How to Update an Old Coffee Table – From Old to New – Homemade Chalk Paint


When I was younger, a big mistake I made was assuming I couldn’t decorate my home nicely due to funds.  It struck me most recently that I never even really tried.  I spent years raising children and just living in a house rather than enjoying the house where I was living.  Having four children can tie up a lot of time, and it DOES put other things that aren’t so important on a back burner (as it should be), but I still didn’t think to find inexpensive ways to decorate.

Thinking outside of the box during trying times is when creativity can strike you the most.  I needed a coffee table to stage a room,  and I entertained the thought of making one because I didn’t want to fork out a lot of money on a table when I know I’m not going to use it later.  However, I didn’t really have the time to make a table, and finding an inexpensive one seemed like a good option.

I lucked out in finding this old coffee table for $5.00.  I have to admit that I actually debated this table.  It was old and ugly.  There was absolutely nothing appealing about it, but I needed a table.  It was just so blah….boring…gross…nothing, nothing, nothing I liked about it.


I had a can of gray paint.  I used one cup of the gray and mixed it with one cup of white to lighten the gray up.  I added 2/3 cup of Plaster of Paris and used a paint mixer (attachment added to my drill) to mix it together.  I added a bit of water to make the paint run smoothly.

I removed the glass pieces, cleaned the table off, lightly sanded, and painted the table.  The beauty of this Plaster of Paris mixture is that it really latches onto your projects.  I let it dry and distressed it prior to putting finishing wax on it.

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I finished it off with Minwax Finishing Paste.  To bring it up more to a modern day table, I put some baskets I had underneath and used a basket on top that I found at a thrift store for $1.99.


Then, I found some decor balls for $7.99 at Marshalls to fill the basket on top.



The interesting part of this project was that the gray paint had a bit of a green that shown through after I put the finishing wax on it.  It turns out that I now love this coffee table.  Finding one that’s comparable on the Internet can range over $300.00.  Not such a bad deal at $5.00 and using things I had on hand to create a piece we love!

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5 thoughts on “How to Update an Old Coffee Table – From Old to New – Homemade Chalk Paint

  1. Tracey Posner

    Amazing job!

  2. Lauren

    My old, used coffee table looks just like this so I, too, am going to try layering chalk paint using a creamy white, and grey on top. This pic was very helpful for me to see the potential this coffee table has. Thanks!!

  3. Shannon

    I have the end table that matches your coffee table, I found it at Salvation Army for $7! I’m not sure how to attach a photo but our color choices are even pretty close.

    1. Donna

      I’d LOVE to see it! Do you have my facebook link? You could post it on my page. I can’t wait!

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