DIY Coffee Table

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My old hand-me-down coffee table recently broke. I really didn’t like it too much anyway but at the time, needed something and as a poor college student, I couldn’t afford something new. So this was the perfect opportunity to get something more my style!

I had an idea of what I wanted but everything online that was similar to what I was wanting was super expensive or you had to put together yourself – something neither my husband nor I are very good at. And I didn’t want an un-sturdy table.

So I started checking with local places and getting quotes about a custom build and paint job. It was going to run me about $500, which I still didn’t want to pay. THEN, I found a perfect table on Facebook Marketplace (of all places) and the lady who built it said she could do a custom piece for me and leave the wood natural so I could stain and paint it myself. And she only charged me $100. SCORE!

My brother-in-law offered to teach me how to stain and I used these plans to get my final look.

Here’s the table in its natural state.

We sanded it again, even though the builder did a pretty good job herself.

To achieve the stained top, I used Minwax in Early American. It took three coats. We then used a clear semi-gloss protective coating over that. I also used three coats of that.

Here’s the top!

Next, it was time to paint. I bought chalk paint, which is super easy to work with and dries incredibly fast. Those came from a local shop called Simplify. I wanted to support local businesses as much as I could with this project. They sell Debi’s Design Diary brand chalk paint, which you can buy online.

For the base coat, I used the color Weathered Wood. It only took one coat and I painted it inside since chalk paint is odorless. It really looks good like this too and would be great for a guy’s apartment.

I let it dry overnight, then used the color Vintage Linen over the gray. I did very little distressing once that was dry and most of what you see showing through is just the way I painted it to give it a distressed look. For the distressing that I did do (mostly on the legs), I used a baby wipe. It works like a dream and you don’t have to mess with sandpaper.

Once the paint was dry, I sealed it with a wax coating that dries clear but protects the wood.

Please excuse the terrible lighting and ugly carpet – we still live in an apartment so it’s hard to take amazing home photos but this table really makes the space look so much better. I can’t wait until we own our own home and can put it in our future living room!

If you have any questions about this process, please let me know. I am excited to try some more DIY projects in the future.

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