The tale of a blue coffee table

The tale of a blue coffee table


I‘ve had this adorable little table for a long time. Lately it has just been hanging out in a garage waiting to be loved again. {Don’t worry, table, I’ve never stopped loving you. You just haven’t worked anywhere I needed you. You deserved to be someplace special.}

I actually bought this table about 15 years ago, right off the truck of an antique dealer during our neighborhood’s annual garage sale. I paid the guy too much money, but I loved this little table. It was perfect in my tiny little English living room. It was well used and loved for many years.

But, when I moved to “the big house” it was too tiny for my rooms. So, it sat. Sad and lonely. And when we moved to this house, it didn’t fit in to the look I was going for. So it sat again. Lonely and blue.

Until this weekend.

When I decided on a whim a couple of weeks ago to move my leather ottoman to my family room (you know how those whims go) my living room was left in need of a coffee table. I thought about this sad little table which had now become a surface for garage junk. Yet, the sad little coffee table was no longer as pretty as it once was. Its worn wood top and dark orange wood finish just didn’t suit me any longer.

What to do with a lonely and blue coffee table?

The tale of a blue coffee table

I could have painted it white. Or gray. Or black. Or even teal. But being the decorating rebel that I am, I risked it all and painted it bright BLUE.

Boat blue by Valspar (interior satin), to be exact!

It is BLUE and I LOVE IT!

I know, all wood furniture lovers are going to hate me for painting it. I think my husband almost had a heart attack. But remember, I love wood furniture and have several gorgeous wood pieces in my home. I just don’t like too much wood or too many kinds of wood in one space. And if it is in poor shape and ready for a makeover, I am willing to take a paint brush to wood in order to fall in love with it all over again.

The tale of a blue coffee table

Better a painted table you adore than a wood one you keep because you feel obligated, but you don’t really love at all.

The little table is no longer lonely and blue. Now it is well-loved and a beautiful shade of blue. Be brave, do what you love!

Are you brave enough to do what you love? What holds you back?

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another inspiring table makeover:

Dining Room Table Makeover


  1. So cute! I’m seriously considering painting one of my tables yellow, of all things. After seeing you “new” blue table, I’m feeling a bit more courageous!

  2. I LOVE IT!! I love the blue! I love that you painted it! It was looking (no offense!) kinda ‘old lady’ wood tone before…you know, the furniture that all of our grandmothers used to have in their houses before being your own decorator was ok! :)

  3. I love it so much! The two pieces in my house I really want to paint I am not allowed to paint. They are both heirlooms and I would be disowned. BUT I do want to and have wanted paint my armoire forever. What’s holding me back? All the cords that I have to untangle to empty it.

  4. Love the blue! The contrast against your floor shows off her pretty lines. Great job.

  5. You are brave but it is very cute!

  6. I love the blue but then I LOVE painted furniture. Come see my blog and see for yourself!
    Carol in GA

  7. love that you painted it what you wanted to!!!
    it looks great…..and I love the details in the room…the little burlap beauty hanging over the small ottoman and the trunk underneath the coffee table…

    gorgeous room!

  8. Franki Parde says

    OKAY! “It’s” RED for me! Because…we can. franki

  9. LOVE the blue … i’m always up for change – in fact, i LOVE change and embrace it wholeheartedly. the problem, it’s called a husband. =) but he’s not a problem – i’ve learned it’s all about the timing and the approach i use to change furniture. =) i’m on a journey of making my home, well, my home – with my stamp and personality on it … took awhile to begin the process but now that i’m in it, wa-hoo. loving figuring out who i am, in the decorating sense, that is! your blog is lovely! just re-stumbled upon it recently. i’ve moved it up my list of faves.

  10. Looks perfect. I love the shape & that you were bold enough to make this move!

  11. BRAVO
    it looks amazing. and i wish i was that brave.

  12. It looks great! Works so well against the rug. Which I love. And the small suitcase underneath is very cute too. It sort of connects it all together, if that makes sense! I have painting to do myself. Hoping for better weather.

  13. Oh, I love the blue! It really brings out all the little details and is a wonderful compliment to the browns and naturals around it. Just perfect! And so much better that being ignored in the garage. I agree, be brave and surround yourself with what you love!!!

  14. This is such a timely post! I have been looking at a little coffee table that I purchased years ago for only $6. It was adorable and imperfect and a medium wood stain color… not too dark, not too light, but it is just sitting here. One never notices it, it doesn’t stand out, and it looks like an old, sad table. I have been wanting to paint it white and after seeing this post, I think I will paint it in just a few weeks! It will look lovely on the new dark wood flooring we will be installing. Thank you! :)

  15. Oh, and I forgot to mention ~ your “new” blue table is gorgeous! :)

  16. Fantastic work! I always have that issue with the old furniture but it obviously has to come to an end! The color you chose is amazing! It makes the table look very artistic and stylish!

