Faux Tin Mid-Century Modern Tabletops

My son's girlfriend came across a couple of Mid Century Modern end tables for a price she couldn't pass up. She thought, with a little refresh, they would be perfect with the modern industrial vibe in the living room of their new home.

That's when she called me to refresh them with the same paint color I used to transform a bench for their front entry. Inspiration struck and after a phone call to run my idea by them, I got the okay to transform the Arborite tops into a faux tin.

Mid Century Modern Tables Before and After

Faux Tin Mid-Century Modern Tabletops

This is the matching coffee table...

Mid Century Modern Coffee Table After

This is what the tables looked like before the makeover. I forgot to take a before picture of the coffee table but they were a matching set.

Mid Century Modern Tiered Table Before

They were both in excellent shape and only required a good cleaning and some light sanding to rough up the surface for the paint to have some bite.  As I mentioned above, it's the same paint color, Provence by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, that I used on a 70s Coffee Table Upholstered Bench for their front entry.

Mid Century Modern Tiered End Table After

For the feet and metal rails on the tiered table, I painted them with Modern Masters Semi-Opaque Metallic Platinum Silver, the same paint I used on my Vintage Vanity Makeover.

Mid Century Modern Coffee Table with faux tin top

How To Give Arborite The Look of Tin

Faux Tin Mid Century Modern Tiered Table Top

Mid Century Modern Coffee Table with faux tin top

With this magic in a can!

Seriously! After I roughed the tops very lightly with a sanding block in the direction of the grain, I simply sprayed several thin coats of Rust-oleum Mirror Effect spray paint over the Arborite.

While it doesn't give the mirror effect that it would if sprayed on glass, it does give a faux tin appearance with a slightly reflective finish.  Arborite is the perfect surface to apply this technique because it is nice and smooth.

Faux Tin on MCM Arborite Tiered Table

The results were confirmed when a friend came for dinner and asked how I attached the tin to the tables. Yesssssss!

Faux Tin Mid Century Modern Arborite Coffee Table

Both tables were sprayed with three coats of Exterior Diamond Coat Polyurethane for extra protection.

I had to take a close-up photo of the adorable wooden vintage phone that I picked up from a local online auction site.

Wooden Vintage Phone on MCM Tiered Table

I was pretty happy with the results of this makeover and thankfully so were my son and his girlfriend. The tables look great in their living room!

Faux Tin Mid Century Modern Arborite Tiered Table

Faux Tin Mid Century Modern Arborite Coffee Table

At first glance, would you have thought these were real tin tops?

You'll find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.



  1. Siento desilusionarte pero en las fotos no parece metálico, solo gris. Supongo que "en persona" cambia.
    Las mesas estan estupendas, también he visto los bancos acolchados y me parecieron preciosos.

    1. Yes, unfortunately the photos do not give the metallic paint finish justice, as they are quite lovely in person. I'm glad you like the upholstered MCM bench too. Thank you Glo!


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