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How to paint a stained coffee table

Habitat bright ideas with Fleur Thorpe – DIY projects

Sand and mask geometric lines to give and old coffee table a classic upcycled look. Use Resene Colorwood Mahogany and varnish to finish your project.

Paint a stained coffee table

You will need


Step 1:  Use an electric sander to remove the old varnish. Start with a high grit sander (80 grit), followed by 120 grit and finish with a fine sandpaper of 180 grit. Once the varnish is removed and the wood is smooth, wipe the dust away with a soft dry cloth.

Step 2:  Use painters’ tape to make your pattern. Use a set square to get right angles. Top tip: Instead of using a ruler to measure out the distance between each row of tape, put your first tape length down and then put another second length of tape down right next to it. Put a third length down next to the second length. Remove the second length and both the first and the third lengths are nicely parallel to each other.

Step 1 - Sand Step one

Step 2 - Measure Step two

Step 3 - Stain Step three

Step 3:  Make sure you press the tape down firmly to avoid the stain bleeding underneath the tape. Use a craft knife to neatly cut the ends of the tape.

Once your tape pattern is finished and the tape is firmly pressed down, use a soft dry cloth to wipe on your chosen Resene Colorwood wood stain. This product comes in a handy testpot size which is great for small projects like this. Fleur used Resene Colorwood Mahogany.

Fleur applied one coat of stain, but if you want a darker finish, apply multiple coats, allowing it to dry between each coat.

Step 4 - Remove tape Step four

Step 5 - Varnish Step five

Project detail Project detail

Resene Colorwood Mahogany

Step 4:  Carefully remove the painters’ tape.

Step 5:  Once the stain is dry, apply two coats of Resene Aquaclear in a satin finish.

Top tip: Use contrasting Resene Colorwood colours for your pattern to bring in more colour to your design.

Styling and images by Fleur Thorpe, 2019.

Habitat bright ideas
Need to add colour, pattern or a little creativity to your place? Check out these easy step by step DIY project ideas created in collaboration with Fleur Thorpe. We hope you enjoy making and painting these bright ideas and bringing colour to your home inside or out.

Fleur's projects | Habitat bright ideas


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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