Instructables
Picture of Painting and Staining a Coffee Table
So a while back I thought it might be fun to refinish my coffee table. I mentioned the idea to a friend one night and before I knew it we had sand paper and were sanding the top of my coffee table off. Now that I have finished the project I figured I should share it. Most of this project was completed through trial and error and took much longer than it should have.

This is a simple guide on how to paint and stain a coffee table or really any other piece of furniture. Before the table had an ebony stain and a whole lot of scuff marks. With a little help from my friends there is now a large skull with wings in the center and a border with flowers, vines, and fairies. I only refinished the top of the table. I had a lot of help from friends and it was a really fun project.

Overall, this was a low cost project for me, but I did already have the coffee table and some of the other supplies. Everything else I got at my local hardware store, and I ended up spending roughly $30.

1 coffee table
stain
clear gloss
foam applicator
sand paper (medium grit 100 and extra fine grit 220)
electric sander
paint brushes
acrylic paint
rags
vacuum cleaner
pencil (3B)
tracing paper
digital camera
 
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Step 1: Sand the table

Picture of Sand the table
I started with the medium grit sand paper. Initially two friends and I hand sanded the table top. I would not recommend this. If you have an electric sander, use it. We managed to sand the table in one night, but it took approximately 2 1/2 hours. I live in a condo so I didn't have the luxury of doing this in an open area, so I used the vacuum to clean up dust and wear a mask if you are sanding off old finish or varnish. Make sure and sand down the entire table top, don't leave old finish.
fooboarder (author) 4 years ago
Thanks to both of you...  I added the details about the protectivefinish. 
brain_bomb4 years ago
 You should add in the specific item you used to protect the paint.  I just painted my coffee table and had to spend days researching and trying products to protect the top of it.  I ended up going with Min-Wax's Polyacrylic which it sounds like you went with too.
watsongr5 years ago
Nicely done. I have recently been commisioned to build some tables and can appreciate all the time and effort you put into this "simple" project. Well done, off the cuff.