Farmhouse Coffee Table Makeover

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Have you ever had a piece of furniture or decor that had special meaning – perhaps a family heirloom or an item given to you by a loved one – but it just didn’t work in your space?

That was our coffee table situation.

My husband’s grandfather was a skilled and proficient furniture builder. He built not only this coffee table, but many pieces we use in our house – my husband’s desk, dresser, nightstand, a cabinet in our bedroom, and a shelf in my daughter’s room. Many other pieces reside in family members’ homes; among them are a dining hutch, various cabinets, and side tables. I am seriously amazed at how much furniture he was able to make!

I liked our coffee table – it had an interesting shape, a useful little drawer for holding coasters, and most of all the rich family history. Of course, my little boy beat the snot out of it as a toddler (what, coffee tables don’t have snot?), but I think great-grandpa would have appreciated that his table was being enjoyed by future generations.


[This was the only decent photo I could find with the old coffee table in it!]

That being said, I couldn’t get past the fact that it looked dwarfed in our living room. It simply looked lost between the couch and chair, atop a large rug. Also due to its small size, it was easily moved around by a certain little boy who nearly tipped it over a few times (thankfully baby wasn’t in the way!). A larger coffee table would also provide room for both decorations and beverages.

Thankfully, my husband was on board with the idea. I felt really guilty asking him if we could please NOT use his grandfather’s table, but being the sensible man he is, he let me have my way. Haha, just kidding – he agreed it was too small for the space. 😉

It took several months of scouring Facebook Marketplace before I found the right fit. When I saw this Ethan Allen table, I was drawn to the slatted boards, elegant detailing, and the fact that it has a shelf.

It had definite potential, but was in pretty rough shape! (I guess my husband didn’t photograph the part of the tabletop with red marker or ink all over it…bummer!)

We went the used route because kids are rough. on. furniture. No matter how much you teach them to be gentle and respectful of belongings, they’re children and stuff happens. 🙂 So we didn’t really want to invest in something brand new.

Besides, it’s fun to transform a piece…at least I think so.

Okay, Melissa, quit rambling and show us the pics!

*Ahem, yes, of course*

My husband is in charge of all sanding and staining endeavors in our house. He has experience and I’m happy not to mess with it. I paint stuff.

He removed the top, sanded it down, and actually had to give it a new edge with his router. I mean, look how rough the edges of this table were!

He then stained it with Minwax Jacobean and sealed it with polyurethane.

I painted the bottom with Rustoleum Chalked in Linen White – same as my church pew. It took 3 coats to sufficiently cover.

I even had a sweet helper 🙂

In case you’re wondering, this was what it looked like after one coat. He helped paint the second coat, and I painted the third coat by myself later on. I like to let my little guy help whenever I can – it’s good mommy-son bonding time while baby girl is sleeping, it teaches him a skill, and it’s a fun activity. He actually does a really good job!


(For the record, anything breakable or tearable that you see in this photo is not usually there!)

We’re so happy with how it turned out AND no one has successfully moved it yet. 😉

Please note that this page contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more.

~ Soli Deo Gloria ~

2 thoughts on “Farmhouse Coffee Table Makeover

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