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!

photo of a coffee table before painted black

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 for Black Painted Coffee Table Makeover

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Preparing Furniture Before Painting

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

Learn more about How to Clean Furniture Before Painting here.

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 about the SurfPrep Sander in this post!

sanding the top of a coffee table using Surfprep sander

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.

If you’re painting veneer furniture, check out this post to learn more about the process.

While I was at it, I sanded inside the drawers too. And I scuff-sanded the rest of the table as well. Learn the importance of sanding before painting furniture here!

Then I cleaned up all of the dust again. And I sprayed 2 coats of clear shellac over the entire thing.

Here’s our guide to help you choose the Best Primers for Painting Furniture.

When the shellac was dry I taped off the top.

Painting A Coffee Table

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

Check out my honest and detailed Country Chic Paint Review here.

Here’s my list of the Best Black Chalk Paint for Furniture. Check out some more black chalk painted furniture ideas here.

Learn everything you need to know about how to chalk paint furniture here!

It’s thick, so I thinned it out with some water. Then I sprayed it onto the coffee table.

Here’s more about how to thin paint and how to use the Fuji Q4 Platinum Paint Sprayer.

I recently also tried spraying Coal Black Fusion Mineral Paint in my sprayer on this Flat File Cabinet Makeover (as seen in this Repainting Furniture post) and I love how it turned out!

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

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 Brushes 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!

Spraying Polyurethane on Chalk 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. 1 more all over, and then 2 more with the drawers open.

Here’s a tutorial on How to Spray Polyurethane. If you don’t have a sprayer, here’s How to Apply Polycrylic to Painted Furniture.

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

How to Whitewash Wood

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.

Here’s another great method on how to tone down orange wood furniture for a much better look.

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.

brushing whitewash on the wood coffee table top

So I ended up doing two coats of whitewash, which 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! And check out more whitewashed furniture ideas here.

sanding the whitewash down with 220 grit sandpaper

It’s not perfect by any means.

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

And I put the drawers back in. And put on some new knobs.

Topcoating the whitewash top using a foam sponge and pantyhose
birdseye view of the coffee table done in the paint spray booth

And here’s what it looks like now!

What do you think??

closeup of the whitewash wood top
full shot of the black painted coffee table with whitewash top

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

black painted coffee table with whitewash top

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!

Black Coffee Table Makeover Idea

black painted coffee table with whitewash top

Here’s a black coffee table makeover idea with chalk paint and a whitewashed wood top.


  1. Prepare coffee table by removing old hardware, cleaning off all the dust and gunk and sanding it smooth.
  2. Spray 2 coats of clear shellac all over the table.
  3. Thin out black chalk paint with some water then spray 2 coats onto the table (except the top). Touch up paint inside the drawers with a paintbrush.
  4. Leave the paint to dry.
  5. When paint dries, spray 3-4 coats of polyurethane.
  6. Apply whitewash on table top then sand as needed.
  7. Topcoat the top by hand using foam sponge and pantyhose.
  8. Attach new hardware.

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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.

  2. It’s true, I keep buying all the better tools to make the furniture makeovers easier! Thank you for the love on the Coffee Table!

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