coffee table before/after

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Over the weekend in Ann Arbor I took Mr. Lively to my second favorite thrifting shop, The Treasure Mart.*

Right before we accidentally spilled coffee on a blanket I was convincing talking Mr. Lively into**, he spotted a steal of a deal.

Clocking in at just $60 for a well-sized oval white marble top, this coffee table was a no brainer.

It was so good that Mr. Lively had already decided to buy it before he even showed it to me.

Swoon. That’s my kind of romance.

Anyways, when we got him home he didn’t really play well with our other pieces.

The chrome chairs are all like, “We’re cool and modern.”

The rug is like, “I’m punchy and graphic.”

And the coffee table is like, “I’m froufy and look like I belong in Beauty and the Beast.”

One of these things is not like the other…

Mr. Lively and I initially debated about finding another base to go below the table top. Something metal to look more modern like the other lines in the space.

But having gone through issue after issue trying to find the perfect reclaimed wood top for our chrome dining table, I knew that it would be a decent challenge to find the perfectly sized/priced item to compliment the top.

So instead of replacing it, I painted it.

Ahhhhh, so much better.

Now Belle is looking a little more like the Beast. (In a good way.)

Here’s another angle.

Such great semi-gloss paint with built-in primer. It was $15 for a quart from Behr called Evening Hush. It took just two coats and about 45 minutes of actual work.

Mr. Lively doesn’t even mind the flowers anymore.

Let’s take a peek at the before and after one more time.



Amazing what a few coats of paint can do to combine three totally unrelated styles.


*My favorite shop used to be the White Elephant in Chicago, may it rest in peace. 

** Fortunately for me, the coffee stains meant we had to buy the blanket after all. He’s now freshly laundered and may serve as a cover for the guest room headboard.

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  1. Eleanor

    Such an improvement! Great that you were able to find a marble-topped table for that little. I have a small wooden table which I’d like to add a marble top to, but the cost means that it will probably be on my “long-term upgrades” list for a while!

  2. Sara

    You are so lucky to have found such an awesome piece! The after is amazing! You did a great job of updating that coffee table. Ann Arbor is such a beautiful city, and now I want to visit it just so I can go to your 2nd favorite thrift store.

  3. kelsey

    I think it looks really nice! Did you contemplate other paint colors? That is not a strength of mine, so just curious if you have a natural eye for this stuff.

  4. Jess

    Kelsey, yes, I did just kinda feel like dark gray was the way to go. I didn’t consider anything else because I didn’t think another color would blend well in the room. : )

  5. CB

    LOL, I love the way your furniture talks to each other! And you did a beautiful job with that coffee table!

  6. Looks just like a coffee table my parents have, but the legs on my parents coffee table have been brought back to their original color. Their table is an antique and they had it priced 10 years ago at around $300. The flowers on your table matches my parents table. It looks like you may have found yourself an expensive antique. 🙂

    1. Jess Lively

      Yes, I did a light sanding and cleaned it off before painting.

  7. Deb

    Wow, totally gorgeous. This is the kind of thing I can do. As long as I can do it on my balcony. So adorable.

    1. I’m glad you like it! And yes, a balcony would be a great place to do a project like this. : )

  8. Ashley Schwindenhammer

    This just came up on my Pinterest and trying to do the same thing with an old coffee table of my mom’s. Did you have to sand it at all before you painted it?

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