Before & After: Oversized, Rustic Coffee Table Redo

Adam and I decided to redo my old coffee table last weekend.  We had an idea to sand the top, hand scrape it with chisels and restain it.  When we went to refinish the top, we realized it wasn’t actually real wood, which meant we couldn’t use it–so disappointing!  We changed direction and decided to make our own custom table top and we ended up with this beautiful oversized, rustic table.

Since the top of the original table was not wood, we took it apart to save the legs and base and got rid of the top!

Next, we made a trip to Lowe’s and picked out the wood we wanted to use.  We ended up choosing three large planks with lots of character.  We loved the knots and notches in the wood.  We decided that we wanted to make it significantly bigger than the old one so we measured it out and Adam cut the wood with a circular saw.

Then, it was time to choose the stain!  This is always one of our favorite parts of furniture projects because different stains can create completely different looks.  We had several stains from previous projects, so we tested how they would look on the wood we bought at Lowe’s.  We had four choices, then narrowed it down to two and finally picked our final color.  Since the original table was not made out of real wood, we knew we couldn’t stain the legs and base to match the top, so we  made the decision to paint them.  We had two different colors to choose from and we spent a long time choosing those as well. We finally landed on Kona (by Rust-Oleum) for the stain color and Smoke Infusion (by Valspar) to paint the base.  For us, spray paint is the easiest and most even way to paint furniture.

While the stain was drying, we quickly got the base and legs painted. When I say we, I mean Adam– he is a lot better at spray painting than me!  I always rush to the get the whole thing painted and I spray too close to the furniture, which causes drips.  Adam is very good at being patient and painting from an appropriate distance and doing multiple coats. It ended up looking great!

After the planks were all stained, we decided to get out our chisels and make them look a little bit more rustic by cutting out more notches on the sides of the wood.

While doing this, I (of course) made a giant gash in the face of the wood when the chisel slipped while I was using it to make a notch in the side.  Oops!  Luckily, we were going for a rustic feel, so after we chiseled the wood, sanded and restained it, you couldn’t even tell I made a mistake!  We like looking for the perfection in the imperfections anyways. 🙂

Once the planks were stained and the bottom of the table was painted, we were ready to put it together!  Saving the base worked really well for us because we could use the original screws and brackets to attach the top.  Since we had three planks making up one table top, we nailed three pieces of wood to help hold the planks together to form one top.  We then screwed the top to the base and screwed the legs back in and we had ourselves a table!

The only thing left to do was to add polyurethane to seal the top!

See, most of the pictures show Adam, but I promise I did some of the work!

The table is now in my living room and we absolutely love it.  We are pleased that we were able to create something new and unique, while still saving and reusing part of an old table.  It’s something that anyone could do with the right tools and it really adds some shabby chic character to the home!


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