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Charlotte and John didn’t believe this plain old $6.99 Goodwill coffee table could be anything more than mediocre. Little did they know that thrift stores, garage sales, and grandma’s basement are chock full of low slung coffee table castoffs that can be inexpensively converted into stylishly modern upholstered benches. And don’t stop there, more traditional tables with ornate turned legs, a jazzy ikat fabric and the right paint can be transformed into a handy mudroom, entryway, or upholstered bedroom bench.


What you need:

Old coffee table with straight sides

Measuring tape

1/2″ plywood (Cut to fit at Lowes)

1/4″ double strength glass (Cut to fit at Ace Hardware)


2″ piece of foam

1 yard of dacron

Elmer’s spray adhesive

1 yard of fabric

Staple gun

spray paint

LocTite Power Grab

3 1 1/2″ wood screws

drill with phillps bit


What you do:

1. Determine the dimensions for the seat and the table. I divided my table into 2/3 of the table top for the bench and 1/3 for the glass top table

2. Have the wood and glass cut to fit those dimensions

3. Attach the pre-cut foam to the wood with the spray adhesive

4. Cut a piece of dacron to fit around the foam and attach to the edges of the wood. Spray adhesive to the top of the foam and place the dacron on top to secure it.

5. Cut fabric so it fits around the dacron covered bench top and add 2-3″ for pulling and stapling

6. Using my basic, four side upholstery technique, upholster the fabric on to the wood and foam insert

7. Use sandpaper to smooth off the edges of the cut glass, being careful. Clean glass and let it dry.

8.. In a well ventilated area, spray one side of the glass with spray paint, let dry, repeat until glass is opaque, one side only. This gives you an underpainted piece of glass that looks like a custom made table surface.

9.. Flip the table upside down with the cushion in place, use drill to screw the cushion in place

10. When the glass is dry, spread the Power Grab glue across the remaining 1/3 of the table top, place glass PAINTED SIDE DOWN on the wood and press firmly in place. Let dry overnight.


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Any low coffee table with straight edges will work. Give it your own style and spin with jazzy fabric and any color of painted glass to make it sing!

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