Coffee table transformation

I may have gone a bit ‘overkill’ with the title of this post.  I mean, just to set your expectations, the coffee table is still just a coffee table its just that its been renovated…

Basically, I have hated said coffee table from about four months after we first got it.  Mostly because of the very dark stain which makes it a very dreary piece of furniture.  Big chunky dark stained furniture used to be ‘in’ about 10 years ago but styles change, mine certainly did (I’m not sure if it was ever mine in the first place) so it had to go!

I was teetering on ordering a new ‘ottoman’ style coffee table from Swoon or but in a moment of guilt and because my flower obsession needs sustaining I decided to save money and try and transform (ok renovate) it.

I stupidly didn’t take a ‘before’ picture so I had to pull this one from my Instagram account of Louis trying to steal my dinner.  It’s really poor quality but you get the idea.

It could have gone horribly wrong.  Because its so chunky and has a ‘sawn’ finish which basically means the surfaces were rough with quite deep ridges I wasn’t sure it would sand that well. The dark wax was also right in all the crevices. But armed with my sander mouse I thought ‘s*d it’ and set to work with some ‘grade 40’ paper, then 80, then 120 and it actually sanded pretty well.

To make it a bit easier, and not burn through sandpaper before sanding, I ‘knocked back’ the wax with some fairy liquid on a damp cloth – this really does work. It’s a top tip I learnt from my mum and I used this technique on my old dresser that I inherited from her and I didn’t need to sand it at all.

Once sanded, I went over with the hoover and a damp cloth to remove any dust and then used Farrow and Ball wood primer which I found in the shed so didn’t have to buy – result! I always intended to keep the top natural wood so I only painted the legs and the base.

Once primed, I then gave it two coats of Farrow and Ball Interior wood and metal paint in the shade Ammonite.  I normally swear by Little Greene paint for wood as it’s like painting with double cream and I find Farrow and Ball can be a bit of a nightmare to work with sometimes. But, I couldn’t be are*d to drive to the nearest stockist so I picked up the closest shade to the kitchen cupboards which are painted in Little Greene French Grey mid. One coat before the pub and another after (seriously I sat up painting at ridiculous o’clock) and that was enough.  I checked my handy work in the morning and drunk painting seems to work.

I took a gamble with the top and used the left over liming wax that I had from doing all the oak doors around the house.  Technically, liming pine doesn’t really work that well but its actually come out ok.  You can still see the roughness of the saw and there is darker wax in the grooves but the white over the top softens it a lot and it’s quite a unique surface now.  I’ll live with it a while and decide if I like it.

And so voila – the ‘transformation’ is complete.  It’s instantly made a very gloomy room look a bit brighter and has saved me about £250.  Ok, I cheated a little bit because I bought the paint which was £24 and the sandpaper disks for £7 but that’s still over £200 saved and Kirsty Allsop would be proud.

Katy x





  1. Hannah 1st March 2017 / 12:43 am

    Hi, great post. Can I ask where the Charm the world picture is from please?

    H xxx

    • katyebh
      1st March 2017 / 2:50 pm

      Of course! But, I can’t actually remember sorry! I got in from an online poster store. I will have a dig about and see if I can recall the name….

      Katy x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *