How to Repaint a Coffee Table: A Step-by-Step Guide

Repainting a coffee table can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that can breathe new life into your furniture and transform the look of your living space. Whether you want to update the table to match a new color scheme or simply give it a fresh coat of paint to restore its original beauty, repainting a coffee table is a relatively simple process that anyone can do with a little time and effort. In this step-by-step guide, I will walk you through the process of repainting a coffee table, from preparation to final touches.

Gather Materials and Prepare your Workspace

Before you begin, it is important to gather all the materials you will need for this project. You will need a drop cloth or old newspaper to protect your workspace, sandpaper or a sanding block, primer, paint, a paintbrush or roller, and clear varnish (optional for added protection).

Once you have gathered your materials, find a well-ventilated area to work in, such as a garage or outdoor space. Lay down your drop cloth or old newspaper to protect the floor or surface you are working on.

Step 1: Evaluate the Table

Begin by evaluating the condition of your coffee table. Look for any cracks, dents, or loose pieces that need to be repaired before painting. If necessary, fix any structural issues and tighten any loose screws or bolts.

Step 2: Remove Old Paint or Varnish

If your coffee table has an old coat of paint or varnish, you will need to remove it before repainting. Use sandpaper or a sanding block to gently sand away the existing paint or varnish, being careful not to damage the wood underneath. This step will help the new paint adhere better and give you a smoother finish.

Step 3: Clean the Table

Once you have removed the old paint or varnish, it is important to clean the table thoroughly. Use a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dust, dirt, or residue from sanding. Allow the table to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Apply Primer

Priming the coffee table is an important step as it helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth surface for an even finish. Apply a coat of primer to the entire surface of the table, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Painting the Coffee Table

Step 5: Choose the Right Paint

When selecting paint for your coffee table, consider the type of material it is made of. If your table is made of wood, choose a paint that is specifically designed for wood surfaces. If your table is made of metal or another material, choose a paint that is suitable for that surface.

Step 6: Select your Color

Decide on the color you want for your coffee table. Consider the overall color scheme of your room and choose a color that complements it. You can opt for a bold color to make a statement or a neutral color for a more subtle look. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with your color choice.

Step 7: Start Painting

Once the primer has dried, it’s time to start painting. Begin by applying a thin, even coat of paint to the entire surface of the table using a paintbrush or roller. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying additional coats. Depending on the color and type of paint you choose, you may need to apply multiple coats for full coverage. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times between coats.

Step 8: Apply Varnish (Optional)

If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your coffee table, you can apply a clear varnish. Varnish will help protect the paint from scratches and damage, as well as provide a shiny or matte finish, depending on your preference. Apply the varnish according to the manufacturer’s instructions, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Step 9: Final Touches

Once the paint and varnish have dried completely, it’s time for the final touches. Inspect the table for any missed spots or imperfections, and touch up as needed. Remove any painter’s tape or protective coverings you may have used during the painting process.


Repainting a coffee table is a simple and rewarding DIY project that can transform the look of your living space. By following this step-by-step guide, you can successfully repaint your coffee table and give it a fresh new look. Remember to gather all the necessary materials, prepare your workspace, evaluate the table, remove old paint or varnish, clean the table, apply primer, choose the right paint and color, start painting, apply varnish if desired, and add the final touches. With a little time and effort, you can enjoy a beautifully repainted coffee table that adds style and character to your home.

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