Gram's Coffee Table

I'm sure you were all hoping to see what color we painted the master bedroom this weekend. Well, it was a lot of work, and I'm wiped out and haven't managed to get the room into photo worthy shape just yet. So instead, I'm going to tell you about our new coffee table. 

This coffee belonged to my grandparents, my mom's parents, Gram & Gramp. I spent many years sitting on the floor in front of this enormous tables with a coloring book and crayons, or my uncle's old matchbox cars. When we were clearing out there house, it was one of the things I knew I wanted for my own one day. 

It's a huge round table that used to be a dining table (it even expands, although we no longer have the leaf) that was cut down to coffee table height. 

You can see, even after a lot of sanding, which I started back in August, it was in pretty rough shape. There were various marks on the top that I couldn't get out with the sander. There are lots of dents and dings as well. But I like those. They remind me of it's history. 

After a few session out in the driveway sanding with the palm sander, the dremell, and by hand, it was finally time to prime the table. I used an oil based primer for the first time in my furniture painting history. The advice I got from several sources insisted that this was the way to go. It went pretty well. The smell was minimal, and the clean-up was easier than I thought. You can see the underside of the table top primed, and the pedestal base up on the saw horse ready to go. 

I chose a bright green for the table. I've been wanting more green accents in the living room, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. It's a little less yellow than some of the green accents we have now, which Greg wasn't entirely fond of. Since the table is a little harder to change than a pillow, this was the right time to start tweaking the green. Two coats of paint went on after the primer.

There are some really great details on the table including the claw feet, and the fluted pedestal. Unfortunately, the center of the pedestal is really hard to see when the top is on, since it's so much lower than was originally intended. 

The table originally had small casters with wooden wheels. They were cracked, and falling apart. I was also worried that they would not be good for our wood floors. But, we liked the idea of having wheels on the table so it would be easy to move for vacuuming, or what ever other reason. I picked out these modern industrial casters from the hardware store, but had to call Greg to confirm they would fit on the foot. He measured out the caster in two configurations to be sure.

Last night, a week after the final coat (three total) of poly-acrylic went on the table, we finally had time to bring it in and put the pieces together. Yes, I purposely did not paint the underside. I didn't want to have to keep flipping the top over to do what amounted to 6 coats of various paints and finishes. And I figured, no one will see the underside. Well, except maybe my brother-in-law who likes to lie on the floor.

So, after all of that, without further ado, here's what it looks like in the room...

At first, it felt enormous, but after 24 hours, I'm loving it. The proportions are much better than the long skinny table it replaced. We just had our first take-out dinner party on it, and it worked great! The casters are quite awesome as well. It's so easy to move around. We are still considering raising the top slightly, so it's more in line with the sofa. But it could be awhile until we get around to that.

I'm really pleased with how the colors are coming together in this room. I think the wooden tulips I bought this spring in London make the perfect accent. And we're really excited to finally be enjoying Gram's coffee table! 


  1. Sooooooooooooo beautiful!!!!!!!

  2. I saw the table behind you in a photo in your post about the office makeover, and I just KNEW it was Gram and Gramp's. So happy to see I was right - they'd be so glad to know how you've made it a part of their home. I have fond memories of this table as well, especially since my parents have its twin (with less beautiful feet) in their house. LOVE.


Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.