Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yard Sale Coffee Tables- Transformed

A few weeks back, I stopped by a yard sale on my way home from church.  We don't usually have yard sales on Sundays in my neighborhood.  I thought it a bit strange, but I was game for a good find.  I love talking to the people hosting the yard sales.  I find that when you have a friendly conversation with them, they're more inclined to negotiate or lower their prices.
 I didn't even have $5 on me, but I you never know what little gem you'll find at a yard sale.  I picked up a picture frame for a quarter, but really, my mind was on a set of end tables I saw as I drove up and parked.  I knew I didn't have the cash for them, but I decided to ask anyway.  "How much do you want for those coffee tables?"
She looked and said $5.  Gulp.  "Will you take $4?"  Gulp. Gulp. That's all I had on me.  Honest.  And with a smile, she said YES and gave them to me for $4.  Hello!

So let me introduce you to my "NEW" $4 end tables after working a little paint magic.

 As you can see, my kids were working their side walk chalk magic too. Got to love summer!
The transformation for these tables seem simple and sweet, and it was really an easy transformation.  Well, it should have been easy.  I kind of took the long road to get these table to look good again.

First, let me tell you about some embarrassing mistakes.   I was completely fooled by thinking these were oak table tops.  They were heavy like oak.  They looked like oak...but after sanding them, I had my doubts.

 ....which were only confirmed when I stained them.  Yikes, this is terrible.  I planned to stain the top and paint the legs, but it was clear that was not going to happen here.  Back to sanding.

 After my second sanding job, I saw the pressed wood.

So my plans changed to paint the entire table one color.  I thought about doing a fun summer color, but I don't plan on keeping these end tables.  I purchased them to flip and sell them for a little more.  Most people like traditional colors when they purchase furniture, so I decided to go traditional black.

I used the best primer out there, and since I didn't want to waste any more time, I used spray primer.  Your DIY project takes less time when you can use spray paint.

I always sand after primer to get a really good smooth surface.  It makes the paint job look so much better.

 Then I decided to use both spray and canned paint.  I spray paint legs because it's hard to get your paint brush around those curves without leaving brush marks.  I paint flat surfaces, like table tops, with canned paint and a brush because spray paint can leave blotches (not seen on leg curves).  Confusing? You can take a look at my "How to paint Furniture Tips" HERE.

 Again, spray the legs, brush on paint for the tops.  Just make sure you use the same paint, from the same brand, in the same gloss.  There aren't a whole lot of options out there when it comes to mixing paint like this.  Black, white, and a few other colors are available in both spray and can.  Of course, if I had a paint sprayer things would be different....  I know what I want for my birthday now.

 I used two coats of paint on the top.  Here's the first coat.

 And here's the second coat of paint.

 Don't the tables look so much better.  I almost want to keep them.  Almost.

I have another idea for these end tables too.  I'm "thinking" about making them into ottomans, but right now, we don't have a huge "need" for ottomans.  I guess we'll just have to see?

Whatever happens, they look a whole lot better now!

Don't you just love what paint can do?

So do you have any good finds from a yard sale that you've transformed?  Yard sale transformations are the best! There right up there with thrift store transformations. 

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style

No Minimalist Here
The Shabby Creek Cottage

Miss Mustard Seed

Funky Junk Interiors
Coastal Charm 

Fluster Buste


  1. They look great!! I LOVE a good cheap find! You still put alot of work into them no matter what you paid so I hope if you decide to sell them you get a great price for them! Great job!

    1. Thank you. The hardest part about transforming furniture is that I always want to keep the pieces afterwards. We'll just have to see?

  2. Yes we do - at a yard sale about 5 years ago a man practically begged us to take a small - maybe a kid's - rolltop desk. We used it for years but eventually grew tired of it. So the hubs popped the rolltop off, then the desk top and made two great nightstands. That's my favorite one but right now he's working on a copper jello mold pendant light for the dining room. That might be my new favorite!

  3. Good job, and good paint tips too! Everyone can always use a good side table.

  4. Terrific transformation! Do you think in the future people will be running around trying to find the vintage pressboard furniture? :>)

    1. Maybe? :)
      Not my favorite, but I work with it all!

  5. What a great makeover! You have a lot of patience to sand down to that wood. I have a love/hate relationship with sanding and admire people who don't give up on it. Well worth all that effort.

    1. A power sander makes all the difference!

  6. Beautiful job, the tables look great! I'm a new follower,

  7. The tables turned out great! When I first looked at those tables, my thought was yuck! Painting them sure did change the whole look and feel, amazing how a little paint can transform something.
    Visiting from Common Ground today.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I know; they really were Ugly. I'm sure everyone at the yard sale was thinking what a terrible purchase I made. Black always makes things a bit nicer I think.

  8. What a great find! We have some old end tables that we are going to do red, I am excited about how they will turn out. We did an old bench and it turned out great!

    1. I love colored furniture. Slowly but surely I'm getting to the colors.

  9. Great transformation. They look so up to date black. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that will be live Monday evening. Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

    1. Thanks, Marty.
      I will stop by on Monday. Thanks for the invite.

  10. Wow, what a great job making these beautiful! Isn't that so much fun :)

  11. Those look great! I bought a single side table almost exactly like yours with a similar intention of flipping. I also wanted to do a stained top and painted legs, but now I'm afraid I'll find the same thing with sanding. Oh well--you've given me a great idea with that lovely black. Thanks!

  12. Love it! I have a similar table hiding in my basement right now. I never thought to paint it!

    (Found you from I Should Be Mopping the Floor)

  13. What a great job!

    I would love for you to link up at the Mommy Archive - we're focused on garage & yard sales this week, Alice @ Mums Make Lists

  14. Your coffee tables look great! I didn't know that primer came in a spray on! Yah! Thanks for showing that! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  15. Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for posting.

  16. Wonderful tutorial, and great job on the tables

  17. I have the "almost" exact tables for $5 from a garage sale, and have been trying to decide what to do with them. "might make them into ottomans" HELLO! Now why didn't I think of that? Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

  18. Great transformation Lewis
    The transformation has improved the look of the old coffee table. I will definitely try this with one of my old coffee table.

    Finn Felton

    Kopi Luwak

  19. Nice trasformition, the tables look great.You did an amazing job. Luxury Beds and Mattresses