  17. This is nice to see. I’ve been debating the past couple of days about a little desk of mine. It’s a lovely little desk, but the wood has been gone from the top since high school. My mom first put it in my room and covered it with photos and a sheet of glass. Then it got marbleized pink when I got married. More recently, it receive a dark red paint job on top and has been to college with my oldest, but it doesn’t meet her needs anymore. I have it back and no place to put it. I’m seriously thinking white—all over this time—and in my room. Or maybe a blue since I want my room full of blues!

  18. I guess I am in the minority here…not that having a blue table is bad, but I am one who would not have painted that table.
    For me the thing I would do is sell the piece to someone who appreciated its original look. Having acquaintances in the antique biz I have learned that so many true antiques have value with their original finish, so I personally won’t randomly paint stuff.
    Now a factory made newer piece that needed new life…whole other story ;)

  19. Good for you! It’s very unique and I love it!

  20. I had a brave streak this week too and ended up with some great new blue. :) Love your table.

  21. I love it, Melissa. The detailing really stands out.
    The color you chose is great.

    Becky K.

  22. I love it, a great shape and the blue is awesome.

  23. totally agree word for word! Better to love it like this and it looks awesome!!! Last week my son spilled coffee all over the first table my hubby ever bought (large round side table), and when I was done cleaning it all up I decided to paint it! He came home and loved it! But, at first he was like, oh, that was the first piece I ever bought. You gotta break the rules and get over the sentiments sometimes! Melissa, you have taught me that and inspire me over and over!!!

    Thanks for the morning high of a beautiful piece to drool over!

  24. I love your new blue table! Blue is my favorite color!
    great job

  25. I had a brave streak myself this week and ended up with a little miss blue. Love your table.

  26. A very bold move, but a lesser decision couldn’t have done it the justice. Completely the ticket the little blue table was looking for!!! Now sitting so proudly & well deserved. We completely love it :) thanks so much for sharing x

  27. A bold move indeed but a less brave decision would not have sufficed! That was completely the ticket your little blue table was lookig for. It now sits so proudly and deservedly so :) We absolutely love it!! Thanks so much for sharing x

  28. I grew up in a house full of antiques (which as a kid who wanted to hang TigerBeat pics on my walls kind of irked) but, now, I have rather fond memories of all of those pieces. It wasn’t because my mother was an enthusiast but, rather, because we grew up in New England in a couple hundred year old home and we got things from garage sales and flea markets. Hey, when your dad is a postal history dealer and you have your towns original post office set up in his office, you’re NOT going to find a lot of brand, spanking new furniture hanging around.

    Some pieces had the original finish, some were stripped and refinished/recaned, and some were painted. While people might find the idea of painting antiques offensive, I don’t. These were pieces that had continued life and vitality because they had been repurposed and, yes, even repainted. My great-great grandmother’s old chair had numerous layers of paint to it but it added to the charm and to the personal memories because it reflected how each generation of women in my family had used and loved that chair. Did we make it lose monetary value? Probably. Yet, the idea of selling that to someone else who could appreciate it’s original finish doesn’t even compare to the love that the women in my family have had for that piece in all of its various colors.

    So, Melissa, bravo for making this piece something that you love again because, quite frankly, unless it was a fancy-pants piece or a one-of-a-kind representation, the true value in it is how you enjoy it.

    • LOVE THIS! Exactly. I love that I still have this piece my kids remember from their childhood but now it is something they ADORE. It has a fun new youthful appearance but it is still a treasure to us!!

  29. I love blue!! And I love that you decided to go for it!

    So I am asking myself…what do I want to do, and what is holding me back??? I want to reclaim my sunporch. What is holding me back is time. But my girls will both be gone soon and Bubba will start school too, and I will be bored!! Perfect time to take back the porch!!

  30. I am on of the guilty of painting wood. I love to paint it white and pink and gray and all kinds of colours! My husband was originally dead set against this, but more recently he seems to have changed his ways. I’ll catch him looking at a dresser or table and he’ll say: “maybe we should paint this white….?” It does seem I’ve converted him! Our most recent paint job: a dresser/change table that I pulled from someone’s garbage in a rush of adrenaline! I put it in the car all be myself, but when I got home it was way too heavy to pull it out! Must have been the thrill of the find!


