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Easy Whitewash Coffee Table Makeover

About 6 weeks after my son was born last year, I sat on our living room couch after a feeding looking at our sad coffee table (covered with dirty, balled up diapers, burp rags, baby wipes and snack wrappers...don't judge). I remember when I first purchased it! I got into real estate at a young age (19) and at just 23 years old had flipped and sold my first home at a pretty decent profit. This coffee table was my treat out of that money! And, it set me back a whopping $700 ..which I would have never spent otherwise.

But, that was 10 years ago and its seen its fair share of wear and tear being moved around over the years. It also definitely was not me who sat a hot tray of apps on it after three glasses of wine one Christmas Eve and left a horrid white heat stain in the middle of it.....

It was time for a makeover! But, being just six weeks postpartum with a newborn, I wanted to do it as easy and efficiently as possible.

This is the coffee table before. The dark wood looks dated, especially in this house with the newer, lighter flooring. I keep this table in our four season sun room which is painted in "Welded Iron" by Behr. The color is dark grey, but it doesn't seem dark because of all the windows! The curtains, rug, tile inlays and fireplace stone are all a cream colour and so I decided to play off of that and whitewash the coffee table for a fresher, lighter look.

Coffee table before makeover
Coffee table before

Supplies needed:

- "Solvable" professional restoration grade paint and varnish stripper

- Rubber or latex gloves

- Face mask

- Scraper

- Paint brushes

- Sand paper

- Rags

- "Varathane" ultimate oil-based wood stain in the colour " White Linen"

- "Varathane" professional oil based clear finish 900 gloss

- "Tremclad" Matte black spray paint

Step 1: I started by taking the table apart by first removing the wheels and then removing the wood top, and 2 bottom sections. I only had to disassemble because of the style of this table - If you are doing a different type of table without iron or metal accent this step is obviously not necessary!

A coffee table disassembled for stripping
Disassembled coffee table

Step 2: I laid all three of my wood pieces out on a fold out table in our garage and got right to business. After suiting up in some old clothes, my latex gloves and face mask, I began applying the "Solvable" paint thinner. This stuff is like a gel texture, so I would squirt some on and then start spreading it out with my paint brush (you could use a roller instead). I worked pretty quickly starting with the large textured piece of wood and then onto the two smaller sections. I let sit approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3: I began at the large piece that I started with and taking my paint scraper, began removing the gel coating that I had just painted on. As I worked, I held a small empty cardboard box at the end of my piece of wood so all the gunk I was scraping off would just fall into it. It definitely saved me some mess! Once I was satisfied with my stain removal, I took my pieces of wood outside and stood them up in the sun to work on drying out.

Step 4: While my wood was out in the sun I began on the metal frame and wheels . It had a tinge of brown/copper in it that I wasn't digging with the color change of the wood. I simply laid out these pieces on cardboard and took my time spraying them well with flat black Tremclad spray paint.

Step 5: Once my wood pieces seemed like they were nice and dry, I returned them to the garage and gave everything a light sanding ( I believe I used 220 grit). I just did this by hand but if you have an electric hand sander it would be a faster process. After I was satisfied, I used the shop vac and a cloth to get rid of any dust.

Step 6: Next, I used Varathane ultimate oil-based wood stain in the colour " White Linen". I applied this working in sections with a paint brush, waiting a minute and then wiping off with an old rag until all of my pieces were done and I was satisfied with the shade. If you want more white, add more coats. Leave sitting over night to fully dry.

Step 7: The first thing next morning, I applied my Varathane top coat. I did 2 coats and did a light sand by hand in between. I brought everything inside and reassembled the same evening and voila! So happy with the finished result and I think it looks amazing with my cream and pink rug and the color of our fireplace.

All in all, this was a crazy quick project with fairly drastic results. That baby really lightened up and all of the marks on the surface that had been bothering me were taken care of. The key was definitely the Varathane stain in "White Linen". I bet you could also use it on a much darker wood and get a very nice distressed look!

My coffee table was obviously a very unique design and I was able to simply remove a few flat pieces of wood to do my makeover, but the same technique could work on any wood design table!

Let me know what you think of this makeover and let me know if you tried this method!

Visit again soon!


BareFoot Southwestern

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