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Easy DIY: How to Paint a Coffee Table

By Hudson Valley Handymom on Jan 19, 2014


When I was younger, a big mistake I made was assuming I couldn’t decorate my home nicely due to funds. It struck me most recently that I never even really tried. I spent years raising children and just living in a house rather than enjoying the house where I was living. Having four children can tie up a lot of time, and it DOES put other things that aren’t so important on a back burner (as it should be), but I still didn’t think to find inexpensive ways to decorate.

Thinking outside of the box during trying times is when creativity can strike you the most. I needed a coffee table to stage a room, and I entertained the thought of making one because I didn’t want to fork out a lot of money on a table when I know I’m not going to use it later. However, I didn’t really have the time to make a table, and finding an inexpensive one seemed like a good option.

I lucked out in finding this old coffee table for $5.00. I have to admit that I actually debated this table. It was old and ugly. There was absolutely nothing appealing about it, but I needed a table. It was just so blah….boring…gross…nothing, nothing, nothing I liked about it.


I had a can of gray paint. I used one cup of the gray and mixed it with one cup of white to lighten the gray up. I added 2/3 cup of Plaster of Paris and used a paint mixer (attachment added to my drill) to mix it together. I added a bit of water to make the paint run smoothly.

I removed the glass pieces, cleaned the table off, lightly sanded, and painted the table. The beauty of this Plaster of Paris mixture is that it really latches onto your projects. I let it dry and distressed it prior to putting finishing wax on it.

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I finished it off with Minwax Finishing Paste. To bring it up more to a modern day table, I put some baskets I had underneath and used a basket on top that I found at a thrift store for $1.99.


Then, I found some decor balls for $7.99 at Marshalls to fill the basket on top.


The interesting part of this project was that the gray paint had a bit of a green that shown through after I put the finishing wax on it. It turns out that I now love this coffee table. My husband wants to keep it. Finding one that’s comparable on the Internet can range over $300.00. Not such a bad deal at $5.00 and using things I had on hand to create a piece we love!

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