Before & After: A Flea Market Find Loses Some Paint & Finds Some Character

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Submitted by John)

John spotted this coffee table at a flea market, and knew that even though it had seen better days, it was still a solid piece of furniture. Without a particular plan in mind, he decided to sand down the top and was handsomely rewarded for his curiousity!

(Image credit: Submitted by John)

From John: I purchased this coffee table at a flea market about a year ago for $100. It came in this rustic, dry-brushed grey color. The hardware was outdated and dull. But the piece itself was solid and the drawers were pristine.

When I first purchased the piece, I knew I wanted to refurbish it but didn’t quite know what I wanted to do with it. So for almost a year it sat in the same condition I bought it in.

(Image credit: Submitted by John)

Once I got a little free time on my hands I decided to just start sanding the tabletop to see what was underneath the paint. I discovered it had this amazing checkered wood pattern, and from there the rest of the style choices sort of fell into place.

The process from beginning to end took about four days. The sanding was completed in five hours. I found these great brass hex drawer pulls from CB2 ($10.95/each) which helped tie in a few other brass accents we have in the living room. I decided to go with a darker grey/blue for the body of the coffee table (Blue-Grey Slate by Glidden) since it would separate nicely against the rest of our furniture.

(Image credit: Submitted by John)

I had initially painted the entire coffee table (except the table top). I realized however that the wood wasn’t integrated well enough to make it a cohesive piece. So I decided to sand the strip just below the top molding to reveal more natural wood. After it was stained and sealed to match the top, I knew it was the right choice.

All in all, the cost of the hardware, supplies and paint came to about $70.

I really enjoy the wood grain checkered surface, it adds so much more visual appeal to both the coffee table and the rest of the living room. The brass with the rich wood and deep blue-grey paint job all see to play off each other well, while the hardware helps to integrate the piece with the rest of the furniture and accents in the room.

John’s words of wisdom: Have fun and don’t be afraid to dig into a project like this!

Thank you, John!