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Paint a Mid-Century Coffee Table Mint

Mint mid-century coffee table

Hold the phone, Tanya has a coffee table. 

If you know me, you know that I HATE coffee tables and am madly in love with our tufted ottoman.  When Hubs and I sink into the sofa for some T.V. time, we really get into it.  The more horizontal we can slouch, the better, and a cushy ottoman facilitates this.  I know it’s cool to say we don’t watch T.V. or have cable, but we actually love our television and we love to Lounge (capital L).  A coffee table does not facilitate lounging, with its pointy corners and hard top.  It facilitates prim cocktail hour.  And leaves little bruises every freaking time I bump into it. 

But there’s a mid-century modern coffee table in a lovely shade of mint that now graces our living room, and I have to admit that this leggy coffee table looks amazing!  It shows off the living room’s spaciousness much better than our behemoth of an ottoman, which is what we need for staging our home for sale.

Mid-century coffee table painted makeover

It’s actually a funny story how the coffee table came to be.  I was yard saling with a friend and we spotted it – for free – at a yard sale right between our houses (we live very close to one another).  I’d always thought the townhouse would need a coffee table for staging and so I wanted to pick it up, but because we weren’t planning on selling the house for a year, and I wasn’t even sure it would fit in the car, I passed.  I thought about it all morning though, and at the end of the day we drove by again to see if it was still there.  It was!  I figured it was free so if it was too much of a bother to store for a year, I’d pass it on to someone else.  My friend and I crammed it into the car, and only a few days later we found and eventually bought the lake house.  What luck, right?  It was meant to be.

Poor table though, it had seen better days, so I decided to give this retro coffee table a simple and affordable makeover with paint!

Painted Furniture Makeover - Before

Paint a water damaged coffee table

The table had some major water damage and because the top is only veneer, restoring the wood wasn’t a viable option so I gave it a light sand and a coat of spray primer.  Then I gave it two coats of mint coloured latex paint (the free can!) using a brush for the legs and a small, low pile foam roller for the flat surfaces.  A coat of varnish helped seal it.  My only regret: I should have waited for the paint to cure longer before applying the varnish because it smudged the paint in a couple of places.  Not a problem for me because this is just for staging.  But if I do a top coat again on painted furniture (I never do), I won’t rush the coats.

Painted furniture tutorial
How to paint wood furniture
Mint painted table makeover

It’s amazing how much larger the living room looks with this sleek new coffee table, and I love how the mint green is identical to the mint in the pillows.  It also complements the warm teak and natural brick hues nicely.

 Living room with cream sofa and teak accents

How to Stage a Living Room for Sale

Townhouse small living room decor

Small living room layout

We’ve tackled some other projects in an effort to stage our townhouse for sale and you might spot another of these updates in the photo above: we finally painted our baseboard heaters!

Mid-century modern coffee table makeover



  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    June 24, 2013 / 12:30 pm

    LOVE this! i am a sucker for mint but love it on this table!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 24, 2013 / 3:47 pm

      It's so nice to have more hits of mint in the living room. I still love the ottoman, but I love the idea of a lighter colour . . .

  2. Anonymous
    June 24, 2013 / 2:46 pm

    It's beautiful!!! I have a similar end table that is hiding in a corner and you've inspired me to rethink it's usefulness! great job!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 24, 2013 / 3:48 pm

      Awww, thanks! I'd love to see your finished makeover 🙂

  3. Dana@Mid2Mod
    June 24, 2013 / 3:33 pm

    You're right…It does make the room look larger. Just perfect for staging.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 24, 2013 / 3:48 pm

      Doesn't it look huge now! It's funny what we get used to.

  4. Amber
    June 24, 2013 / 4:39 pm

    It's pretty, but my heart hurts a little Please tell me you wouldn't have painted it if the wood were salvageable! I can see it in its glory days… Such beautiful lines!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 24, 2013 / 4:59 pm

      It sat for an entire day, for free, at a yard sale. There was little wood to speak of. It was a veneer top with severe water damage and it was bubbling up. The legs were wobbly and needed serious repair (Hubby magically did that while I was out of town so I have no tutorial). This was cheap crap, even in it's heyday. Although I agree – the lines are gorgeous – not all vintage is good quality. You can still feel a bit of the roughness of the damage, but the sanding, primer and paint helped. It is load-bearing paint, lol. So I promise: no gorgeous wood was harmed in the making of this DIY 🙂

  5. Amelia @ House Pretty
    June 24, 2013 / 7:14 pm

    I love that you guys are loungers – we are too! I can't believe how much space this created in the room, definitely the right choice for staging 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 25, 2013 / 2:18 am

      Yay! Fellow loungers!!

  6. cred
    June 25, 2013 / 6:20 pm

    Love this! I kinda like finding or hoping to find vintage too crappy to restore but pretty enough to dress in a modern colour. This is lovely. I know some people cringe when vintage is painted and I get it, those shapely legs would be foxy in bare-naked wood BUT not all vintage is created equal. The living room does show much more spacious now and who has time for Lounging, you have a townhouse to sell at any moment! ; )

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 26, 2013 / 12:59 am

      I ALWAYS make time for Lounging, lol. We're watching episodes of Prison Break!I rarely paint good wood. And it was nice this was crummy, so I could paint it to suit. The original dark stain wouldn't have worked. But I plan on passing this along when I'm done, so who knows what it will look like in it's next life 🙂

  7. Lets just build a house!
    June 25, 2013 / 9:17 pm

    the mint is perfecto! the living room does look larger with it, great job!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 26, 2013 / 12:58 am

      Will we ever tire of mint?? I hope not! 🙂

    • Lets just build a house!
      June 27, 2013 / 9:29 pm

      me either, it doesnt really fit in my home, but i wear it quite a bit!!

  8. erica | wicked bride
    June 26, 2013 / 11:13 pm

    Love this! The lines of the table are fantastic. We just got a new coffee table too – finally found my dream table on Craigslist for only $70! It's black and glass – thinking of spraying it gold down the line.

  9. Anonymous
    July 24, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    You did a fantastic job! And to be honest, it looks so much nicer than the black ottoman you have. The mint in the pics behind the couch, the vase on the end table, even the pillows on the couch all pop with this table! Perhaps incorporate more black in the next living room to tie in this large piece of furniture or keep the mint 😀

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 24, 2013 / 9:23 pm

      Aesthetically, I do love the mint more! The ottoman was a holdover from my Brick furniture days (the sofa matched at one point, before it fell to pieces) but it's so comfy, I kept it. In the future, I think I'd like to make a similar ottoman but in bright turquoise or something else that suits out style. Although we have kiddos in our family who we might see more and maybe the dark leather will hide stains :)Because our living room is L-shaped and open to the dining room, the ottoman balances out the dark brown leather chairs in the dining room. But who know, those might be on the chopping block too! I'd like to go lighter and brighter in the next space.

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