  31. I love it, really, really love it… Great job!

  32. Love that shade of blue, I have a kitchen islandi painted a similar color then glazed over it. I agree with you 100% about painting wood, finished wood is beautiful, but if you don’t love it then paint it.

  33. Very Bohemian Melissa ;) I would have painted it a bright orange lacquer after visiting this hotel and seeing all of their chippendale pieces painted orange ;)
    check out the 700 Drayton Restaurant views ;)

  34. Jennifer G says

    Two words-LOVE IT !!!!

  35. I love that you felt the freedom to paint this little table. And I just love the boldness of choosing blue. It is now a table that captures attention and creates an emotion – I think a happy one! :) I’ve always believed that the true beauty of any piece of furniture is that the owner loves the way it looks. I think your table is beautiful!

  36. I love it Melissa! Bravo for doing what you love!!
    I just recently painted my white dining room chairs mismatched colors. Two of my chairs I left white, two of the chairs I painted red, I painted two chairs light blue, and the last two chairs dark blue. I don’t usually do anything so bold. Most of my furniture is wood toned or white painted, but I wanted to add some cheer to my dining room and to the house. The look may not be for everyone, but I love it! And that is all that matters. :)
    Hope you have a great week!

  37. Wow! You absolutely made the right choice for that table. Now I have my grandfather’s toolbox all original finish, but looking like the dickens. I’m wondering…just wondering…

  38. What a fabulous color and yes, when it comes to paint–I pretty much just go for it. I am not sure why wood is so prized, by men especially!

  39. I painted a very old, antique chest of my grandmother’s into an aqua blue. I use it as an art table for my daughter. It’s been a bit shocking, but I love it!

  40. I love to paint wood too….the blue is perfect. I have a buffet that I’m getting ready to paint “teal” my hd thinks I’m crazy.
    Thanks for sharing….you always make us feel like we can do it too.
    Happy Day

  41. Yummy! LOVE it! You give me courage to paint things that I’ve been afraid to :)

  42. Melissa,

    You are brave but I love it. The blue brings out the details and makes it more like a piece of art rather than just a table. Great idea!


  43. Love love love this! I agree–if the wooden piece of furniture is in bad shape, give it new life with paint! I painted my teeny entry way table and a wooden chair (which is used as a plant stand) an antique aqua blue. Both were cheap buys and the wood was terrible. And now they add life to my living room!

  44. Well, I love it! ROCK on!


  45. I totally agree – if you want a bold color, go bold!! Too much wood is boring, a color adds personality. I did the same thing with a lovely wood jewelry armoire I own. As-is it was fine but I wanted it to make a statement, so sunshine yellow it became. And I LOVE it!!
    Check it out here:

  46. I love it! I don’t know what holds me back. Fear of more work and money maybe? I love painted furniture, but it takes me far too long to pick a color. I try to make everything fit together, and then I give up.

  47. Love it! So pretty! Glad you painted it and can love it again!

  48. Blue paint makes everything better. Like chocolate. :) Lisa~

  49. Good for you, Melissa! I’m dying to paint a piece of furniture something other than black or white {although, I did do brown on chairs at last years Procrastinator Party}. I’d love to do a grey or a green, but it has to be the right piece. I’m going backwards I think ~ I’ve got the colors but not the pieces I want to paint!

  50. I love how unexpected the blue is with the classic lines of the table. It looks great! Good for you for doing what you love not “following the rules.” Who made those rules anyway?! :)

  51. You are such a rebel! Ha! Love the blue! ; )

  52. I think your blue table is wonderful and adds a totally great dimension to that room. I think its always good to go for it. You can always change paint – that is what I always say.

  53. I love it!

    I love that you painted the table and are able to use it and love it more!

  54. Okay, I have to admit I squealed a bit when I saw this!!! It is so beautiful. The blue paint brings out all the wonderful details. Now I am frantically searching my mind for a place to place a brightly painted piece of furniture.

  55. What a fabulous blue that you chose (not that there is a ‘bad’ blue in my book!). The table looks beautiful with it’s reinvigorated look… it has become the focal point of the room. The silvery tray looks so crisp & cool against the rich blue, & the bright white star fish provides great contrast. Just shows what a difference the right accessories can make! I applaud your bravery:)

  56. That blue is just gorgeous!! Perfect color choice! I love how the color really makes the detail on the table pop! LOVE it!

