Give An Old Coffee Table a Makeover

These days it is all about upcycling and we offer some crafty ways to give an old coffee table a makeover.






Renovating, restoring, or upcycling, it is all about taking something old and giving it a new lease on life with paint or accessories. Knowing what you can and cannot do lets you decide on a new look for a coffee table using materials that you can purchase at any Builders store, art of craft store, or find online.


Take the opportunity to transform an old coffee table into something special, something that will have a place in your home - no matter the style. Using the ideas below, you can take any old coffee table and give it a brand new look. And the best thing of all, you won't be throwing something out but rather giving it a new purpose. You can use the methods below to give any wanted or worn table a facelift and save yourself the money of having to buy new furniture. After all, there is nothing better than having some creative fun and feeling satisfaction once the job is well done.




1. Mosaic Top for Coffee Table

Round, square, or rectangle, you can transform any table, any size or any shape using the mosaic method. What makes the difference is the tiles that you select for the table top. You can keep it simple with coloured mosaic squares that come in sheets and can be purchased in different colour combinations, you can purchase tiles with a specific pattern and your choice of colour, or you can use leftover tiles or broken tiles for a custom mosaic table.



TIP #1

Some mosaic tiles are thin enough to cut with a standard hand-operated tile cutter while other are thicker ceramic or glass and require specialist cutters. Check that you have the resources to cut the tiles before you take them home.





You can purchase a huge selection of mosaic tiles at stores around the country. Builders stock a wide choice of mosaic colours and patterns, as do CTM and other tile suppliers. Prices range from as low as R50 per sheet upwards of R200 per sheet depending on the style and material. If you decide to opt for mosaic tiles for giving a coffee table a makeover, make sure that you have all the tools and supplies you need.



TIP #2

Don't be afraid to experiment with something different. There are some amazing tile designs out there that would be perfect for the top of a coffee table, like these Antique Glass Mosaic tiles from Italtile.





TIP #3

If you plan to have a border around the edge of the tiles, make sure that you plan or this in the design process.









While the coffee table does not need to have a rim around the top, it would be in your benefit to fit one. You can use pine or hardwood to create a rim around the top of the table and then stain this to match the rest of the table. Having a rim around the top means that you don't have to finish off the edges.





There are plenty of solutions if you need to add edging or a border around the tiled area. You can use pine moulding or trim that you can find at most larger Builders store or aluminium edging profiles at tile stores. Doing it this way is the best method for avoid having to cut too many tiles to perfectly fit.





Adding a tile mosaic top to any table is a practical solution and not a hard one to do. Use tile adhesive and grout in-one to fix the tiles to the top of the table and the fill in the gaps around the tiles. Apply a grout sealer to protect and keep the grout clean. Now you will not have to worry about cups leaving rings on the table or about spills and stains.



TIP #4

Try to visualise how the tiles will look on your coffee table and, in the room setting. You might not think that subway tiles would look good on a coffee table, but surprisingly, they add a touch of elegance.





2. Self-Adhesive Vinyl for Table Top

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to give a table a makeover is to use self-adhesive - Contact - vinyl. If it is properly cared for once applied, there is no reason why self-adhesive vinyl will not look good for a long time, and when you want a new look, simply rip off and replace.





Self-adhesive vinyl comes in varied patterns and colours as well as faux marble and faux wood variations. They all have a self-adhesive backing that is easily peeled away for application to a clean and smooth surface. It is important to ensure that the surface is free from any dust, as this will show through if not removed beforehand.


A roll of self-adhesive vinyl should cost you around R60 per 450mm x 2 metre rolls. A roll of this length should be sufficient for an average-sized coffee table, but you may have to double up if the table is wider.





TIP #1

When applying the self-adhesive vinyl to a surface, only remove a small amount of backing at a time and make sure it is smoothed down and bubble-free before removing more backing.





TIP #2

Use your hands and a soft cloth or sponge when applying the self-adhesive vinyl onto a surface. With outward strokes you can easily remove trapped air bubbles before securing down the edges.





TIP #3

If you are covering a circular or oval table with self-adhesive vinyl, stick down the top and then use sharp scissors to cut pleats around the vinyl so that it can be easily taped around the curved edge without any wrinkles.







If you are not able to find a design you like, there is always the option to have this custom printed. Most digital printers can print designs onto self-adhesive vinyl for you, or shop online for automotive tape for stripes.





3. Paint and Stencils for Coffee Table Top

Paint is definitely one of the easiest ways to give a coffee table a makeover, especially if you use chalk paint that requires no advance preparation before it is applied. Using paint lets you paint it a single colour or multiple colours, use a distressing technique, or even use stencils to apply a design.





TIP #1

Whatever paint product you use, keep in mind that less is best. It is better to apply several light coats of paint that to have excess paint drip and run all over.



Whatever paint you use, make sure to do all the prep work beforehand. Use wood filler to fill cracks and small dents, epoxy putty to repair dents or remould missing pieces, and sand perfectly smooth before painting. If you use spray paint to makeover your coffee table, take it outdoors and spray with light coats, repeating until you are satisfied with the result.





4. Cladding a Coffee Table Top with Wood

If the coffee table needs a lot of repair work to be done and you would rather not, there is always the option to cover up the damage. Using wood or other wood accessories, you can disguise any broken or missing details and still have a stunning coffee table makeover, and no one will be the wiser.



TIP #1

Pop into your nearest Builders store to get your creative juices flowing. It is so easy to overlook items that would be ideal for a coffee table makeover, like the dowels used on the coffee table shown below.





Cladding an old and damaged coffee table with wooden strips stained in different colours gives the table a marquetry effect that is one of a kind. Shop online for cover strips that are around 8mm in thickness and easy to work with, even if you don't have power tools and need to rely on a trust hand saw.







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