Before & After: Bold, Painted Herringbone Coffee Table

We found a coffee table that was being thrown away and it was in pretty bad shape, but we knew we could do something fun with it.  I came up with the plan of painting a bold herringbone pattern on the table top and we chose white and gray for the paint colors because those were colors we already had.  I love the way the table turned out!

We painted the base and legs gray first and then the top white.  Then it was time for lots of measuring!

We wanted the top to make a bold, graphic statement, so we opted to make the pattern large.  I decided that I wanted 3 columns of diagonals, so I made two evenly spaced pencil marks on each short side of the table, in order to divide it vertically into 3 columns (I made the marks 8 inches apart). To create the columns, I took painter’s tape and stuck it on the pencil mark on one end and pulled it down to the other side of the table and stuck it on the corresponding mark on that end, making sure to make a straight line all the way down the table.

Then, I started making the diagonal rows.  I made marks 4 inches apart on each tape line and on each horizontal side of the table.  In order to make the lines, I taped from one mark to the next lowest mark diagonally down on the next line.  My absolute favorite tool for measuring is the triangle ruler (technically called a “Angle Square) that you can see in the picture above.  It has been so helpful for so many projects and I highly recommend getting one.  I don’t think I’m doing a good job of explaining, so maybe the picture will help!

Sorry for the different tape colors! You’ll notice that the diagonal rows are not evenly sized.  I alternated colors between white and gray, so I had to adjust the tape to do that.  The trick is to tape on the outisde of your mark when you are painting the new color (gray) and to tape on the inside of the mark when it’s the base color (white).  I also put dots of tape inside the white diagonals, so I didn’t mess up and accidentally paint them gray! Then, we painted the bigger taped diagonals gray.

When it was done, I peeled the tape! It’s best to peel the tape off after about 10 minutes after you paint.   That way, the lines will come out very straight and the tape will be easy to remove.

Underneath the tape, the white paint created borders between the vertical rows and I really didn’t like the way it looked.  I decided I wanted to get rid of them, so I re-taped and painted the diagonals so that the edges met up perfectly.

I really liked the way it finally turned out!

I actually keep the table at the end of my bed and I absolutely love it!  It adds some pattern and interest to the room and it’s great to have an extra surface to use.  I fold my laundry on it, store my purse there and my cat loves to sleep on it!  It would look really nice as a coffee table in the living room as well!


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