Introduction: Turn a Goodwill Dog Into a Slick Upholstered Bench

About: Furniture, fabric, architecture, building, painting. I specialize in upholstery design, restyling, repurposing and writing all about upholstery. I teach loads of upholstery classes all week long and also teac…
Charlotte and John didn’t believe this plain old $6.99 Goodwill coffee table could be anything more than mediocre. Little did they know that thrift stores, garage sales, and grandma’s basement are chock full of low slung coffee table castoffs that can be inexpensively converted into stylishly modern upholstered benches. And don’t stop there, more traditional tables with ornate turned legs, a jazzy ikat fabric and the right paint can be transformed into a handy mudroom, entryway, or upholstered bedroom bench.

Step 1: Decide What to Do With This Table

Think about your needs. Where do you need an upholstered bench/glass top table combo? The mud room or front hall is the perfect place to take off boots, set your packages and get settled. Dont' get stuck collecting too much furniture for your space.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Here's what you need to get this project underway:

Old coffee table with straight sides
Measuring tape
1/2″ plywood (Cut to fit at Lowes)
1/4″ double strength glass (Cut to fit at Ace Hardware)
2″ piece of foam
1 yard of dacron
Elmer’s spray adhesive
1 yard of fabric
Staple gun
spray paint
LocTite Power Grab
3 1 1/2″ wood screws
drill with phillps bit

Step 3: Upholstering the Seat Section

Here's How to Make the Upholstered Section:

1. Determine the dimensions for the seat and the table. I divided my table into 2/3 of the table top for the bench and 1/3 for the glass top table
2. Have the wood and glass cut to fit those dimensions
3. Attach the pre-cut foam to the wood with the spray adhesive
4. Cut a piece of dacron to fit around the foam and attach to the edges of the wood. Spray adhesive to the top of the foam and place the dacron on top to secure it.
5. Cut fabric so it fits around the dacron covered bench top and add 2-3″ for pulling and stapling
6. Using my basic, four side upholstery technique, upholster the fabric on to the wood and foam insert
7. Flip the table upside down with the cushion in place, use drill to screw the cushion in place.

Step 4: Making the Underpainted Glass Tabletop

Here's how you go about making the awesome (I don't like using that word, but it's the best word for this) underpainted glass top:

7. Use sandpaper to smooth off the edges of the cut glass, being careful. Clean glass and let it dry.
8.. In a well ventilated area, spray one side of the glass with spray paint, let dry, repeat until glass is opaque, one side only. This gives you an underpainted piece of glass that looks like a custom made table surface.

Step 5: Glue Glass to the End of the Table

10. When the glass is dry, spread the Power Grab glue across the remaining 1/3 of the table top, place glass PAINTED SIDE DOWN on the wood and press firmly in place. Let dry overnight.

Any low coffee table with straight edges will work. Give it your own style and spin with jazzy fabric and any color of painted glass to make it sing!