Bringing life back into an old, boring piece of furniture can be so refreshing! Here’s our guide to refinishing your old coffee table with a stylish modern design.


Coffee Table

We found this IKEA coffee table on a used furniture website for $20. No matter what style you have or prefer, the techniques we used can be applied to pretty much any coffee table you can find!



Coffee Table

Sand Paper

Wood Stain- We used Minwax Jacobean Stain which is my FAVORITE stain. (I’m a little obessed, we use it on everything in our house!)

White Paint and Primer- A paint/primer combo spray can works wonders!

Clear Fast Drying Polyurethane Finish


Here’s the before…Nothing special.


The first step you’ll take is to disassemble the coffee table. The best and easiest way to refinish it is if the bottom of the table is separated from the top. If you can’t separate them, go ahead and tape off the top first when you paint.

Next you’ll sand all the pieces down. You want to make sure any old paint, stain, or lacquer is completely removed. You can use a Paint Stripper to help you remove the paint if it’s difficult to sand off. For some reason, this is my favorite part of refinishing!

Our pup makes a great little helper 🙂

Set aside the top piece of your coffee table and lay out all the bottom pieces that you will spray paint white. We used this paint from Home Depot. It’s a great paint and primer that eliminates extra steps. The simpler the better, right! Apply thin, even layers of paint with about 3 coats in all to be sure that it turns out a strong, bright white.

Coffee Table

While the base of your coffee table is drying, grab your top piece along with the stain and some disposable cloths (you will not want to keep these after applying the stain!). Dip your cloth into the stain and apply with a circular motion, making sure to cover the entire surface of your coffee table top. After this, you’ll wipe away the excess stain with a separate cloth. Our advice is to apply stain in sections so that it is even across the whole surface.


Once all your coffee table parts are finished, spray with a Fast-drying polyurethane spray finish to seal your table for a long-lasting look. The polyurethane is good for furniture that will get a lot of use because it protects the wood against drips, spills, or other accidents.


Now all that’s left to do is reassemble the table and you’re finished!


Next, check out our post on this DIY Succulent garden that makes the perfect accent for your newly refinished coffee table!

If you liked this DIY project, head on over to our design page for all our DIY posts, and keep visiting each week for more to come.

~Seth and Alyssa~