DIY Network

How to Apply Detail to a Coffee Table

With a little creativity, the coffee table gets a decorative paint job.

More in Painting

remove detailing tape to reveal design
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prep the Coffee Table

Prep the coffee table by applying a red base coat and allowing it to dry.

Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a border on the top of the table and tape it off with car detailing tape.

prep the coffee table

Step 2: Sand the Table

Wearing gloves and safety glasses, move the table outside and place it on sawhorses. In this demonstration, glass panels are removed.

Scrape and sand the table until the surface is smooth

Tape off areas for the gold trim prior to painting.

tape off areas for gold trim prior to painting

Step 3: Apply Crackle Coat and Border Detail

Apply a crackle finish to the top of the table. The milky clear coat goes on first; when it's tacky to the touch, apply a coat of Onyx Black paint for the top coat. The two finishes have different drying times, which results in a crackle finish for the top coat of paint.

Next, apply a light coat of Onyx Black paint to the remainder of the table; the finished look lets hints of the red base coat show through the black top coat.

Step 4: Apply the Varnish to the Coffee Table

When the finish is dry to the touch, the detailing tape is removed from the top of the table, revealing the pattern beneath the crackle coat.

As a final step, a coat of varnish is brushed over the surface; the varnish protects the surface and adds a satin sheen.