How To Cover A Coffee Table [10 DIY Table Covering Ideas]

How To Cover A Coffee Table

Has your old coffee table lost its texture and elegant finish? Is the tabletop now broken or filled with unpleasant scratches? Well, if that is the case, it is indeed a problem to be bothered with. So, how to get rid of this, you may ask. Want to know the solution, stay tuned.

The easiest solution to coffee table scratches or other problems is covering. A coffee table can be covered in many ways. From my experience as professional home decor, here are 15 easy and effective ideas to cover your old coffee table. Hence, stay hooked till the end:

10 Easy DIY Coffee Table Covering Ideas To Redefine Its Look:

Turn your old and pale coffee table into a piece of beauty by covering. Covering the coffee table can be done in many ways. Such as, painting, creative design, decoration, padded covers, fabric cloths, adhesive films etc. The following part will cover each of the methods one by one.

So, without talking more, let’s jump into the main discussion of covering the coffee table. Here are 10 DIY ideas  you can follow:

1. Put Fabric Cloths Over The Coffee Table And Bring Artistry: 

From woven to knitted or silk to linen, fabric cloths are the most widely used pieces to cover furniture. Every fabric has its distinct properties which brings its artistic shades to different things. So, if your coffee table is full of scratches or becomes old, fabric cloth is a simple easy method to cover it.

Few ways that you can try to attach a fabric cover to the coffee tables are :

  • Cut the fabric cloth according to the shape of the coffee table. Like it can be rectangular or round, in a triangle shape too. The fabric cloth should be cut in size so that it can stay a bit extended after covering coffee table edges. You can sew the edges of fabric cloths or leave them as they are.
  • Another method you can use is placing the multi-colored fabric on top of another. Disposable nonwoven fabrics are widely used to cover coffee tables. The color combination of two fabrics simply brings a splendid profile over the coffee table.

2. Cover Coffee Table With Beautiful Contact Papers:

Using contact paper is awesome to restyle your old coffee tables. You can create any type of effect over a coffee table. Glass, marble, wood, stone, any theme can be recreated artificially through contact papers. And it’s very easy to cover your coffee table with this, let’s see how to do it :

  • First, unscrew the top portion from the coffee table stands. If your coffee table’s top is round, cut the contact paper in a round shape too. Roll contact paper over the ground and place the tabletop in the middle.
  • Now you will get an idea of how much contact paper to use. Take a scissor and cut contact paper in measurement so that it covers the round edges of the table. 
  • Peel off the backing a little bit from contact paper and press it. This will help the contact paper get stuck on the tabletop. Continue to peel off the backing paper and press the surface till you fully place the contact paper on the top.
  • When the top is covered, it’s time for the edges and bottom. You can do it in two ways. The first option is using glue to attach papers on the sides and back. 
  • Another idea is using a blower or hair dryer. Blow hot air on contact paper sides and it will stretch in a moment. With your hand, pull or stretch your contact paper towards the round edges. Keep doing this until the edges are fully covered. 
  • The method to attach contact paper with a rectangular table is the same. In this case, you don’t have to use a blower as the measurement and the process of covering edges is easy.

3. Apply Colorful Wallpapers On Old Coffee TableTop:

Imagine a beautiful landscape, or green nature surrounding your coffee table top. Well, you don’t need to worry. Artistic wallpapers can redefine the style of your living room as well as the coffee table. So, follow these steps to decoupage wallpapers on the coffee table top:

  • First, sand your old coffee tabletop and legs if it’s wooden. Then you can apply a wooden finish on table topsides and legs using varnish. 
  • Place your wallpaper on top of the table. Cut it in a way so that wallpaper fits on the table top leaving the varnished sides uncovered. 
  • Peel the adhesive backing layer from the bottom of the wallpaper a little bit. Place that side over the tabletop. Keep rubbing towards the opposite edge of the wallpaper, this will help the air bubbles go out. At the same time keep peeling the back layer slowly to fully cover the tabletop.
  • You may have custom-made wallpapers or wallpaper sheets without an adhesive layer. In that case, you’ll have to apply adhesives like modge podge over the tabletop first. 
  • Then apply the same thing on the wallpaper back. Then place one side of wallpaper over the tabletop. Gradually place the whole thing by rubbing and applying pressure.
  • Now take a paintbrush. And apply decoupage mediums over wallpaper to prevent water erosions. This will prevent the wallpaper from water damage and keep it long-lasting.

4. Bringing Vintage  Over Coffee Table Through Penny Placing:

Turn your boring coffee table into an archaic beauty by placing pennies coins. This is very simple and easy as you’ll need only a few tools. Without talking more, let’s go to the main process:

  • First, spray paint your coffee table top for the background of pennies. If you have a wooden coffee table you may use a primer first.
  • Cover your table legs and floor before spraying. When the paint is hard, place pennies over the tabletop according to your style. You can use golden and silverish pennies for an elegant look. Cover the full table with pennies.
  • In the next step, pour epoxy resin or a high gloss finish over the pennies. Start from the middle so that the solution can cover the pennies as well as the whole tabletop surface. 
  • Leave the table for at least 72 hours so the pennies can settle on top. Now enjoy the scenic beauty of pennies over your old coffee table top.

