Old Coffee Table Fix

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Hello everyone,

I think that a lot of people have older furniture that they decide does not look good, because it's old, out of style, or just worn out looking. A fix that many people go with is simply getting rid of the old piece of furniture and then buying a newer, more stylish one. This is easy and inexpensive for some people, but for those of us who are trying to save money wherever possible, you can't just go buy and new one. So what are we to do if we are stuck with an old unstylish piece of furniture - fix it up of course! I hope to make doing so seem more possible.

Last summer a friend of mine, who knows I collect wood, gave me an old worn out coffee table with scratched out stain marks. How I will fix it up is by sanding the top so it's much brighter and more wood looking, and will paint the everything but the top white, putting a coat of tung oil on the top, and repaint the old drawer knobs. This instructables is intended to explain how I did this process.

Step 1: Disassembling the Table

The first step before painting it taking the whole table apart so that everything can be painted evenly and easier. Everything was held together with screws, nuts, and small bolts. Taking it apart was quite easy. All that is needed is your hands and screw driver or two. Pretty simple.

Step 2: Roughing the Everything Up for Painting

To get every part ready to be painted I scuffed up everything with 100-grit sandpaper. This makes it so that the primer with stick better and last longer. I sanded the legs, the table top, the table frame and the front of the drawer. 100-grit sandpaper is pretty common and anyone can move their hand back and forth.

Step 3: Painting the Coffee Table

Anyone can paint. most of us used a paint brush as early as the age of three and there's not to much to painting something a solid color. Painting the coffee table was the simplest step, but it took the longest. I applied two coats of primer to everything that would be visible (except the top) with a brush. Even with two coats of primer it was still not a solid white. This took a while and then I had to apply two more coats of semi-gloss. After that it looked much better and was a solid white.

Step 4: Spraypainting the Drawer Handles

This step was an extremely easy step. I stuck the knobs on the ends of nails nailed into circular pieces of wood and painted them with a dark metal brown colored spray paint. This color will look good with the white table and finished wood top.

Step 5: Assembling the Coffee Table

After all the painting was finished I put it back together starting with the frame and then adding the legs. This was a pretty easy step and after it was put back together it looked much more complete.

Step 6: Sanding the Top

After it was all put back together it I began to sand the top of the table. This is the last step before putting the finish on it. Anyone can sand, but there are a few things to know. First, don't tip the sander while sanding. this with cause the sandpaper to gouge the wood and leave a mark that will take a lot of sanding to remove. Secondly don't push down on the sander. This is bad for the motor and will cause the tool the wear out sooner. It will also cause more gouges to be made. Your arm and the sander itself should be sufficient weight to sand properly. The first grit of sand paper I used was 80-grit. This was to get ride of the paint that had dripped down while I was painting, and to get off the old ugly stain. Then I sanded it with 150-grit sandpaper and 220-grit sandpaper. Before each sand, I lightly drew pencil lines all over the top of the table. In this way I was able to know when I had sanded enough with each grit of paper. After the sanding with the 220-grit sandpaper it was time to apply the finish!

Step 7: Finishing the Top of the Table

The last step in fixing the coffee table was applying the finish. For the finish I used Tung-Oil, and I used paper towels to apply it. I first poured on puddle of oil onto the table and rubbed it around and into the whole table top. I used the wet-wipes to clean up drips of tung-oil that dripped done on the sides. I poured excess oil and there were lots of rubbing marks still left from all the extra tung-oil. After letting as much tung-oil soak in a half-hour as possible, I used more paper towels to clear all the extra oil. After this all I had to do was let it dry overnight! One thing to note: paper towels will start falling apart after getting completely soaked with oil. I did not worry about this because I would wipe the little bits of paper towel off when I cleared the extra oil. A way to skip having to clear the little pieces of paper towel would be to just apply the finish with a clothe or and old t-shirt. After the oil dried, the coffee table was finished!

Step 8: Last Comments

The last step is enjoying it and finding an awesome place for it to sit. I think it looks so much more exceptional and modern than it did before. I am very proud of it and hope that this instructable has inspired you to go fix something instead of just throwing it away and buy a new one! Lastly, I am selling this coffee table for $90 dollars if anyone is interested. If you would like to buy it you may contact me at barjamison@gmail.com. I will edit this portion out of the instructable once it's gone.

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    5 Discussions

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    Kink Jarfold

    2 months ago on Step 8

    What I like is the TOTAL dismantling and rebuilding of your coffee table. I, too, am a fan of Tung Oil. It gives a great natural finish. Nicely done. KJ

    TUNG OIL.JPG
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    ubergeeknz

    2 months ago

    I'd never even heard of Tung oil before but it is obviously a popular treatment. Certainly I had heard of Linseed oil but it seems to have a few more downsides compared with tung. Thanks for the link, some great info there.

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    ubergeeknz

    2 months ago

    Beautiful work! May I ask why you chose to use oil instead of, say, wax, polyurethane or varnish on the wooden top?

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    MarioL111ubergeeknz

    Reply 2 months ago

    Surface coatings like poly don't even live in the same world compared to oils. Tung oil is the best of the bunch, boiled linseed oil also works well. Canadianwoodworking.com has more info, with lots of pictures. The image I posted is from their website.

    tungoildebunkingmyths2_comparisonchart_1.jpg