Black Coffee Table Makeover Idea

This coffee table has been sitting in my workspace for years. YEARS! It’s such a cool piece though. There are 6 drawers total, 3 on one side and 3 on the opposite side. Without further ado, here’s my coffee table makeover idea!

Find more Black Painted Furniture here!


before photo of a 6 drawer card catalog style square coffee table with the top sanded to raw wood

This is what it looked like a few weeks ago. I did a terrible job of sanding the top a few years ago. And then it just sat there, collecting dust, and came with us when we moved from Minnesota to Idaho in 2020.

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Supplies Used:

Tools Used:

Black Painted Coffee Table Makeover

  1. Prep
  2. Paint Black
  3. Topcoat Black Chalk Paint
  4. Whitewash Top
  5. Topcoat Whitewash

Step 1: Prep

Fix Drawer Track

A drawer track had come loose, so I nailed it back into place.

Remove Hardware

Then I removed the knobs with my handy dandy electric screwdriver.


And of course, I cleaned off all of the dust and scraped off the gunk and grime. I had to bust out the razor blade because it was so bad. Haha

Then when it was all cleaned off, I got it dirty again.

Click here to learn more about How to Clean Furniture Before Painting.


I sanded the top with 220 grit sandpaper. Like I said earlier, I had done a terrible job of sanding it before, and there were swirl marks all over.

And then after sitting for a few years, there were some marks that I wanted to get out as well.

Learn all about The Importance of Sanding Before Painting Furniture here!

sanding the top of a coffee table to remove marks in the raw wood

This top is a veneer, so I couldn’t get all of the swirl marks back out without sanding too much. So I just did the best that I could, and called it good.

While I was at it, I sanded inside the drawers too.

And I scuff-sanded the rest of the table as well.

Learn about my SurfPrep Sander here!

Then I cleaned up all of the dust again.


And I sprayed 2 coats of clear shellac over the entire thing.

Read all about The Best Primer for Painting Furniture (and How to Choose the Right One) here!

When the shellac was dry I taped off the top.

Step 2: Paint Black

And then I loaded my paint sprayer with some black chalk paint. Country Chic Paint is some of my favorite chalk paint.

Learn everything you need to know about chalk painting furniture here!

It’s thick, so I thinned it out with some water.

Then I sprayed it onto the coffee table.

I recently also tried spraying Coal Black Fusion Mineral Paint in my sprayer on this Flat File Cabinet Makeover and I love how it turned out!

Check out this list of the best matte black paint for furniture here.

spraying black chalk paint onto the coffee table

It took 2 coats to get everything painted. I also touched up the paint on the inside of the drawers with a paintbrush.

Read this post to learn more about The Best Paint Brush for Painting Furniture.

All of that painting took about 3 hours, with only about 20 minutes of it spent actually putting the paint in the sprayer and then painting.

The rest was all dry time. Haha I love spraying paint!

Step 3: Topcoat Black Paint

While that last coat of paint dried, I added some water-based poly into the paint sprayer that still had a little bit of black paint in it.

spraying topcoat onto the black painted coffee table

After the chalk paint was completely dry, I sprayed the black tinted polyurethane onto it.

Then I let that coat of poly dry.

Then I felt the paint. It was pretty rough feeling, so I very lightly sanded everything down with a fine grit foam pad. Just to make it feel smooth.

I cleaned up the dust, and then I sprayed 3 more coats of polyurethane.

Click here to learn How to Spray Polyurethane.

1 more all over, and then 2 more with the drawers open.

If you want to topcoat black paint by hand, here’s the best way to paint furniture black (and topcoat it) by hand!

Or you can paint furniture black with an all-in-one paint that doesn’t require a topcoat! Check out how we painted this cedar chest black without a topcoat using Heirloom Traditions Paint.

Step 4: Whitewash Top

I wasn’t a fan of how orange the wood on the top looked.

I sanded the top a little bit because there were some smudges in the shellac somehow.

And then I whitewashed the wood.

brushing whitewash on the wood coffee table top

This was probably the most difficult part for me.

It was such a large space, and then the wood grain was going different ways.

And you have to work quickly with whitewash.

So I ended up doing two coats of whitewash, that looked terrible.

And then I sanded it back down to where I was almost happy with it.

Then I dry brushed a little more paint on in a couple of spots, and when those were dry I sanded them ever so lightly so you couldn’t see the brush marks.

Here’s a way better tutorial for how to whitewash furniture!

Check out more whitewashed furniture ideas here.

sanding the whitewash down with 220 grit sandpaper

It’s not perfect by any means.

Step 5: Topcoat Whitewash

Then I used a foam sponge and some pantyhose to topcoat the top by hand.

topcoating the whitewash top with a sponge
birdseye view of the coffee table done  in the paint spray booth

And I put the drawers back in.

And put on some new knobs.


And here’s what it looks like now!

What do you think??

closeup of the whitewash wood top with decorations
black painted coffee table with new black modern knobs on the card catalog style drawers
full shot of the black painted coffee table with decorations

And why did I let this thing sit on the sidelines for so long?

It wasn’t hard at all! It took a couple of days, including all of the dry time.

And I was able to embrace the bad sanding job on the top. You can only barely see the swirl marks here and there, but it mostly just looks rustic. Haha

I probably spent around $75 for the coffee table and then around $65 on supplies. And around $2000 in tools. Hahaha

Anyway, I’ll be back next time with another new makeover!

More Coffee Table Makeovers

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  1. I noticed you sprayed the unit with the drawers in and closed. Is that the best way to do it? I actually have a very similar coffee table sitting out on my patio right

    1. That’s the best way for me, with a tight space, and I hate bending over the drawers on the floor because it hurts my back.
      Either way I wrap the drawers in plastic.

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