Is Refinishing or Painting a Better Plan for Vintage Table?

Is Refinishing or Painting a Better Plan for Vintage Table?

Janel Laban
Sep 9, 2010

Q: I bought this coffee table (larger photo below) off Craigslist with the intention of refinishing it (you can see the water rings in the photos). At first, I was set on painting it, but the wood of the legs and the outer ring on top is in great shape and pretty to boot. There's no doubt I need to refinish the inside circle on top, though.

So, should I paint this table? Would it look good as a two-toned piece, with the circle painted and the rim/legs left as wood (or the opposite)? Is there any way that I can refinish the circle without touching the rest? (There are some details around the edge that look like a lot of trouble to refinish, so if I can avoid it...)

For context, there's a lot of that mid-tone wood in our living room. The room is pretty neutral -- off-white walls, beige couches -- but with lots of graphic prints and colour accessories.

I'd love some advice so I can tackle this project while it's nice enough to do it outside.

Sent by Paola

Editor: Please share your advice and ideas with Paola in the comments - thanks!

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