Chunky 70s Coffee Table Repurposed Into An Upholstered Bench

Remember the chunky coffee tables that were all the rage in the 70s and 80s? Who knew they'd be popular again, but with a twist. Painted in bold colors those chunky details that we once considered tacky are now gorgeous. But, I'm going to take it one step further and show you how to turn those chunky tables into a stunning repurposed coffee table upholstered bench.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

Repurposed Coffee Table Upholstered Bench

I see these tables often at thrift stores, online auctions, buy and sell sites, and garage sales. I had a similar coffee table back in the day with matching hexagon end tables. With a little elbow grease, they make a fabulous budget-friendly entry bench, end of bed bench, or upholstered ottoman.



So this is what the groovy vintage coffee table looked like before the makeover. You can see it had seen its better days but the bones were perfect to support the weight of a bench. The storage potential underneath is perfect for things like dog leashes, scarves, gloves, and hats.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

When my son and daughter-in-law purchased their first home they were looking for an affordable front entry bench. While wanting the bench to be functional with handy storage underneath they also wanted it to be stylish.



With placement being adjacent to the sidelight windows on their front door, the bench would be visible from outside. So when we found this beat-up 70s coffee table at an online auction, I knew it had the potential of being a gorgeous upholstered entry bench for their home.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

I found the pretty fabric at Fabricland, a Canadian retailer, and it's a perfect match to the paint color they chose. Plus, it's an outdoor fabric making it fade-resistant (right by a window) and durable for a well-used bench.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

The corners on the top of the coffee table add such a unique detail for an upholstered bench too.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

The inside of the storage cubby is also painted the same color.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

The bright and cheery color makes it a statement piece and they receive compliments from guests and passersby often.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make the coffee table an upholstered bench, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



How To Turn A Coffee Table Into An Upholstered Bench

Time to stop rambling and show you the details for this table transformation.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

Raise The Height

To raise the height of the coffee table so it's comfortable as a bench attach short wooden feet to the bottom. They also prevent the base from getting banged up from shoes and the vacuum.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

Prep Coffee Table For Paint

This is the most important step. Some chalky paints suggest you can paint right over the original finish. If you want a lasting finish that can withstand daily use, I strongly urge you to err on the side of caution and do some prep first.



You can do this one of two ways. Either rough up the shiny finish with 150 grit sandpaper to give the paint some bite OR prime the table first with a stain-blocking primer. I chose to lightly sand the table first.



Paint It Bold

I painted the entire table, except for the top, with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Duck Egg Blue. Not quite the color my son and daughter-in-law had in mind, they chose the color Provence instead, which is more of a teal.



You can see the difference in the colors below. The door on the left is Duck Egg Blue. The bench comes off as more of a turquoise blue in the photos but in reality, it has more green undertones. 



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

The nice thing about this paint is that it dries fast so the second coat can be applied within an hour.  After letting the last coat of paint dry overnight, it was protected with two coats of diamond polyurethane for durability.



Paint The Original Hardware

I gave the original pulls a hot vinegar bath with some scrubbing to remove the years of dirt and grime. I found this video on how to clean old hardware that you might find helpful.



Once they were completely dry I spray painted them with two coats of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint and lightly distressed the edges with 220 grit sandpaper.



How to repurpose a chunky 70s coffee table into a gorgeous bold upholstered bench with handy storage for a entry bench, end of bed bench, or ottoman.

How To Upholster A Coffee Table Bench

Now we're ready to modify the coffee table to accommodate an upholstered seat.



Modify The Coffee Table For An Upholstered Seat

  1. Flip the coffee table upside down onto a piece of 1/2-inch plywood.
  2. Trace the profile of the top of the coffee table with a pencil.
  3. Use a jigsaw to cut the new top for the upholstery.
  4. Set the cut plywood on top of a piece of 2-inch high-density foam and trace the outline with a marker.
  5. Cut the foam with a serrated bread knife or electric knife.
  6. Attach the foam to the plywood with upholstery spray adhesive.
  7. Let the glue dry for a few minutes before moving onto the next step.


Upholstering The Seat

  1. Lay the fabric, good side down, on a clean work surface.
  2. Lay the new batting over top of the fabric.
  3. Flip the plywood upside down (foam side on the fabric) and line up the pattern on the fabric so it's nice and straight.
  4. Wrap the fabric and batting over to the underside of the plywood.
  5. Tack a staple in the middle of one of the long sides.
  6. Pull the fabric taut but not too tight that it distorts the pattern, and tack a staple into the center of the other side to hold the fabric.
  7. Working from the center, staple the fabric and stop about 2-3 inches from each corner.
  8. Repeat on all four sides.
  9. Fold the point of the fabric on each corner over and staple.
  10. Fold the fabric on each side of the point and staple it in place.
  11. Trim the excess fabric and batting.


How To Attach Upholstered Seat To Coffee Table

Now we're ready to attach the newly upholstered seat to the painted coffee table.

  1. With the seat fabric facing down on the worktable, flip the painted coffee table upside down.
  2. Line up the coffee tabletop with the upholstered seat plywood.
  3. From the underside of the coffee table attach the seat to the plywood with wood screws.
  4. Make sure the screws are not too long that they go through the thickness of the plywood.


