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At last a new, more contemporary coffee table!

February 28, 2011

If you remember in a previous post, I showed a picture of the type of coffee table I was looking for to replace the Eastlake marble one we were using. Since a great deal of our furnishings are antique or a tad bit formal (my fault!) I have been trying to expand my eye for design and decorating to incorporate a much more eclectic style. I am slowly mixing fine contemporary furnishings into certain rooms and the house is really starting to take on a more transitional style – yeah!

I am on Craigslist hunting furniture deals daily. That website is like a drug! I can window shop unique one of a kind pieces of furniture from my couch. There is no 4-12 weeks ordering time or shipping fees. It’s a race for who can find the highest quality piece at a low price (I love the bargaining! You can’t get that at a department store) from someone who may not fully realize what they have (hopefully). If you have a little vision and knowledge of paint, upholstery and staining you can transform almost anything that is not already beautiful in to a custom fixture in your space.

So I was looking for a metal and glass coffee table with refined contemporary lines. I found this on Craigslist:

Cast iron coffee table with matching end table with beveled glass. These are very sturdy and very heavy. They should be repainted, but the nice part about that is you can pick whatever color matches your living room. Easy to paint with spray paint.
Coffee table measures: 47.75″l x 26″w x 19″h.
End table measures: 22.5″l x 27.5w x 24.5″h.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture before I began working on it and now the posting is deleted, so I don’t have a before picture.

The Job:

The tables was painted silver and was very dirty. I haggled for both tables at a price of $80 and gingerly transported them in the back of my beloved X3.

Plan: Repaint the in a matte black finish to match the desired look.

Time: 6 hours

Tools Needed:

  • Stainless steel or brass wire brush
  • Paint scraper
  • Soap!
  • Metal primer in gray
  • Rustoleum paint in matte black
  • Temperature above 50 F (I was missing this component – it was about 35 F in the garage)

Since it needs to be about 50 F for the paint to dry I was going to spray paint the table in the basement. This idea was quickly vetoed by Geoff for risk of asphyxiation. I thought it would have been OK, but he was definitely right, the fumes were terrible. Unfortunately, by then, we had already carried the table down the basement stairs. Ugh. This table is solid cast iron and a 150lbs, if not more. Geoff was not pleased….he he. It was early in the day though so carrying around giant heavy objects wasn’t as frustrating as it would have been if it was, let’s say, midnight night on a Tuesday in the middle of a snow storm. Point being, it could have been worse. It made to the garage with us in one piece.

A space heater in the garage solved the temperature problem. After about 30 minutes of scrubbing with hot soapy water and a wire brush I towel dried the table and let it air dry for about an hour. I sprayed a light coat of primer on the rusted areas and let it try for about 30 minutes. After that, 4-5 coats of matte black paint and 4 hours of dry time.


A table that Restoration Hardware would probably charge $1500 for, and which someone would gladly pay.

I think it came very close to what I was going for and effectively changes the look of the living room from very formal to more transitional.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 2, 2013 9:59 PM

    nice looking coffee table, may be a bit rough if you have kids…

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