8 Brilliant DIY Coffee Table Makeover Ideas

There are few things that can transform a room so dramatically as a DIY coffee table makeover. Just last year, I got a new sofa and it didn’t match my coffee table (but it was duck feather and oh so lush!). So, I decided to transform my old, scuffed up coffee table so that it would match my new sofa. I looked up a tutorial for a shabby chic makeover, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work. I managed to get the makeover done in just two weekend afternoons, and I was so happy with it that I decided to do my entertainment center as well, for good measure. The results were dramatic.

So dramatic, in fact, that it inspired me to look at other DIY coffee table makeover methods. Here are some of the best DIY coffee table makeovers I found across the interwebs. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration to take on your own DIY coffee table transformation!

Shabby Chic Coffee Table

It was surprisingly easy to turn my very basic living room coffee table into the trendy barnyard style that’s so popular right now. Here are the materials I used and steps I followed:

Coffee Table Materials:

1b Hardwood coffee table

Here is the plain, hardwood coffee table I started with.

Here is the living room coffee table I started with. As you can see, it was a beautiful (but terribly plain) hardwood coffee table. Those are great to work with for any project.

💡Tip: This process may not work as well if your living room coffee table is plywood.

2. Chalk paint

To make your own chalk paint, mix 1 C latex paint, ½ C baking soda, and 3 tbsp of cool water

I made my own homemade chalk paint by mixing white latex paint with a bit of baking soda.

I lightly sanded the living room coffee table so that the paint would stick better, and then applied two coats of the chalk paint mixture.

3. Hardwood coffee table after chalk paint

This is what my DIY coffee table looked like after two licks of chalk paint. Coffee tables transform quickly!

💡Tip: If I were to do this again, I’d only apply one coat of chalk paint. Since you’re sanding so much off afterwards, it seemed a bit counterproductive to me to have two coats, as it just made the job of sanding much more labour intensive.

I then got some sandpaper and sanded it down, concentrating on the corners, and areas where it would naturally “scuff”.

💡Tip: I used a sanding sponge on the coffee table, and then a palm sander on the entertainment center. Though the palm sander was much easier to use and took much less elbow grease, I was much happier with the results made by the sanding sponge. The palm sander results on coffee tables looked significantly less natural.

4. Coffee table after sanding

This is the coffee table after I sanded it down, concentrating on the corners of the coffee table, and before varnish.

After letting this dry for 24 hours, I applied a coat of varnish to finish it off.

5. Coffee table after varnish

After two coats of varnish, my coffee table looked like this. I was absolutely thrilled! Would love to experiment on more coffee tables

That’s the finished coffee table above. Doesn’t it look fab? As I mentioned, I was so happy with this that I went on to do the same to my entertainment center.

💡Tip: After a while, my coffee table started taking on a strange purplish tinge. I think a few more coats of varnish would have fixed this before it started, so be extra liberal with your varnish on the coffee tables.

Check out how my living room looked with the two newly shabby chic-ed coffee table pieces (not to mention new sofa!):

6. Living room with shabby chic furniture

Isn’t it amazing what a few licks of chalk paint, sandpaper and varnish can do to transform coffee tables?

Here are some more coffee table makeover methods you can try for yourself:

Stencil Coffee Table

For something a little more fancy, considering giving your coffee table a good paint job, and then embellishing the coffee table with a beautiful stencil. There are a ton of coffee table tutorials out there for this — here’s a great one by Tara Boettger.

7. stenciled

(Image credit: https://justcallmehomegirl.com/stenciled-coffee-table-makeover/)

With just a few simple steps, Tara transformed her old coffee table into something that looks like the coffee table cost a fortune!

Coffee Table Materials:

Basic steps:

  1. Paint the coffee table top
  2. Apply stencil with painter’s tape
  3. Paint over stencil
  4. Allow to dry and remove stencil
  5. Repeat as desired
  6. Seal with sealing wax

8. coffee table before stencilling

(Image credit: https://justcallmehomegirl.com/stenciled-coffee-table-makeover/)

With minimal materials, Tara transformed this old coffee table into the beautiful coffee table pictured above!

For the complete coffee table tutorial with photos, follow this link to Tara’s site here.

Bermuda blending

I stumbled upon this Bermuda Blending technique tutorial when researching this article, and I have to say, I am beyond besotted. Even though I already gave my own coffee table a makeover, I’m already on the look-out for another one I can refurbish with this technique.

9. Bermuda blending

(Image credit: https://realitydaydream.com/furniture-finishing-technique-bermuda-blending/)

This may not be a coffee table, but wouldn’t this technique look absolutely stunning on one? 

Bethany at RealityDayDream.com stumbled upon a photo of an armoir that was refurbished using the Bermuda blending technique, and fell in love as instantly as I did. She contacted the woman who created the technique, Maria Revollo, and asked her to write a coffee table tutorial as a guest post on her website.


  • Unicorn SPiT Navajo Jewel
  • Unicorn SPiT Phoenix Fire
  • Unicorn SPIT Zia Teal
  • Unicorn SPiT Blue Thunder
  • Get the full set of Unicorn SPiT here.

