coffee table makeover

If your furniture is putting you to sleep, here’s a quick, easy and inexpensive way to give it a facelift with paint chips.

I started with a piece I already had, a Boksel Sofa Table from Ikea, but this project would work with any table or dresser with a glass or plexiglass top.  All you’ll need is a variety of paint chips and something to cut with.

coffee table makeover

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Start by cutting your paint chips.  I used an x-acto knife and a ruler to cut my paint chips on a rotary mat, but don’t worry if you don’t have these tools.  I find that an x-acto knife makes for straighter, more precise cuts than scissors, but if you don’t have one, scissors would work just fine.  Also, if you don’t have a rotary mat, a thick piece of cardboard works well as a cutting surface. I chose to cut my paint chips into squares and rectangles of varying sizes.

After you’ve got a big pile of paint chips (trust me, you’ll need way more than you think you will!), remove the glass top from your table and begin positioning your paint chips directly on the tabletop.  I didn’t have a plan for their placement; I just tried to vary the size and color of the paint chips and let the design evolve as I went.

coffee table makeover

After you have a design you like, have your spouse help you to very carefully replace the glass top.  That’s right: I didn’t even glue them down.  When I started this project, I thought I’d have to figure out a way to make the paint chips adhere to the tabletop, but the glass top sat snugly enough against the tabletop to hold them in place.  Here’s the finished project.

coffee table makeover

This project took less than an hour and was completely free.  Here’s some advice I’d offer if you’re thinking of trying something like it.

  • The final effect of this project is definitely bold and busy – “whimsical,” as my husband called it.  I can see it looking great in a kid’s room or a play room.

  • Too busy for you?  If you like the idea of this project but find the final effect to be a little too bold, consider limiting yourself to a single shade of paint chips or cutting your paint chips into a single, uniform size.  Bigger paint chip pieces will also help.

  • Unless your table is very small, I would suggest cutting your paint chips into mainly large pieces.  Most of the small squares I cut went in the trash because it just took too many to cover a relatively small section of the table, and I had trouble keeping them in place without adhesive.

  • If you’re able to get by without gluing your paint chips in place like I did, this project is quick enough that you could change out your paint chips for different seasons.

  • Don’t have a glass top table?  I’ve seen variations of this project on Pinterest that involve using a craft paste like mod podge to glue paint chips to a basic coffee or side table.  I haven’t tried this myself, so do your research if you decide to go this route.

What tips do you have for giving old or boring furniture a facelift?


About the author 

Mary Beth Foster

Mary Beth Foster is a full-time high school English teacher who lives in Mint Hill, NC, with her husband of two years and their two cats. She tackles craft projects, home renovations, and culinary adventures in her free time. Read more about her creative endeavors on her blog:

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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    1. Thanks, Kim! To be honest, I’m not totally sold on the look in my living room – it’s a little busy – but I think it would be great in a kid’s room!

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