Coffee Table Transformation (FREE!)

Since the weather is warming I thought I’d re-post this frugal transformation from March of last year. Maybe it’ll make you grab a piece of furniture and your sander and head outdoors!

You know how when you have a ton of things that need done, you’ll suddenly find yourself doing something that wasn’t even on the list? (Please tell me I’m not the only one!!)

We have company coming this weekend and I decided it would be a good idea if I could finish painting all my lower kitchen cabinets. The ones from the kitchen makeover that I started this summer and never finished. I did the counter, backsplash and upper cabinets, but just never got to those bottom cabinets. Well, I did one section. So I had one section that was brown, one that was green, and one that was white (don’t ask).

But as I was taking off cabinet doors and sanding them down I decided it would be a good idea (this is the unrelated project part) to sand and stain the top of our coffee table. This coffee table is one that I bought for $5 at a yard sale. It’s sturdy and big. That’s about it. But I had little boys and you KNOW you don’t want a nice coffee table with little boys. They have to be able to race Hot Wheels and build things and knock them over and such on the coffee table. If you invest in some piece of beauty that can’t be scratched or scuffed, you’re just asking for a trip to the Funny Farm.

Hence, my $5 coffee table. The one with the top that looks like this:

But, since my boys are getting older, I’ve been intending to paint the table. Or maybe just the top. I can’t decide. Not only can I not decide whether to paint the whole thing or just the top, I can’t decide what color.  And so, the eyesore remains. And it bothers me. Every day.

OK, back to the sanding. As I’m sanding the cabinet doors I realize that I could just sand down the table top and use some remaining stain to stain the top. The top would be darker than the legs, but I rather like that look. And then, when (if) I decide what color I want to paint the table, I can still do that down the road.

So I yanked the table out onto the porch and sanded her down. It took probably 30-45 minutes, tops. She was so pretty I almost wanted to leave her like that.

But I grabbed my leftover can of stain and went to work. In another 30 minutes, I had a nice looking finished product. I’ll probably add a coat or two of poly and call it good. I can’t believe what a difference it made with only a short investment of time and no money at all. Now I just wish I’d done it sooner.

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4 thoughts on “Coffee Table Transformation (FREE!)

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Molly! a great reminder that how something we already have on hand can become “new” again with just some “elbow grease”! I can spend less with buying sandpaper and varnish, or even paint, than I would by buying a new coffee, dining, or foyer table. Thanks for the advice and reminders that you provide – my husband especially thanks you!

    Molly says: Awww…thanks, Kimberly. I still have to remind myself, though. Funny how you “forget” to shop home first.

  2. WOW!! I liked it in it’s natural state as well… what a great project and an awesome transformation!! I will be shopping yard sales very soon and a new side table is on the list. And NOW, I know that I can look for ‘used’ but ‘usable’ and still make it look great!! Thanks!

    Molly says: One of my favorite things is a good repurposed yard sale find. And this is the season for them! I hope you find some great projects.

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