Basic steps:

  1. Apply the first color with a long, light stroke on a small section, to get yourself comfortable with the technique
  2. Apply the second color in from the edges. You’ll want it to start blending, but not cover, the first color.
  3. Now blend in your darker blue to add some drama into the mix
  4. Add your fourth blue color, being sure to give each shade its own space (this is very important)
  5. Add the contrast color (orange) in strategic areas like corners and heavily detailed portions of the table
  6. Keep blending colors until you’ve covered the entire coffee table
  7. Let dry for one hour
  8. Apply Unicorn Spit with your fingers or with a brush you used in the above painting process. You can use the same brush for multiple colors in the same family, since you’re blending. This means blue Spit with blue paints, and orange Spit with orange paints, of course. This step will enhance the vibrancy of your original paint.
  9. Allow to dry.
  10. Get your sanding block and use it to distress corners, edges, and some of the flat areas (in a similar method to my shabby chic tutorial above).
  11. Apply dark wax to antique your table, applying as much or as little as you’d like for your desired effect
  12. Seal with two coats of your sealant

Head on over to Bethany’s website for the full Bermuda blending technique tutorial guest post by the technique’s creator, Maria Revollo here.

Alice in Wonderland Coffee Table

Fall down the rabbit hole with this coffee table makeover idea by Leah Noel, who refurbished an antique table into something that looks straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
10. aliceinwonderland


This coffee table makeover is a bit more work, but the results are absolutely stunning, don’t you think?

Coffee Table Materials:

Basic steps:

  1. Remove veneer with a metal scraper
  2. Apply several thin coats of spray paint to the base of the coffee table
  3. Use wood filler to smooth out the table top if necessary
  4. Apply shellac-based primer to table top
  5. Paint table top with white paint
  6. Let dry for 24 hours
  7. Tape off your stripes with blue painter’s tape
  8. Apply a thin layer of black acrylic paint to table top
  9. Allow to dry
  10. Repeat with one or two more coats of black paint, as needed
  11. Seal your table top with clear sealant
  12. Use your finger to apply your gold leaf to the coffee table’s edge

11. Alice in Wonderland before

This is what Leah’s coffee table looked like before its makeover. It’s definitely a perfect example of drab to fab!

Try out the full tutorial for yourself by heading over to Leah’s site here.

Time will tell Coffee Table

I am totally in love with what Cindy at DIYbeautify.com did with her $50 vintage double-tiered coffee table.

12. clocktable3

(Image credit: https://www.diybeautify.com/2014/03/clockinspireddoubletiertable.html#axzz2yLJ53X2j)

With a base of aqua chalk paint and cottage white, Cindy added different styles of clock faces to both tiers of the coffee table. 


Basic steps:

  1. Paint entire coffee table with aqua chalk paint
  2. Allow to dry
  3. Dry brush on a second coat in cottage white chalk paint, allowing some of the base coat to show through
  4. Allow to dry
  5. Sand it down to allow both colors to show through, and add a distressed effect
  6. Apply your roman numeral clock face transfer to the top tier
  7. Stamp your modern clock face on the bottom tier, using your burnt umber paint
  8. Allow to dry
  9. Sand the entire piece lightly to soften the numerals and give the table a more natural effect
  10. Apply two coats of clear wax, and buff for a beautiful finish

13. doubletiertablebefore
(Image credit: https://www.diybeautify.com/2014/03/clockinspireddoubletiertable.html#axzz2yLJ53X2j)

This is what Cindy’s coffee table looked like before she gave it a beautiful clock-face overhaul.

For more photos and the complete tutorial, head over to Cindy’s website here.

Gaming Coffee Table

If your family loves board games, why not turn your living room coffee table into a beautiful-yet-practical gaming table?

Ursula at HomeMadeByCarmona.com did just that!

Check it out:

14. Coffee Table With Pullouts

(Image credit: http://www.homemadebycarmona.com/diy-coffee-table-with-pullouts/)

Can you imagine your family gathered around this fun-inspiring board game coffee table?

This may not have been a makeover persay, as it was built from scratch, but it would certainly be possible to use the build plans as inspiration to transform a coffee table to something similar.


  • ¾ thick, full sheet, oak
  • ½ thick, full sheet, bleached pine
  • 2X6 72-inch board
  • 1X2 96-inch board

This project is a bit more complex than the other makeovers in this article, since it requires a full build from scratch. Get the full tutorial for the DIY coffee table with pull out drawers over here.

Harlequin Coffee Table

If you’re looking to add a touch of class and elegance to your living room, you might consider opting for a Harlequin-painted coffee table. Christy at Confessions of a Serial DIYer put together a great, easy-to-follow tutorial on doing just that.

15. French Linen Harlequin Side Table 41

(Image credit: https://www.confessionsofaserialdiyer.com/harlequin-painted-side-table/)

Isn’t it amazing what can be done to transform coffee tables with a bit of paint and tape?


Basic steps:

  1. Paint your base coat with cottage white chalk paint
  2. Tape off your first set of diamonds for your harlequin pattern. For Christy’s full tutorial on this, click here.
  3. Paint two coats of french linen chalk paint
  4. Remove tape immediately
  5. Let dry one hour
  6. Tape off your second set of diamonds, reusing your tape.
  7. Paint two coats on those diamonds
  8. Remove your tape immediately
  9. Sand lightly
  10. Polish with furniture wax

Get Christy’s full Harlequin Table How-To here.

5-minute makeover

Looking for a quick fix? Anika over at AnikasDIYLife.com did a super simple five-minute DIY coffee table makeover on her Ikea Lack table.

16. Easy Ikea Lack hack DIY Anikas DIY Life full view 1 700

(Image credit: https://www.anikasdiylife.com/easiest-ikea-lack-hack-ever/)

Doesn’t this table look gorgeous? Read on to find out how Anika transformed her super basic Ikea table into this with her makeover for coffee tables. 

Coffee Table Materials:

Check out Anika’s full five-minute living room coffee table makeover here.

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