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Give a coffee table a glamourous upgrade

20 May 2020

Tabletops are a fantastic place to get a bit creative. Adhesive vinyls are available from a variety of hardware and homeware stores, and here Sarah Heeringa has transformed a boring old low coffee table using a copper-look vinyl together with popular Resene paint colours.

You will need:

A coffee table

Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat

Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel in a colour of your choice – Sarah used Resene Quarter Emerge

Resene testpot in a second colour of your choice – Sarah used Resene Triple Duck Egg Blue



High-quality painter’s masking tape

1 roll of vinyl adhesive

Sharp scissors

Marker pen


step 1 Give all paintable surfaces a light sand to help the paint to bond. Wipe all surfaces with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust before moving on.

step 2 Paint all surfaces of the coffee table with Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat and allow it to fully dry. If your table is very smooth, use Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer instead of Resene Quick Dry.

step 3 Use high-quality painter’s masking tape to mark the shapes you want on the tabletop.

step 4 Paint the first area of your coffee tabletop plus all lower surfaces and legs using Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel in your first choice of colour. Sarah used Resene Quarter Emerge. Allow your first coat of paint to dry before applying a second.

step 5 Paint a second area on your coffee tabletop using a Resene testpot in your second colour choice. Sarah used Resene Triple Duck Egg Blue, a lovely blue-grey that is a perfect pairing with shiny copper. Allow your first coat of paint to dry before applying a second, and remove the masking tape when both coats are fully dry. Depending on the weather conditions, allow for approximately 24 hours of drying time.

step 6 Place your vinyl adhesive upside down over the area of the coffee table you wish to cover and using small objects to hold it flat in place. Mark the edge with a pen and lay the vinyl on a flat surface before carefully cutting along the edge.

step 7 Peel off one edge of the vinyl and fix it in place before removing the rest of the backing and sticking it down, smoothing out any wrinkles as you go.

step 8 Cut extra vinyl strips to cover any gaps left by the masking tape (top right), and if you want, add an extra strip around the edge of the tabletop.

Adhesive vinyl top tips:

Make sure the areas where you plan to use vinyl on your piece of furniture are smaller than the width of the vinyl roll.

Starting in one corner slowly smooth out any wrinkles as you stick the vinyl down.

Resene Triple Duck Egg Blue and Resene Quarter Emerge were used in conjunction with vinyl adhesive to give this coffee table a glamourous facelift. As an alternative to vinyl, you can add some glitz to your table by using Resene metallic paints such as Resene Gold Dust, Resene Rose Gold or Resene Proton.

For more conscious-living style tips, visit good magazine’s website.

project, images and styling Sarah Heeringa