DIY // How to Upholster a Coffee Table


This post will be a DIY all about “How to Upholster a Coffee Table“. With step by step instructions and images.

The hardest part about this DIY, was to stay out of 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 was sold only a few weeks later.

Photo Jun 30, 12 17 52 PM

The table I started with!

How to upholster this coffee table


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 a 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 for 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 upholster the coffee table 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)

How to upholster a coffee table – step by step


Photo Jul 12, 9 25 35 PM
To secure the cushions to the table I used an L-shaped hinge.

Photo Jun 30, 12 22 38 PM

How to immediately start to upholster a coffee table?

  1. Find some inspiration for coffee table 
  2. Gather all supplies 
  3. Make time to set up your project 

I love me a good makeover project. It sparks my creativity and allows me to relax while working on the project. But the best part is that I feel satisfied once the project is complete.


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  1. 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).

    1. 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. 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?

    1. 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. 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?

      1. Thank you, I’m been wanting to do a project like this but didn’t know how sturdy they were to sit on. I’m excited. Thanks again

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

  5. Really great tutorial just wanted to let everyone know there is one mistake in the dimensions of the aprons. The tutorial calls for 3″ overhang on all sides but tells you the short side of the apron should measure 28″. This would give you a 4″ lip on the long side of the table. Which is fine just thought it should be corrected. Other than that my table turned out great. Thanks

  6. Hello,
    I hope you are well. I’ve got my fingers crossed that at least one of you reads this as I’m aware that it’s quite an old post now.
    There is method in my madness though, so to speak;
    a) Bettina, can I just second Th’s comments? Fancy making a spelling mistake in your post. Next time you give up your precious time with us to share your beautiful work, perhaps it may be best if you aren’t so considerate to us and use your native language instead of English speakers. It would be much preferable to us, or to Th at least, to have to guess how you made this or to spend time getting it translated.
    b) In future do you think you could have some respect for the reputation of the website? I’ve never been on this site before and was really enjoying it until I got to here. Do you really think we want to read posts by people who are not only impressively talented, kindhearted and selfless enough to share their work with us but also speak more than one language? Do you think that this would lend to a positive experience? We want to read posts and comments from people who bring others down, point out any mistakes that’ve been made, people who try to make themselves look good by putting someone else down. That happy feeling I get seeing another human being try to claw some sort of ego boost at the expense someone else is so satisfying , even better when the person was being so selfish they were trying to help you!!! How dare they???
    Th, I’ve just been on various sites, about to switch the computer off as l was justgetting increasingly disillusioned at the amount of posts which ended with a load of comments just basically being nasty and trying to show each other up. I came here and was relieved to be amongst grown ups not hiding behind their screen. Until you. Ugh. Did you not reply to Bettina because you didn’t see her response? Or was it lack of respect? Did you feel as silly as you made yourself look? If you’d replied acknowledging your faux pas you could have saved a bit of face, not lost ALL your dignity but …instead you bought the tone of the amountwebsite down.

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