DIY // How to Upholster a Coffee Table


When I first saw this coffee table, I thought it had a perfect size and shape, plus the project was affordable enough to re-finish.

The hardest part about this DIY, was to stay out my comfort zone, which is neutral colors. I wanted to make something bright and colorful. So, I spent almost 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon at Joann’s picking some fabric for this project, what a headache! But, I am glad to have found some outdoor fabric at the end, that was bold and durable, and also over 50% on sale (score…)

Long story short, the entire piece came together; just as, I pictured it, and is now on sale in my etsy shop.

Photo Jun 30, 12 17 52 PM

The table I started with!


Step 1 -

  • Stripping old paint off an old furniture piece is crucial, and should be complete to achieve a long-lasting new finish.
  • Cleaning the entire piece with wood stripper, will bring out the beautiful natural wood beneath.
  • Sanding and dusting off needs to be complete before any paint goes on.
Step 2 -

Painted and attached some details

  • Paint at least 2-3 coats of interior paint, and wait 8-24h before applying a clear finish.
  • Clean up details (like the brass details on the coffee table) or attach some extra details.

Tools needed to make a cushion:


Upholstered Coffee Table stey by step2

  • Mark the board for the tufted top
  • Drill the marks


  • Cut out holes where the buttons will sink into.

Cut out holes for your buttons

  • Add the foam and batting to the wood board and staple everything in place.
  • The foam should overlap the wood board, this way it will have a smooth edge.

Upholstered Coffee Table stey by step3

Upholstered Coffee Table stey by step4

  •  After the batting stapled into place, continue applying the tufted top (see step-by-step animation below)


Photo Jul 12, 9 25 35 PM

To secure the cushions to the table I used a L-shaped hinge.

Photo Jun 30, 12 22 38 PM


  1. TH says

    What a lovely and inventive project! But please, please fix all the misspelled words. They really bring down the quality of the post and the website (as a reader, I’m much less likely to come back to a website that has no editorial standards for fear that those standards translate to the projects as well).

    • says

      Hi TH,

      I appriciate your input, I went ahead and checked my post again for you. With english being my second language, I am more likely to make mistakes or even overlook some of them.
      I like to believe that you will understand.

  2. DawnV says

    What a great project! I have two small questions. What thickness of foam did you decide on? Where to you find it? I am also curious how you got the cushions to stay on the table. Do they just fit into the grooves where the glass used to be?

    • says

      Hi DawnV,

      The thickness of the foam was 2″ inches (it was the thickest foam I could find at Joann’s). And yes, the cushion fit right into the grooves where the glass used to be. I also made sure to staple further out, so the staples won’t sit in that groove.

      Hope this helps, I also updated the post with another image that shows how I attached the cushions to the table.
      Happy crafting!

  3. Marilee Zafra says

    LOOKS AMAZING! I always see old tables like that around. I’m so excited to make one myself. Is it sturdy enough for someone to sit on as well?

  4. Lucina says

    I love the table and tutorial. What is the paper strip used after the fabric called? Is not in the picture of supplies needed.


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