Hand Painted Coffee Table

I’ve wanted a new coffee table for a while. The ridge around the edge of ours digs into my calves and makes my legs fall asleep whenever I prop my feet up (which is all the time). In an effort to improve my coffee table morale I painted a herringbone pattern on our formerly all black table.

Painting all those stripes took 1,000,000 hours (Daniel says I exaggerate too much, but I don’t know what he’s talking about). Once I finished painting and applied the polyurethane, the cream color turned yellow which made the stripes vaguely reminiscent of a bumblebee’s butt. It looks decent in the pictures though, so it’s possible that I’m just being unreasonably perfectionistic.

Unfortunately the new paint did nothing to help my numb tingly legs.

chevron herringbone coffee table

If anyone (Daniel) doesn’t understand why painting an uncomfortable coffee table would make me like it better please see this graph for clarification.


  1. Lauren K

    How did you go about painting that? I think I’d like to try this effect on some of my furniture. Any advice on where to start or what to use? Thanks!

  2. Wit & Whistle Post author

    Lauren – First I sanded down the table and rolled on two coats of primer with a small foam roller. After that dried I rolled the cream color over the whole thing and let it dry. I just used some leftover latex wall paint we had on hand.

    To get the pattern (mostly) straight I painted each column of stripes one at a time. I taped off the first column and applied stripes of 1″ masking tape on a diagonal. I painted brown over the taped area with a brush, and then removed the tape. I waited for that to dry, and then taped off the next column using the stripes in the first column as a guide to make sure all the angles were the same. That went on and on until the table was covered. It took a few days due to all the waiting for paint to dry!

    Once all the stripes were painted I went through with a small brush to touch up the edges of the brown paint since a lot of it oozed under the masking tape. After all the paint was dry I applied two coats of polyurethane with a foam brush (following the instructions on the can).

    Hopefully that made sense! Just let me know if you need more clarification. : )

  3. Kelly

    Wow. That really looks like it would be painful. Thank goodness for the sharp increase in cuteness on the graph! Haha. Very adorable, I love it.

  4. Karla

    Coffee table looks amazing and I love the graph! haha I’ve just spent hours looking over your site awesome work!

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