How to Paint a Coffee Table to Look Vintage

Are you looking for a fun, easy way to revamp an old coffee table? Or, if you don’t have one yet, are you considering buying one and making it into something beautiful that blends perfectly with your home’s style?

Painting furniture can be daunting, but with these step-by-step instructions on how to paint a coffee table to look vintage we’ll make sure you have the confidence to tackle any project!

How to Paint a Coffee Table to Look Vintage

With some basic DIY knowledge and skills in hand, painting the right elements of the table will create an absolutely unique statement piece made by none other than yourself. From applying primer correctly, learning brush control techniques, and understanding the type of paint used – get ready as we explore all aspects of what goes into giving new life to your coffee table.

Can You Paint a Coffee Table to Look Vintage?

Yes – you can! It is an easy process. It just requires proper planning and executing the steps correctly. With the right tools, preparation, and some guidance, you’ll be able to bring life back into your furniture without spending too much money.

Choosing the Best Paint for Your Coffee Table

Picking the right type of paint might seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. There are two main types of paints – latex and oil-based. Oil-based paints require more maintenance over time since they need to be re-coated often, while latex paints are generally deemed to be better quality as they are far more durable and offer better coverage.

If you want to give your coffee table a vintage look, latex paint is the best choice because of its durability and easy-to-use nature. It’s also important to select an acrylic or enamel paint for the project as they adhere well to wood surfaces.

Preparing Your Coffee Table for Painting

Once you’ve chosen the right type of paint, it’s time to start prepping your coffee table. First, carefully sand the entire surface with 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections.

To Start Prepping Your Coffee Table

Make sure to wipe away any dust afterward. Next, apply a primer and let it dry before painting. Doing so will help the paint to adhere better and last longer.

Things to Consider Before Painting

Before you start painting, there are a few things to consider, such as the color scheme and what kind of look you’re going for. If you want a shabby chic look, use muted colors like off-white or beige. For a classic vintage look, choose bolder colors like deep blue or emerald green.

Additionally, you can use a variety of techniques, such as distressing, sanding, or antiquing, to create the perfect vintage look. Also, if you’re painting a coffee table with curved edges or intricate details, make sure to use painter’s tape to protect those areas from getting splattered.

Required Items for How to Paint a Coffee Table

Once you’ve chosen the right color scheme and techniques, it’s time to assemble all of your materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint roller/brush
  • Drop cloth or newspaper

10 Tips on How to Paint a Coffee Table to Look Vintage

1. Sand the Surface

Start with sanding the entire surface to remove any existing paint or rough patches. Use a 120-grit sandpaper and make sure to wipe away any dust afterward. Dirt and debris will affect the paint’s adhesion, so be sure to clean it thoroughly.

2. Apply Primer

Apply a Coat of Primer

Apply a coat of primer on the entire surface with a roller or brush and let it dry before painting. Doing so will help your paint adhere better and last longer. The primer should be oil- or water-based, depending on the type of paint you choose.

3. Use a Quality Paint

For the best results, use high-quality acrylic or enamel paint for your project. These types of paints are highly durable and provide better coverage than other types of paint. The paint should also be of the same type as the primer you used.

4. Use a Smooth Brush

For best results, use a smooth brush when painting. This will make your strokes look even and clean, allowing for more accurate control and better coverage. Make sure to start from the top and paint in long, even strokes.

5. Use Painter’s Tape

To protect your coffee table’s edges, use painter’s tape to mark off any intricate details or curved areas before painting. After you finish painting, let the paint dry completely and slowly remove the tape.

6. Distress the Surface

Distressing is a great way to give your furniture an aged look. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to lightly distress the edges of your coffee table and give it an antique look.

7. Antique It

If you want an authentic vintage look, try antiquing your furniture. This involves mixing paint with glazes and then dry-brushing them onto the surface of the table to give it an aged and worn look.

8. Seal It

Important to Seal the Furniture

Once you finish painting, it’s important to seal the furniture with a topcoat or varnish. This will protect the paint from scratches and fading due to sunlight exposure as well as any liquids that may be spilled on it.

9. Let It Dry Completely

Let your coffee table dry completely before using it or adding any decorations. It may take up to 24-48 hours for the paint to fully cure, so be patient and make sure it is completely dry before handling it.

10. Enjoy your Creation!

Now that you’ve finished painting, it’s time to enjoy your newly created vintage-looking coffee table. Place a few decorative items on top and admire your handiwork. Congratulations!

By following the tips mentioned above, you can easily transform an old or outdated piece of furniture into something fresh and new with just a bit of paint and creativity. Painting a coffee table to look vintage is an easy process that will transform any room in your home.

8 Maintenance Tips for Painted Coffee Table

  1. Start with a clean surface. Before you start painting, make sure to thoroughly clean the coffee table using mild detergent and warm water. Cleaning the coffee table will help ensure that the paint adheres to the surface properly.
  2. Sand, sand, sand! Before you start painting, make sure to use 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of your coffee table. This will create a slightly rough texture, which is perfect for applying a coat of primer and paint.
  3. Apply a primer. Primer helps ensure that the paint adheres to the surface of your coffee table and lasts for a long time. Make sure to use an oil or latex-based primer, depending on what type of paint you’ll be using.
  4. Add two coats of paint for full coverage. After you’ve applied the primer, you can start painting your coffee table. Be sure to apply two coats of paint for full coverage. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.
  5. Let it dry completely before moving it. Make sure that you let the newly painted coffee table sit and dry for at least 24 hours before touching or moving it. This will ensure that the paint is completely dry and won’t be ruined if you move it.
  6. Apply a sealant or topcoat for extra protection. After the paint has dried, you can apply a sealant or topcoat over it to protect your coffee table from dirt and scratches. Sealant or topcoat also helps keep the paint looking vibrant for longer.
  7. Don’t forget to clean it regularly. Make sure to use a mild detergent and warm water to regularly clean your newly painted coffee table. This will help keep it looking fresh and new for longer.
  8. Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers on the surface. Harsh cleaners and abrasive scrubbers can cause the paint to flake off or damage the coffee table’s surface, so avoid using these on your painted coffee table.
Start With a Clean Surface

By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a beautiful vintage-looking coffee table that will last for years to come!

How Long Will the Paint Last?

The longevity of your coffee table’s paint job will depend on how well you take care of it. If you regularly clean and maintain the coffee table, then the paint should last for several years before needing to be touched up.

However, if you don’t take proper care of it, the paint can start to chip or flake off after just a few months. So make sure to follow the steps outlined above for the best results!


Painting a coffee table to look vintage is not as daunting as it might seem. With the right supplies and enough attention to detail, and tips on how to paint a coffee table to look vintage, anyone can take on this project easily, whether they decide to distress it or age it more naturally.

It’s a cost-effective way to spruce up a room, and the process can be both fun and calming while also achieving an aesthetically pleasing outcome.

By focusing on each layer of paint with care, you can transform your dull coffee table into something remarkable and unique that visitors won’t believe was created without professional help.

So get out your paintbrush and start reviving your furniture today!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

Leave a Comment