create + decorate

Easy DIY Farmhouse Coffee Table

Hi, friends! Whew, it’s been a while since I last posted on here. This summer has gotten crazy busy-we had family in town, lost my job/found a new one, and setting up my classroom for the new school year. Plus, my shopping has been kinda on the down low, which is GOOD.

A few of you saw on my instastories that I recently refinished an old wooden coffee table that I picked up at a yard sale for $10. When my hubby and I got married, he already had a beat up black IKEA one, so we’ve used that one for a while, but I finally got around to finding one for cheap and had the time to paint and get crafty!

First off, I am in NO absolute way a professional at this. If by “professional,” you mean for 5 minutes, I conducted a google searched on how to stain furniture and pinterested (that even a word??) a search for DIY farmhousey (also, prob not a word) furniture, then sure, we’ll go with that title. I have refinished a desk in our guest room before, so I do have a smidgen of experience, but really, refinishing furniture is a piece of cake! Painting this coffee table only took about a weekend to do, and that’s because I was staining in 100 degree weather and was waiting for it to dry.

The original: (forgot to take a pic with drawers in…oops)



-Coffee table (or some other piece of furniture you’d like to replicate this for)

-Screwdriver (if you have drawers on your table like I do)

-Some sort of wood stain (here’s what I found other bloggers used on Pinterest and what I love! It’s also very inexpensive.)

-Rag or a staining paintbrush to spread wood stain. I used a cheap staining paintbrush from Walmart. I believe that a normal paintbrush will not work as well.

-Regular Paintbrush (I bought a pack of three, but found the easiest to use was the smallest one. I believe it is a 1″ brush. Here is the pack I bought.)

-Sanding paper (I only used a sheet of 120 grit because I didn’t sand the sides of my table, but you will need more if your furniture needs more sanding. If the sides or top is pretty bare to the bones, you probably won’t need to sand a whole ton. You can find this anywhere: Amazon, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.)

-Chalk Paint. Ok, here’s the deal. I’ve never used chalk paint before and I don’t know why because I LOVE it. It’s insanely easy to use, dries incredibly fast, and comes out looking beautiful even if you’ve never painted before. I was already at Walmart buying wood stain, so I picked this brand up in the color white and I love it! Plus it’s decently inexpensive considering how much other brands go for & how far this will last. I was able to paint 4 coats on my coffee table sides, and additionally, 2 bar stools I have in my kitchen, and a little side table in our living room. AND the chalk paint is only half gone. Next up, the standing mirror in our bedroom. This paint goes a long way!! It’s thick, but spreads easily. Don’t be afraid to get a good amount of paint on your brush!


1). The very first thing you need to do is prep your furniture before you sand. Wipe down the entire surface of your table or other furniture with a dry rag to remove any dirt, dust, cobwebs, etc. Then sand it down, going with the grain of the wood. If the wood is pretty beat up, which mine was, you won’t need to sand as much. I just sanded down the top of my table and not the sides, which only took me maybe 20 minutes to do.

No golden retrievers were stained or painted in the making of this coffee table 😉


2). I f you have them, remove all drawers that come with your furniture and unscrew handles. Keep the screws and handles in a safe place. (If you paint with the drawers on, the paint will dry sticking to the sides and it will very difficult to open drawers later on when the furniture is in use).

Ignore the clutter that was my garage. We had a yard sale 🙂

2). ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS stain/paint the way the grain of the wood is going. If you’re not sure what that means, look closely at the furniture you’re working on. See those little lines going in a certain direction. When you paint or stain, move your paintbrush along those lines so when the paint dries, it looks more professional.

3). You will barely use any stain for the top of your table. So unless you plan on staining a bunch of furniture, buy a small can of stain.

4). Wear old or ratty clothes you don’t mind getting ruined.


Lay down newspaper or old rags to protect the surface where you are working.

I started this project by staining the top first because I figured, if I spent all that time painting the bottom and then stained it, I might accidentally ruin it by getting stain on the beautiful white bottom. So, stain first. Dip a little stain on your brush and get the whole top. Follow the directions on the can, but it basically goes like this: stain so that the whole surface is covered in an even amount. The longer the stain sits, the darker the color will be. Wipe off extra stain with a rag or cloth you plan on never using again or for just staining projects.



This photo was taken after I painted the 1st coat on the bottom. I stained the top before I painted the bottom.

Make sure that you are working in a well ventilated area-either outside or in an open garage, because this stain is a little smelly!


Again, paint with the grain and make sure you paint every nook and cranny that will be visible. Remember, chalk paint will dry very quickly and like me, you might be surprised on how fast if you’ve never used it before. I started on one side of my table, and by the time I worked my way around painting, the initial side I had painted was already dry. This I think was my favorite part, but it also is the longest part so make sure you set aside some decent time because you can totally get it done in one day due to how fast the paint dries.

Something to note: I wanted a clean, farmhouse look, BUT if you prefer your furniture to look more rustic and have more distressing you won’t need to do four coats of paint like I did. Three coats, maybe two should get you a distressed farmhouse look.

Let your piece dry sufficiently before you start to put back on the drawers.

While I was waiting for the bottom of my piece to dry, I painted the faces of the drawers and the tops. I barely painted the drawer sides because I figured you would only see the sides when the drawers were pulled in and out, but you would like, go ahead a paint the sides! I only needed 3 coats of chalk paint on the drawers.

drawes1  drawers3

The original handles that came with my coffee table already looked farmhouse and rustic, so I didn’t paint them, but you can totally if you feel like it would look better!

During my initial research, I read that it is good to put on a clear sealer after you paint. This is something I haven’t done quite yet, because I figured my piece already looks kind of rustic, so a couple extra dings wouldn’t really make a difference. Again, if you would like a sealer, go for it. I just skipped this step. Here is a pic of the ones I found during my shopping trip at Walmart

stain pic

Once the chalk paint on everything is totally dry, go ahead and put all the pieces back together and put it where you want!

The finished product (with and without the drawers)

Here it is all decorated (with the drawers back on) in our living room!


Happy painting! -Katherine


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