DIY Coffee Table {Guest post by my mom}

I got my craft skills and my maniac need to finish what I start as quickly as possible from my mama.   Typically, my mom does big crafts like building a glass block wall in her shower and stenciling entire rooms. A few weekends ago, she bought a new wood coffee table, and decided it needed a little spunk. She made that table over in a night’s time.

table makeover


She was inspired my desk makeover that we did together a few years ago. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you might remember this sucker. We used stain to create the diamond effect. It happened because we bought the table for super cheap partly because of a ring stain in the lower left hand corner of the table… you can still see it a little:

table makeover

My mom achieved a similar look with a way different process. Here is what she started with:table makeover

And  here is the end product. Pretty awesome, huh? You might remember the minute by minute updates on C.R.A.F.T. facebook. My mom was loving the comments and likes :) I finally got her on facebook! (The Smith family got caller ID 2 years ago, and my parents don’t do cell phones!) Anywho, I asked my mom to put together a tutorial, and here we are!

Here’s what you need to  create this look:

  • Fine or medium sandpaper
  • Steel wool
  • Mouse sander
  • Cloths
  • Vacuum
  • Tungsten oil finish
  • Blue painters tape
  • Ruler
  • Yard stick
  • Pencil
  • Pickled oak stain

My mom says, “The table needs to have a rough finish with not much sheen. My table was made of pine with a dark finish and lots of distressing. Measure your table and create a diamond that exactly fits. (I goofed up on this.) I thought I had it configured correctly, but I should have laid it all out first. I did this project in my house, but it would have been better to take the mess outside. Not only is TX 100 degrees outside, but I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate power tool rucks in the middle  of the night!”

Here are the steps my mom used to give her coffee table the checkerboard look:

1. Create diamond pattern out of thin, stiff cardboard.
2. Use pattern, to lay out your design on the table
3. If you are confident the design will fit, begin in a corner marking lightly with a pencil where the first diamond should go. I marked about 4 diamonds at a time.

table makeover

4. Then using the blue painters tape to carefully place the tape on the outside edge of the diamond, overlapping the tape.
5. Now, using the steel wool begin roughing up the finish. Next, use the vacuum to pick up the sanding dust.table makeover

6. Use the mouse sander and be careful to stay within the blue tape marks. Use the vacuum to get rid of dust so you can see what your doing. Once you begin to see raw wood you can quit and move to next diamond. I constantly wiped with a clean cloth and used my vacuum.
7. Continue this until all diamonds are made.
8. Once your pattern is completed, thoroughly clean the top of the table with a damp cloth. Let it dry completely. This could be the end of the process for you. Just add tung oil and admire! This is the table before any stain or oil…

table makeover

9. I wanted my diamonds to be a little more subdued so I put pickled oak stain on top of the whole table. I applied this with a clean cloth. I first used some old English and totally screwed up a few diamonds. It was way to dark. I had to go back and re- sand a few diamonds. The pickled oak stain worked great. Next, I used the tung oil.

She loves it, and I do too! What do you think, better after?

table makeover


Have you ever used steel wool to take paint off in a pattern? It’s certainly less expensive than staining and way less smelly!


  1. This is awesome! I love the diamond pattern.

  2. This is great!! What a outcome!

  3. This turned out fantastic! Great job!

  4. Beautiful! I love the pattern and the idea. So original!

  5. Oh my this is beautiful!!! Mom did great!
    I’d love for you to link up in our Crafty Showcase. It runs from Sat-Thur and then our designers will pick their favorites to be featured on Friday.

    Have a super week!
    Susie @Bowdabra

  6. Beautiful table and very creative. I’m going to try this one

  7. This is brilliant. I have had a dining room table in my basement for months, while I have been waiting for some inspiration to hit me – It just hit me like a brick…I will be doing this project this week!! THX for the great idea

  8. hi Jamie, I’ve never used steel wool at all! I absolutely love this project. It’s something I would never have thought of. I found you on Hometalk.

  9. I LOVE this! Ran to my kitchen to get started on my table….but apparently I’m not smart enough to figure out what size of diamond to make :( any pointers??

  10. Little nervous to try this but…..

  11. This is sooo Neat! I love it!!! Can’t wait to try something similar.

  12. This is an awesome idea!! Your mom is BRILLIANT!

    ps found this over on a site that scraped your photos, I had to do a google image search to find your post. The blog I found it on is called Thought you’d like to know.

  13. I love the table, it looks amazing, never would have thought of this technique. Kudos!

  14. Awesome!! I love diamond patterns….looks so cool~ :)

  15. I LOVE the outcome of this table! And the method couldn’t be easier. Sold!

  16. I have a question. I have started this and so far I have measured and taped everything off. I have started sanding though, and I am wondering how you take off the finish without taking off the blue tape and keep your line? Every time I sand near the tape it shreds it away and I am afraid I will not be able to get a straight line. Any suggestions?

  17. Bretta Kirby says:

    Table is BEAUTIFUL !!!
    Very talented & created ladies !!!
    I will be sure to keep this in mind when I’m out and about… ; ))

  18. This is great! Thanks for the info. It’s given me a great idea…think I’ll try using a stencil around the edge of my round table. Very cool.


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