5. Place Leathers Over Coffee Table for Alluring Elegance:

Leathers are timeless and icons of charming beauty. So adorn your coffee tabletop with this artistic piece. There are several tools you’ll need for this process. Such as foams, batting covers, leather staples, etc. Follow these steps as mentioned:

  • If you have a rectangular coffee tabletop, just measure, cut, and place the foam over the tabletop. If the top is round, place three same-sized pieces of foam over the table.
  •  Go down and use a hand marker to mark the specified area you need. Now use an electric knife or the usual knife to trim the excess foam.
  • Now that you have a rounded foam area on top, the rest of the process is easy. First, put additional batting covers over the foam. Then place leather over the batting cover.
  • Use a wood staple to seal the edges. When sealed fully, use a scissor to cut everything below the staple line. Your coffee table is now covered with a beautiful leather finish.

6. Paint Your Imagination Over Coffee Table:

Painting is one of the easiest and most popular ways to cover old coffee tables. The method allows you to redesign your dull coffee table into something mesmerizing. While there is no particular way of painting, there are some basic ideas you can follow :

  • If you have wooden coffee tables, try to sand the top first and use some primes. This will help the paint to spread evenly on the surface. Try to dilute colors to cut their strength. This will make your painting smoother.
  • There are many popular ways and colors to paint coffee tables. Such as stencil, acrylic, chalk, milk paint, faxing, etc. Try to keep a balance between the coffee table color and the color of your surroundings.
  • Apply waxing or water-resistant coats over the coffee table to seal the painting. This will keep the painting smooth for a long time.
  • Use coarse or long braided brushes to paint coffee tables. This will spread your strokes perfectly over the surface. 

7. Place Sticky Plastic to Cover and Style Coffee Tables:

Sticky back plastic sheets are similar to contract paper. The difference is that it’s more durable and water-resistant. And placing sticky plastic over coffee tables is the same method you use in contract and wallpaper methods. Let’s jump into the working section:

  • Roll the plastic sheet over the coffee table. You’ll get an idea about measurement. Cut the plastic sheet in a way so that it covers your tabletop edges and touches the bottom part.
  • Now slowly remove the protective layer below the plastic sheet while the sheet is on the tabletop.  With one hand apply pressure over the area which doesn’t have the protective layer now. Or you can use any hard tool for this process. Make sure the part is fully attached to the coffee table and there is no bubble.
  • When the part is attached fully, again pull the protective layer gradually and do the previous work. Finish the attaching process over the top and sides. If the table is rectangular you have one more thing to do.
  • Shape the plastic sheets between table corners. To do so, take scissors to cut the plastic sheet off the corner. The cutting goal is to divide the plastic sheets into two equal parts.
  • With your left hand, keep holding the left part of the sheet and wrap the right part of the sheet with a coffee table.  You can snip the excess part with a scissor. Now attach the left part over the right part of the plastic sheet. Cut the leftover part with a scissor or cutter.

8. Using Laces to Bring Different Vibes Over Coffee Tables:

Laces are beautiful and stylish too. So cover your coffee table with this elegant thing. There are many types of laces you can find in the market. For example: crochet, lace tablecloths, dining table runners, etc. When you cover the coffee table with laces you can keep these things in mind:

  • Choose a full lace cover or table runner lace according to your style preference. If you have a big rectangular coffee table, placing a table runner lace in the middle may be a good choice. 
  • If you have a round coffee table, you can place a full lace cover over it. Keep harmony between the color of the lace cover and the color of your living room. 

9. Try Decoration to Cover Coffee Tables:

This is by far the easiest and most effective way to cover a coffee table. If your coffee table is old, don’t throw it away. Instead, cover it with beautiful articrafts, objects, and other things. Things you can place over a coffee table are:

  • Small indoor plants,
  • Personal things such as picture frames,
  • Artistic things like murals
  • Lamps, lanterns, candleholders,
  • Beads, moss, cactus,
  • Tray and coffee cups,
  • Books and magazines. 

10. Polish Tung Oil On Coffee Tables to Cover Scratches:

Tung oil or wood oil hides scratches from the coffee tabletop. Also brings  the tone of the natural wood back too. Tung oils are widely used to polish wooden furniture. Follow these steps to cover your coffee table top with tung oil:

  • First, soak a fabric cloth in tung oil. Then polish the coffee table top properly. 
  • Leave the coffee table for 24 hours. The top will soak the polished tung oil. 
  • After 24 hours, wipe away excess oil from the top and leave the table for one more day after a second polish. The oil will create a darkish wooden texture over the coffee table. 

Related Questions: 

Is Self Adhesive Film Good to Cover Coffee Tables? 

Self-adhesive vinyl film is an effective choice to cover coffee tables. These adhesive films contain anti-water, anti-dust, anti-oil properties. This saves your coffee table top from damage. Also, the films are long-lasting. 

Should Ottoman Covers Be Used Over Coffee Tables? 

Ottoman or padded covers are a good choice for coffee tables. This adds a different style over the old coffee table and gives it an accent table vibe. However, if you are already bothered with an old coffee table, padded covers may not be a good option. These will get dirty over time and you’ll have to clean them. 

Can Using Covers Damage a Wooden Coffee Table Top?

Covers that have adhesives tend to stick with surfaces. So, peeling it next time can wipe the table top texture. Using ottomans can make the tabletop dry.  To solve all these problems apply primer over the coffee tabletop. Use it before you place any covers on the tabletop.

Final Words:

Coffee tables get old over time and become dull, textureless, and scratchy. But, you can give your old coffee table a new look. Just by using different covering methods. 

So, next time you are planning to throw away an old coffee table, try painting it. Or decorate it with things, and place stylish covers over it. This will adorn the table with an artistic look and magnificent beauty.


Hey guys, This is Md Muktar Hossain, I have been working on home / office furniture for a long time. I thought I would share things with everyone through a website. If you like my articles, please share them with everyone. Stay well Stay healthy.

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