How to restore an old table with your own hands?

To add gloss, exclusiveness and chic, to make an unusual accent in the interior, you can use the original table. Moreover, no one will guess that this piece of furniture used to be an unprepossessing ruin..

Restoration methods

There are many ways to improve, decorate, and refurbish an old table. But before starting work, it is necessary to prepare the future “canvas” – to remove the old coating, sand it, screw all the nuts and screws (so as not to stagger or dangle), putty, stain (if necessary) or varnish. Then start decorating. Conventionally, all methods of decorating a wooden table can be divided into two groups:

  • Surface painting, including self-painting, painting through a stencil or using stamps;

  • Pasting the surface special materials – wallpaper, self-adhesive film, decoupage with napkins or interesting clippings, overlay, photo printing, use of mosaics or tiles.

The glass table will have to be updated a little differently. It is quite possible to glue it with wallpaper, film or make decoupage from the inside..

You can also paint the glass surface with special paints and get an interesting design..

How to upgrade a glass table?

A beautiful glass coffee table is quite common in modern apartments. The glass tabletop loses its attractive appearance as a result of improper care..

The legs become loose, chips and scratches appear on the glass. If there are scratches on the table top, in which a nail can fit, then it is better to give the table to a special workshop, dispose of or replace the glass with a new one..

If the damage is not so terrible, then you can try to reanimate this piece of furniture.

You can save a glass countertop from scratches at home both with improvised (toothpaste, soda, transparent nail polish), and with special means (GOI paste, car polishes, polishes for precious metals).

First you need to clean the surface, then gently rub in or apply the composition into the scratch. Do not overdo it, otherwise you may get several more instead of one scratch. Wait a little for the compound to set and clean the glass again.

To get rid of scratches, use the most common non-gel toothpaste. Soda is dissolved with water to a state of gruel, approximately in a 1: 1 ratio. GOI paste must be used proven, real. Transparent varnish will not completely eliminate the problem, but only partially. At a certain angle of illumination, it will be noticeable that there were scratches in that place.

Loose table legs are also subject to repair. Usually, the table legs are attached with special glue. This glue can dry out over time. It can be removed and replaced with new adhesive. If the legs are attached to screws, self-tapping screws, then they can be unscrewed and replaced with new ones.

Now the table can be given a completely new sound using various decorating techniques:

  • Paste over the table from the seamy side with decorative foil. Avoid bubbles when covering the table. It is better to glue the film a little, gradually pushing back the substrate. If bubbles do appear, then you can pierce them with a needle and smooth them out;

  • Make decoupage. To do this, you will need pictures (for example, from napkins or on rice paper, or images specially prepared for this), PVC glue or special for these works, brushes, a file, varnish for decoupage. The necessary equipment can be purchased in shops for creativity and scrapbooking;

  • Paint with stained glass paints. Acrylic contour, stained glass paints, cotton swabs and napkins, alcohol for degreasing the surface, a sketch of a drawing, scotch tape – this is a set of items that will be needed for this work;

  • Fix the backlight, LED strip around the table perimeter;

  • If the design allows you to make a mini-garden, an aquarium or a bright composition of stones, shells. When the table has a small box, which is covered with a tabletop on top, then you can put a pallet on its bottom and plant succulents (plants that do not need frequent watering) there. Or decorate the box with shells, stones or other things.

How to restore a wooden table?

A wooden table can be made from MDF or chipboard, or from solid wood. In any case, the restoration of the old table at home will take place in several stages. Consider all these steps.

  • Preparatory – check all fasteners, disassemble the table and re-fasten, clean the surface.

  • Removing the old coating. Sometimes for this you may only need a special composition that removes varnish and paint. But most often you also have to use coarse-grained and fine-grained sandpaper, a sander. It is necessary to sand along the grain to avoid the formation of new scratches.

  • Sealing cracks and chips. To do this, you will need wood putty or polyester analog. After filling, re-sanding. At this stage, you can stop and not carry out further work (except varnishing), cover the wood with wood stain, which will give the table a new color and look. For example, turn an oak table into an imitation of wenge or another type of wood. But when the damage is significant, the next step is necessary.

  • Primer and subsequent puttying. Without a primer, the varnish will lie poorly and unevenly. An alkyd or shellac primer is suitable for wood..

  • Giving the final design. At this stage, painting and pasting of the table are carried out. If the table is painted, the paint should be applied at least 2 coats..

  • Final coating with varnish or wax. Varnish and wax must be covered in several layers..

This refurbished polished table will last for years to come..

Written or magazine, children’s or toilet – regardless of its purpose, it will become an interior decoration, because you spent so much time on it and put your soul into it.

How to recolor?

