What are Some Tips for Painting Wooden Table Tops?

Sheri Cyprus

Painting wooden table tops can be a fun way to give new life to an old table. You can use dining, coffee, and side tables to go in any room. If you don't feel comfortable painting freehand on the table top, you can use stencils or just daub on polka dots.

Supplies for painting.
Supplies for painting.

One type of painted table idea that is great for a family room or game room is a table with a painted checker/chess board on the top. This would be especially ideal on a table that has a drawer to hold the checker and chess pieces. When painting wooden table tops, use two coats of paint for the main color and craft paints for the designs. Finish with a coat or two of polyurethane or other acrylic coating.

Paint and a paint brush.
Paint and a paint brush.

Painting wooden table tops doesn't just have to be done when you want a whimsical or fun look for a family room or children's room. You can use painting techniques such as marbling and other finishes you can learn from craft books to create elegant looking tables. Use a scrap piece of wood or cardboard to practice on before painting wooden table tops in elegant designs.

A sponge-painted background may be a good idea for beginners since this is an easy technique that will cover up inconsistencies and there is no need to worry about brushstrokes showing. Stenciled designs can then be placed on top of the sponge-painted table top if desired. A sponge-painted table top done in different shades of the same color and look especially appealing.

Painting wooden table tops to use in a cottage or in an outdoor setting is a great idea when you'd rather have a fun colorful look than just plain old tables. Painting flea market tables can really help them fit into your space. One fun way to decorate a wooden table top is to give it two coats of a base color and let dry. Then place large leaves on the table top in an interesting pattern and trace around them. Paint the leaf motifs and finish with an acrylic coating.

Beginners may use sponge painting to hide inconsistencies in their work.
Beginners may use sponge painting to hide inconsistencies in their work.

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Discussion Comments


How long should I let two coats of paint dry on wood chairs and table before applying polyurethane?

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