  57. I love this blue SOOOOOOOOOOO much! …it’s happy, bold and VERY BLUE..Bloo, BLU!!!!!!!!!!! It is absolutely smashing, I bet it makes your whole room look new again and fresh. I’ve been wanting to paint some of our coffee tables, I’m just not sure yet what color I’m wanting or needing……….Blue is my all time favortie color though. You are rocking with your boat blue painted table! Lovely

    • Sharron Petti says

      Why not try lime…’s the thing here in Florida or hot pink!! Have fun! ;) I’m looking right now for the just-right table myself for an all white bedroom! Plan to use whites, weathered woods and one great painted piece…LIME! I like lime also on old wicker!! ;)

  58. I love that you love it. After all, isn’t that the kind of home we all trying to create — a place we love to be, a place that reflects our personalities, a place that inspires us! I am also a ‘designing rebel without pause’ and if I get an idea I try it. What’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s only paint.


    • Sharron Petti says


  59. i agree 100%.
    i love the blue.

  60. I. Love. That. Table. We’ve been thinking about doing something like that to a sideboard in the dining room. Now it’s on like donkey kong.

  61. Adorable post Melissa. I feel like it should be a childrens book. The Tale of the Little BLUE Table!

  62. Can I tell you that I adore that blue. But MOSTLY I am SO relieved that I can see streaks from your paintbrush on your table. I’m painting wood furniture for the first time and was waiting for the layer of paint that would magically make my brush strokes disappear (you know, so it looks like coloured Ikea furniture). I started to think that maybe it never gets that way. . .and then I come online and find your perfectly painted table, and can see some slight strokes. *relief*

    Here’s to keepin’ it real.

    — Vanessa
    ps – I think I need a yellow coffee table. Whadaya think? :)

    • Ha, yep! It is totally imperfect, and has brush strokes, it could use more work to make it all perfectly distressed or whatever, but I’m moving on! Life is too short to worry about a few brush strokes. A YELLOW coffee table would be divine.

      • Sharron Petti says

        Wow yes! Yellow!! Awesome! Love the idea. My great room in my upstairs Key West home at the beach is a very light yellow and I’m going to use corals and lime with it! And maybe a yellow table!!! ;) Going to use lime one in the all white bedroom. Also my BR is light blue with black knobs, etc. Using a black poster bed with black and white photos framed and of course white sea shells and gray weathered woods! I love decorating, it makes me continue to look at nature for inspiration!! Have a lovely day! Love this site! ;) In P.C. Fl

  63. Melissa, it looks beautiful! I love sprucing up old things with paint too & have a chest/dresser that I’ve just finished up as a flat screen TV holder for our bedroom. Post coming tomorrow! So yes, why not change it if it doesn’t work anymore? I think a painted piece is at home in every room.

  64. Okay, went to her site (which I do every day!) and my favorite necklaces are the “Forever” necklace and the “You are Loved” necklace!

  65. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! It seems kind of silly to say but it does seem courageous to go for it. Maybe it’s courageous because you followed your heart and not what you’re “supposed to do”. Not that I don’t love wood, but color also adds so much to a home, personality, happiness, warmth, soul…

  66. Oh my heavens… I love it! My husband is always telling me, “You can’t paint over that… Its wood!”… But I love me a painted piece! Beautiful… Now to find something I can paint!

  67. Love the blue table. I just spray painted a little side table silver! It’s a Duncan Phyfe style that was one of my parents first pieces of furniture. I thought my dad might have a heart attack too, but he just smiled a crooked little smile!
    On the other note…I’ve always been Brave enough to do what I love, but after treatment and surviving breast cancer, Ain’t Nothin’ Going go to hold me back now!!!
    xo, Sheri

    • Sharron Petti says


  68. Love the new look of your table! Very modern!! I don’t know whether you ever read “Living ETC” magazine from the UK. You will see these same type of furniture transformations in all kinds of colors. I think you will be surprised that you are right in step with the Brits! Congrats on your bravely to fulfill your vision!!

  69. Your table is fantastic! Love the color and what a statement it makes…sometimes you just have to go Bold or stay home right? I just finished a repainted vanity…didn’t get bold with it, but I have some bold color plans for my daughter’s room that it will be going in.

  70. Wow! What a bright spot of joy right there in the middle of your room! You are so much braver than I am. I love your confidence in color!

  71. Hi Melissa, I am one of the winners of the Live with what you Love book. I hope it’s not too late. I apologize. I had to get a new laptop and well, I don’t have internet access on my phone. I tried to get to you by email, but for some reason the link on your blogger profile won’t work for me. If it’s too late I am bummed, but if not could you please email me at xxzanniexx(at)gmail (dot)(com) Thank you so much, and I LOVE the blue table.

  72. girl, you did that table a lot of good! :) xoxo.

  73. Great post Melissa, makes me think of a Sesame Street song “Fuzzy and Blue, all over, fuzzy and blue like Grover”. Grover was my oldest son’s favorite character!

