Turn An Unused Coffee Table Into A Cozy Bench With This Clever DIY

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If you have an old coffee table that's not getting any use or is in storage, this project can transform it into a beautiful DIY decorative bench. With some upholstery foam ($39 on Amazon), quilt batting ($4 per yard at Joann Fabrics), fabric, furniture tacks ($9 on Amazon), adhesive spray, paint, sandpaper, and a staple gun, you can upcycle your drab, unused coffee table. This bench could be placed on a covered porch for decorative outdoor furniture, beneath a window in your living room or bedroom, or even as extra seating for your dining room table.

With this hack, you can attach the cushion seat directly to the top of your coffee table, or you can cut a piece of plywood the same size as the top of the coffee table. Your cushioning can then be made on the board before being attached to the table itself. This method is a great option if the top of the table has any substantial damage, openings for glass panes, or if you don't want your fabric to cover the edges of your bench.

Prepping your coffee table bench

To start this project, you'll want to rub 150 grit sandpaper over your table, including the legs, which will help your paint adhere to the surface. Once the table has a semi-coarse texture, you can skip the primer and go straight to painting it whatever color you'd like. For a classic aesthetic, you could paint your future bench white or light brown, or you could try vibrant colors for a different look. Whatever color paint you choose, make sure that it matches the fabric you plan to use for your cushion.

If you plan to attach your cushion directly to the top of your coffee table, you likely won't need to paint this portion, including the edges, as the fabric will wrap around and cover it. For the plywood method, you should only have to paint the edges and a little of the tabletop. After two coats of paint, your coffee table should be ready to be transformed into a gorgeous and versatile bench. If you prefer a more distressed paint look, try using your sandpaper again after your second coat of paint has dried. Rub it in small areas, like on any embellishments, to create a slightly weathered appearance.

Making your DIY cushioned bench

Once your paint is dry, you're ready to make the seat of your bench. If you're using the tabletop as the seat itself, start by rolling out your upholstery foam. Now, turn your table upside down on top of the foam and cut it, leaving 1 inch of extra foam on all sides. Flip the table over again, apply an adhesive spray to the tabletop, and put your foam in place. Drape your quilt batting over the foam and the table, letting the excess hang over the sides. Now, you're ready for your upholstery fabric, or you could also use an old curtain, tablecloth, or even a blanket. Lay your fabric over your project to check how it looks and begin stapling. Fasten your batting and fabric under the edges of the coffee table, stapling at the corners first to avoid bunches and placing the rest of the staples approximately 6 inches apart. When you're done, trim off any extra fabric.

For those making their seat on a piece of plywood, follow the same steps by attaching your cushion materials to the board. The seat can then be secured to the table by inserting wood screws into the bottom of the table and partially through the plywood. For a more decorative look that resembles tufted furniture, hammer furniture tacks into several spots on your seat until they're securely in the wood. This will make your DIY coffee table bench look even more sophisticated.