the rest of the frame with cam connectors, and four were missing from the table. Good thing Home Depot has 4-packs for $3.50.

I taped off the legs, sanded, and spraypainted them with dark grey auto primer. This stuff is great: I used it on a pair of yellow and red milk crates, and after one coat both are solidly gray (why am I getting rid of all the color in my things? Ask me over a beverage).

Spraypaint is not the most subtle of instruments, but I suspect the auto primer will help me achieve the metal-look, so I’m letting it be for now. For the wood, I dug out a can of Varethane wood stain my roommate used for her bookshelves when we moved in two years ago. Sanded the whole thing, then gave the underside a coat of stain with a cheap brush.

Next is to flip it over and rub stain on the flat surfaces.

The Varethane Kona stain is really, really dark. I wiped some on with a rag, then switched to Minwax Dark Walnut.

I decided I did NOT have the patience for multiple coats of polyurethane, so I sprayed the whole thing with two coats of Rust-Oleum acrylic seal, let it dry, and went on my merry way.

Washed the glass pane thoroughly, replaced it on top of the table, and let all the books go back to their home.

Surprise: we got a “new” coffee table! If I decide later that I really value the industrial look I may add some hardware. But for now, there it is. On to the next one.



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