Before and After: A $40 Paint Hack Gives This Scratched-Up Table the Look of Marble in 15 Minutes

published Dec 21, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Organic Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Scratched wood-look table with black legs

Here’s your furniture flipping tip of the day: Don’t be deterred by scratches or other tiny dings on furniture that often sits on the shelves for a while at Goodwills and ReStores and Salvation Armies across the country. Instead, be inspired by Autumn Heseman of @prayedoverpieces, whose redo proves that a scratched table can certainly have a luxe second life.

“This is a run-down coffee table I purchased from Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $20,” Autumn explains. “[It] was left for dead since it was not made of real wood and was completely scratched up on the top.”

Autumn saw beyond the scratches and knew this would be the perfect small piece to try out a marbling paint technique she’d just watched on YouTube — and the perfect silhouette to create a lookalike of a $600 brand-name piece she’d had her eye on.

“This literally took maybe 15 minutes and was the easiest paint project I’ve done in a long time,” Autumn says of her faux marble paint project. To pull it off, she sanded the top of the table and wrapped the metal legs in plastic to protect them from paint. Then, she added white paint, a drizzle of silver paint, and a drizzle of black paint to a cup, which she dumped onto the tabletop and allowed to spread out. The dripping paint creates a marbled effect almost effortlessly. The final step was to add a gloss epoxy over top of the paint once it dried to give the piece a shiny finish. (See a sped-up version of the project here.)

“I had seen so many furniture flip tutorials on marble tops and they looked so detailed and scary with feathers and epoxy, etcetera,” Autumn says. “This was literally pour, dump, spread, and let it go!” Easy enough — and since the materials only cost $40, it’s easy on the wallet, too.

“I’m proud that I tried something that scared me a little and learned a new skill,” Autumn says. “I’m also proud of the outcome … People are always completely surprised that this top isn’t real marble. Even a friend who is an interior designer was blown away.”

Autumn’s advice for those wanting to replicate her paint-in-a-cup marbling method? “Think of it like art, and remember each piece will be unique,” she says. “And try it on all sorts of things, table tops, drawer fronts, or even dresser tops. The power of paint is pretty amazing.”

Agreed, Autumn. Check out these 12 additional mini makeovers you can do with just a sample pot of paint for more inspo!