Coffee Table Redo

I have found a new passion for redoing furniture. I think mainly because I have this sudden urge to redo my entire house, and to be quite honest I just can’t afford to run to Pottery Barn and pick out my favorites! Next best thing: Find things on the side of the road and craigslist and make it look like Pottery barn : )
This is my “new” coffee table I purchased for $15.
[update: after several years, I still love my coffee table. Here is a new picture of it in my living room]
Here is how I did it. Read through the pictures for tips on what I did.
-find ugly/old coffee table with good lines
-if you’re staining it, sand it down, if your painting it, I highly suggest Annie Sloan Paint (I used it on the legs)
-stain/paint where necessary
-rub on some polyeurathane
-stare at it in awe : )
Here is what it originally looked like. I did get a little excited and started sanding before I took my “original” picture so it is partially sanded.
Now, here is a finished view from the top, and I’ll tell you how my sanding got it to look the way it does.
How I did it was, I SUCK at sanding! Basically I pushed and pushed but my cheap little sander wouldn’t get all the old finish off. I was close, but it left a few “patches” and well since I am the world’s most impatient person, I decided I would just go ahead and sand it! Well this is my favorite piece I have ever made and its because I’m not good at refinishing furniture…haha! But I wanted an old “barn door” look and I got it! I just didn’t think I could. Sometimes not knowing what you’re doing is a good thing ; )
Ok, after I sanded it and stained it I rubbed on some polyeruathane. Now, if you finish furniture regularly you are probably laughing at me, because I’m pretty sure you are supposed to use a brush. But I’m also stubborn, and I didn’t want it to be all glossy, so I rubbed it on the same way I stained it and it gave it a nice protective coating without being all shiny.
Then I busted out my Annie Sloan “Old White” Paint (which I totally am in LOVE with) I didn’t have to sand those legs… I just painted that stuff right on, added some Annie Sloan Wax, and distressed it a little and I.was.done!
What do you think?
Have you refinished any furniture finds lately? I’d love to see them!

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  1. Kelli @ The Turquoise Piano says

    Ashley I love this table! LOVE it. You did a fantastic job. Was it chalk paint that you used? I know Annie Sloan makes a chalk paint. I am going to make some and do a chair. Did I mention I love the table?

  2. eleven-o-one says

    You did a great job! Isn't it amazing how the fact that it was cheap makes it that much better? Love it!

  3. Katie says

    It looks fantastic! I love how your staining made the top look like a barn door to me, which makes me love it even more! I love a good furniture redo!

  4. Gwen@theboldabode says

    Crazy transformation! That was one UGLY table and you made it look awesome! It's so incredible what a little stain, a little paint and some elbow grease can do.

  5. Lauren Anslee says

    This turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing and I think you are more talented than you give yourself credit for!

  6. Ginger says

    Love! I haven't had the time or patience to redo in furniture lately. :( I would love to try that brand of paint. Looks amazing. :)

  7. ladywiththeredrocker says

    This turned out so nice. Love the color you picked for it. You did such a good job!
    Stephanie @

  8. Rachael @ Fresh Squeezed Home says

    It looks so pretty! It has the same shape as our kitchen table I am in the process of refinishing!

  9. Debbie says

    I'm all about the refinishing too. I just did a dresser for my daughter a few weeks ago and painted a few things after that.

    I really LOVE the bones of that piece and would have snapped it up if I had seen it too. You did a great job. I like the white legs with the finished top.

  10. craftedniche says

    Too funny! I'm working on a VERY similar table right now. I grabbed it right out of someone's trash and made a new plank top for it!

    Dana @

  11. Casa De Luna says

    Your coffee table looks great! Thanks for the inspiration. My modern coffee table from Ikea is no longer cutting it. I need to find one like yours.

  12. Wray Sist3rs says

    Gorgeous! I need s table like this in my home. Thanks for the inspiration!


  13. colorchic says

    Love the table Ashley! I have plenty of stuff I want to get to "someday"! Perhaps I should just send it to you!

  14. Screaming Sardine says

    You did a great job, Ashley. I haven't tried refinishing any furniture but I'll be moving soon and will be doing lots of diy projects. Refinishing is definitely in my future – lol!

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  15. Cindy @ Creating at Home says

    This is gorgeous! And, to think that I gave away (on the side of the road!!) my coffee table that looked just like this. I should've re-done it like you did. :)

  16. Liz @ says

    I LOVE it! I have to do this to my coffee table. It has the same structure as your table. Love it!! :)

  17. Sweet Peas and Bumblebees says

    I LOVE LOVE how your coffee table turned out!! =) My coffee table needs redone and I can't wait to get started on it since looking at yours…thanks for the inspiration! =)


  18. Carissa says

    This turned out awesome. It totally looks like a high end piece from pottery barn. In fact…i bet you could make a bit of a side business out of flipping furniture. I bought a coffee table on CL for $15, used it in my home for 4 years, cleaned it up, staged a picture that was well lit and made it look high end and re-sold it on CL for $80. Blog fodder and extra income? Heck yeah!

    Anyway…I found you through the Homemaker on a Dime Blogger party and I'm your newest follower. Come check me out, too, if you're interested @ Carissa's Creativity Space

  19. Chris says

    Hi Ashley, I just love what you have done with this table. Great job and thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  20. says

    I know this post of your’s is a little old but I just discovered it! Do you know how many times I see coffee tables like that at my fav thrift store? That looks so amazing! You did a great job. And BTW, I’m with you on brushing on poly! They make a one now that you can rub on with a cloth. LOVE IT!
    Jaye @ Just Tryin’ to Make Cents of it All recently posted..I LOVE CHALLENGES!!My Profile

    • Ashley says

      Thanks for stopping by! : ) I still love my coffee table, totally worth the $15 dollars I paid for it! Yes, rubbing the poly on is just so much better to me!

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