No Love Lost, Distressed Coffee Table

Distressed Table Tutorial

Distressed Furniture- it’s all the rage and everywhere you look someone’s got a piece of it or is trying to sell it. After surfing Craig’s List, just looking around, and finding 10-15 pieces of distressed furniture, furniture with ugly bones, posted for sale for $300+, I thought I gotta at least try this! My target: Bub’s old coffee table from his bachelor days that now lives in the living room.

Coffee Table to Distress

Me: “Bub, How would you feel if I painted the coffee table in the living the room?”
Bub: “That old thing? I don’t care what you do with that coffee table. I think somebody gave me that coffee table or I got it from a thrift store just to have something.”
Me: “How would you feel if I painted it green?”
Bub: (eyebrows raised) “Green? …I don’t care.”
Me: “How would you feel if I painted it green and distressed it?”
Bub: “What does ‘distressed’ mean?”
**Okay, I have to insert a time-out here- Bub is the kind of man who wears Levi’s. Levi
501s or something. Under no circumstance would he ever wear dark wash jeans nor
would he ever pay good money for a pair of jeans with a hole purposefully put in them
before you buy them- to him, that is just not rational. So, purposefully beating up a piece of
 furniture… I was kinda pushing it.**
Me: “It kinda means that it will look beat up.”
Bub: “Oh. Well, yeah Babe, I don’t care what you do with that coffee table.”

Bub gave me the go-ahead, I didn’t hesitate, I got down to business quick.

I was fortunate enough to have the perfect piece of furniture to do this to (really?)- it was just an old coffee table that had no sentimental value nor monetary value. But, you can find your perfect piece at a thrift store or off Craig’s List or in a relative’s attic- crappy pieces of furniture in need of a make-over are everywhere. I just thought, if I liked the outcome- great, if I didn’t- no love lost. When it comes down to it, distressing furniture is easy. My friend, Kim, asked if I was gonna beat it with chains- um, no. Although the mental image of me beating the table with chains in the back yard is pretty funny.

So, the first thing I did was wipe the table down with a wet towel to make sure it was clean. And then I started painting. Our green paint had primer built in- but, even if it hadn’t, I would not have primed- the object is for the piece to look not perfect. The paint I used is left over from the bathroom off the den. So, just regular old wall paint.

3 Coats on Top

I let is dry over night and came back and put another coat on the legs and 2 more coats on the top.

The coffee table was covered, but it wasn’t totally covered. It would have taken several more coats to get it completely covered and looking good- if, I was going for the perfectly painted look. But, I wasn’t going for perfection. I was going for distressed. I let these coats dry for several hours and then came back with sand paper and scratched it up.

Sand the New Paint Job

And the last step I took was putting some furniture wax on it just because the paint was a bit coarse. And put it back into place.

Back in Place

Me: “Bub, you like it?”
Bub: …
Me: “Do you get it?”
Bub: “No. But that’s okay. Do you like it?”
Me: “Yeah. I’m glad it was free.”
Bub: “Well, as long as you like it- that’s all that matters.”
Me: “I like it. I don’t love it, but, I already know what I want next!”
Bub: “…Of course you do.”

Like I explained to Bub, I like this table. I feel like it will be just fine until I can find the perfect coffee table I have in my mind. I enjoyed distressing it and I am pleased with the outcome. I even like the color- it adds punch to my living room. But, what I really want is a coffee table ottoman.

All the Best, Coralie

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