That's it, we're done!



There may seem like a lot of steps for this furniture makeover but because of the quick-drying chalk paint, you could have the upholstered bench finished in a day.



This isn't my first attempt at a repurposed coffee table bench. I also turned this Claw Foot Coffee Table into an upholstered bench for a music room.



After my son and daughter-in-law saw their new bench, they asked me to give their retro coffee table and end tables a makeover in the same teal color. But I did something unique on the tops of these Mid-Century Modern Arborite Tables.



Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by this repurposed coffee table bench idea. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If you enjoyed this coffee table makeover, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Repurposed Furniture or Bench Ideas board on Pinterest.




Vintage Coffee Table Upholstered How to turn a chunky 70s coffee table into a beautiful teal blue upholstered bench with handy storage, perfect for an entry bench, ottoman, or end of a bed. An easy budget-friendly DIY furniture project by Interior Frugalista #upholsteredcoffeetable #coffeetablebench #furnitureprojects #furnituremakeover #vintagecoffeetable


Repurposed Chunky 70s Coffee Table How to turn a chunky 70s coffee table into a beautiful teal blue upholstered bench with handy storage, perfect for an entry bench, ottoman, or end of a bed. An easy budget-friendly DIY furniture project by Interior Frugalista #upholsteredcoffeetable #coffeetablebench #furnitureprojects #furnituremakeover #vintagecoffeetable


I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



Share

Comments

  1. I love this coffee table turned into a bench. I want to do the same thing . I found a heavy duty table on FB Marketplace. Can you give me the steps you went thru to do this project? Thanks a million.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daria, thank you for your visit and comment! It served as a reminder that I needed to update the instructional steps. I hope you find the revised tutorial helpful 🙂

      Delete
  2. Your coffee table bench looks amazing! I love the colour choice, very creative. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Emily! My son and DIL get a lot of compliments which makes this Mama very happy 😉 Hope you have a great weekend too!

      Delete
  3. I love this! I have an old coffee table that would be a perfect bench. Where do you get the foam in big enough pieces?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How exciting that you have an old coffee table to repurpose into a bench. I found the foam at a local fabric store (Fabricland here in Canada) where they sell it by the bolt. You may be able to find it at a foam supplier. Have fun with your coffee table transformation, Robin!

      Delete
  4. What a great upcycle! I love the color and you did a fabulous job on the upholstered pillow. What a winner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Barb! It was a fun project to work on and I'm so happy my son and DIL love their bench.

      Delete
  5. It's hard to believe those tables were once considered fashionable. But it looks so great now. The paint really covers up the ugly and the fabric you chose matches perfectly. Great job!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Cynthia! Back in the day I had a coffee table very similar to this one with matching end tables and I thought they were so fancy schmancy. LOL I love how they've come back in style painted bright colors.

      Delete
  6. I love this and the color. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca, for the visit and your sweet comment 😊

      Delete
  7. This little bench has been catching my eye at every party this week! That blue and white together are so perfect for a beautiful, bright piece. Excellent find. Wish I had space for something like this in my home.

    Alexandra
    EyeLoveKnots.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. So glad to hear my little coffee table bench has been catching your eye at the parties this week, Alexandra. LOL I wish I had space for one like it in my home too! It looks great in my son and DIL's front entry which pleases this Mama.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

    ReplyDelete
  10. Marie,
    I love how you updated that coffee table. Wo, it looks amazing. Congratulations, You are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you hope by.
    https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2020/06/thursday-favorite-things_11.html
    Hugs,
    Bev

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Bev, both for your kind comments and for the feature. I was thrilled when I visited the party yesterday and saw it as your feature. xo

      Delete
  11. This looks amazing I am absolutely in love. I have an old table that was my grandmothers that looks almost exactly like the before picture that I want to repurpose into a bench.

    I wanted to clarify - when you’re attaching the foam is it stuck to the ply wood and then tou screw the ply wood into the table from the bottom? I was a bit confused with that part!

    Otherwise it’s amazing quality I love it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like the coffee table upcycle, Seserie! Yes, the foam is attached to the plywood with spray adhesive. We flipped the coffee table upside down and attached the plywood to the coffee table with wood screws from the bottom side. I hope this helps!

      Delete
  12. Another beautiful piece by the furniture whisper! Love the color and the material you picked. Beautiful. Have a great Sunday. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kris, I have my son and DIL to thank for the color choice and fabric. The bench looks gorgeous in their front entry. I hope your Sunday has been a nice one!

      Delete
  13. Not only that you made it into a great looking bench but also gives extra seating when having a large gathering over.
    Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point Colleen, never thought about that purpose too! I'm glad you like the makeover and thanks for stopping by. 😀

      Delete
  14. Beautifully done, Marie. Nice tip about raising the bottom with the added feet. You are always thinking ahead. ~~ Susie from Chelsea Project

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susie, adding the feet was more about function to raise the table to bench height and the bonus is that they prevent it from being scuffed.

      Delete

Post a Comment

I always enjoy hearing from you so please don't be shy! I read and reply to every single comment.