Table staining is the most popular restoration method. What could be more laconic than a white table? Only black. Therefore, the choice of paint (acrylic or oil, enamel) is very important. How long the restored table will serve depends on what paint the repair was made, or rather on its characteristics..

To choose a paint, you need to understand where and how the table will be used, what materials it is made of.

  • Water-based acrylic paint suitable for heated rooms, withstands moisture well. Dries quickly. Can be washed off with water during application. But after drying, it does not lend itself to water. Alkyd compounds are considered more reliable..

  • Oil paints are losing their popularity due to unreasonably high consumption.

  • Wood enamels attract with their glossy surface and high performance. Nitro-enamel paints also set quickly.

The paint was selected and purchased, further repair of the table involves painting it.

The surfaces must be pretreated, cleaned, removed the old coating, removed scratches and chips, putty, primed, protect decorative inserts, for example, made of glass, with tape. And only after the primer has dried can you paint.

To give an even color, the paint is applied in several layers. The first layer is actually rubbed into the surface.

Two or three layers are enough to show a rich color.

To apply an additional pattern to the countertop, you can use pre-prepared stencils or the most common tulle. When the base color has dried, the tulle (or stencil) is fixed and the pattern paint is applied. You can do this with a brush, but it is better to use a sponge or a spray can of paint. The finished product is varnished to give more aesthetics and strengthen the surface..

To give a graphic pattern (lines, zigzags, rhombuses, squares), you can use scotch tape. Mark the future drawing with adhesive tape, apply the first color with paint. If necessary, repeat the procedure with other colors. Varnish the finished countertop.

If it is necessary to achieve the effect of aged wood, then first a special composition is applied to the treated surface (cleaned, sanded and primed).

Patination can be done with a dark stain. Then the first coat of paint is applied to the wood. Then a second layer of lighter and more liquid paint is applied. When the paint is dry, we go over the surface of the sandpaper. The desired effect has been achieved.

The table is ready for finishing with varnish.

We update the plastic table

Many are afraid to start decorating a plastic table because of its material. In fact, a plastic surface is a more rewarding material for restoration. It does not require preliminary and lengthy processing..

The maximum is getting rid of scratches and chips. Well, if the surface is even, then it is enough to sand it just a little to roughen it, paint or soil could adhere better, or degrease it for further work – gluing film, wallpaper, tiles, mosaics, eggshells or decoupage.

To decoupage a plastic table, you will first need to process the table top. Sand it, put acrylic primer. Then think about how you will arrange the pictures. Make small sketches of their future location. Usually napkins or drawings on rice paper are used for decoupage, but for these purposes you can use any clippings and even pictures printed on a printer..

At the end of the work, the tabletop is varnished..

For a spectacular decoupage, you can use fabric. For decoration purposes, cotton material with a bright pattern is suitable. The decoupage procedure is the same, only PVC glue is applied immediately to the entire fabric.

Decor options

Restoration and subsequent decoration of a table is a very time-consuming process. But the result is worth it, because you can get an exclusive designer item with which memories are already associated. Furniture decor can be completely original and at the same time very organically fit into the concept of using the object and the room.

A laconic design is suitable for a book-table or folding table. It can be dyed one or two colors. And you can give nobility and accentuate the natural structure of the tree.

The sliding table can be decorated with drawings that may appear only when the tabletop is disassembled as much as possible. And of course, if this kind of table is used as a dining table, you can use kitchen themes in its decor – images of food, fruits and vegetables, cutlery. The kitchen table can be decorated with tiles and mosaics. This will be a very practical solution..

For the dressing table, due to its functionality, delicate pastel shades and light colors, as well as all kinds of “girly” prints (flowers, cosmetics, patterns) are suitable.

The coffee table can be painted in a rich color or provided with a bright pattern.

For the children’s table, you need to use only high-quality finishing materials. And you can decorate it with a variety of animals, cartoon characters.

A practical solution for the student will be to create a “cheat sheet” table, on the surface of the tabletop of which you can apply a variety of didactic materials (rules, diagrams, formulas).

The use of a computer table-pedestal assumes high exploitation. Therefore, materials must be selected appropriate – not easily soiled (the computer “attracts” dust), wear-resistant (especially to the effects of heat).


The restoration process is very lengthy. Be patient. When applying this or that composition to the countertop, you need to wait until it dries completely. And such layers are often needed several. It can take more than one week to restore the table in this way..

Pay attention to the quality of the materials and tools you work with. Crawling bristles from the brushes do not add aesthetics to the tabletop. And a poor-quality coating will not last long, and it will have to be changed again..

Be careful when carrying out work. Remember to wear protective masks and gloves, to protect the environment from contamination. Then the restoration process is only pleasant memories, as about the creative process of transforming your favorite interior item.

You will learn more about how to restore an old table with your own hands in the following video..

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