    • Ha! That is so funny! I think about Grover all the time! I always remember his “near and far” routine. When I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off here and there I hear his voice as he ran back and forth teaching my kids about “near and ….{stomp stomp stomp} far” !!!

  74. Bold choice! I love it. The blue is gorgeous.

  75. “Better a painted table you adore than a wood one you keep because you feel obligated, but you don’t really love at all.”

    That quote just lept out at me, especially when accompanied by that beautiful blue table! I have this old sewing machine cabinet that I really don’t like that much, but I’ve been keeping it around out of ….. what, some sort of obligation? I have it in the garage, never knew what to do with it. It’s going to look smashing in blue!! Thanks for the tip and inspiration!

  76. Glad you were brave ~ love the blue table.


  77. The blue is beautiful!

  78. Love this transformation!


  79. So, what type of paint do you use to paint your furniture? Eggshell, satin, flat, etc.? I have painted a bookcase and a side table before and wasn’t too happy with either one because the paint seems “sticky” – as in if I leave a picture frame in one spot it peels up the paint when I try to pick it up and move it. I assume I am using the wrong type of paint. Any ideas?

  80. I would never have thought of painting it blue, but it’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing it on my link party :)

  81. Oh, I LOVE it Melissa! I love color and I painted the dresser in our bedroom yellow….and am using ribbons for the pulls and I’m so happy I did it. (Well, my husband did it, and I’m so glad I made him. ;))

  82. You are so cute – I love the way you write! Great ideas as well.

  83. i *heart* the blue and LOVE the table. Great job rebel woman :-)….

  84. Oh. My. Word. I want this table SO BAD! It is so cute! I love that you repurposed it and fell back in love with it (even if you never stopped loving it… haha)

  85. Wow-I have that exact same table – only mine is not blue–very interesting to see the transformation. Someday…maybe.
    Thanks for sharing.

  86. Melissa – Talk me into it!! I have a french country coffee table from Ethan Allen. I bought it full price WHEN I could afford it. Without full time employment and 3 kids, I can’t afford anything ;-). Anyway, I still love the shape and curves of the table, but the wood drives me crazy! I sat staring at it last night asking – white or black? I just need the courage to put a paint brush to the $600 coffee table (although it is now 10 years old and beat up from matchbox cars being zoomed across it and pen scratches from little ones pushing down too hard). Thanks for this post :-).

    • Sharron Petti says


  87. Amanda Carver says

    I really love this pop of color. Have a table that needs something like this!

  88. Heather Duren says

    I love this table and its details. And, I love that you painted it blue. It’s perfect.

  89. Autumn Doan says

    Oh I’ve recently made a mess of one of my pieces. It wasn’t antique or even “real” wood but I knew it wasn’t working whatever it was. So, I painted. The.Wrong.Color. I am reworking it tonight but no worries, it will still be a more tasteful statement in the room.

    Your table is great. A great way to bring pieces back in our life.

  90. Hi, just found your blog and am wandering around, enjoying the view. :) I love the blue table- it’s inspiring me to paint my wee little cabinet that I will be using as an island in the kitchen. It’s so small, I hate to even call it an island, maybe a cay? ha! I was originally thinking black or white, but would love a “real” color.

  91. that is great! aww i love BLUE! and i love that table. where ever did you find it?!! thanks

  92. Christine says

    When I saw the picture of the table before it was blue, I fell in love with it. The detail and the gracefully curved legs, like Queen Anne style, is gorgeous. I looked at the after picture of the table now blue. I wasn’t too sure I liked it. I scrolled back and forth between the original and the blue. Then I pictured the table with a lot other wood pieces and suddenly the blue stood out, all beautiful and regal and I loved it. If I had lived near you, I probably would have offered to buy it from you while it was sitting all lonely in your garage but I never would have thought to paint it blue. I am now going to be carefully looking at some old pieces in my house and see who is going to get a make-over. Already several tables have thrown one of their legs in the air yelling “ME! Pick me!”

  93. Oh this is so much of a refreshing post on do what you love.

    I LOVE this blue. I love wood too but this color coat is totally worth it. You give me ideas! :)

  94. I found this a few months ago randomly while searching Google images and love the idea. I have been keeping my eye out for a great wood table at yard sales to create something like this. Thank you for the great idea and hopefully I will find a table like this to replicate.


  1. […] when I shocked a few of you by admitting that I painted my antique coffee table, this weekend I also finished painting my previously unpainted WOOD dining table. Yes, I painted […]

  2. […] the event we were able to try out Valspar Signature Colors paint, which by the way is the same paint I used on my blue table last […]

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