DIY Projects

How to: Make over a coffee table

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DIY Projects

How to: Make over a coffee table

The find Less-than-stellar coffee tables are everywhere you look on the secondhand market. I found this one on Craigslist for just $15, and it struck me that it had the right proportions – 17" x 53" – for a hallway bench.

The transformation The suzani-inspired upholstery and bold orange paint finish turn this boring brown table into a fabulous foyer perch.

Tackle this project in one of three ways, according to your time, budget and skill level.

1 Do the painting and upholstery yourself.
2 Paint the piece yourself but have a pro handle the upholstery. (That's what I chose to do, picking the fabric I wanted -- Suzani in Sun from Invu Drapery Co.)
3 Take it to an upholsterer who can handle painting and upholstery. He or she can even present you with fabric options if you don’t have time to make it to a fabric store.


Prep & painting
1 Sand the piece using a medium-grit sanding sponge – ideal for turned legs and carved details.
2 Wipe with a damp cloth or tack rag.
3 Brush on one coat of latex primer; let dry.
4 Apply three coats of semigloss latex paint (I used Ralph Lauren Paint’s Hot Orange IB67); let dry between coats. Two coats will suffice for lighter colours.

makeover-coffee-table-upholster.jpg Pro upholstery lesson Master upholsterer Patrick Kennedy of Soft Options Upholstery in Toronto offers these tips.

- Standard seat height is 18", so choose the right thickness of foam to bring the table to bench height.

- Centre pattern of the fabric on the piece.

- If you’re adding button tufting (as Patrick is doing in the photo at left), determine the placement that works best with the pattern. Patrick placed a button at the centre of each circular motif. The sections of fabric used to cover the buttons also continue the circle pattern.

What I paid
Coffee Table (Craigslist): $15
Primer & paint (leftovers): $0
Fabric: $100
Upholstery: $130
Soy foam: $78
Total: $323



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DIY Projects

How to: Make over a coffee table