Hi, my name is Amber, and I'm a Craigslist junkie. I spend many nights sifting through pages and pages of ugly fake chipboard veneered furniture. But every so often I find a gem that I love to snatch up. Back in 2006 I found the Pottery Barn Apothecary Coffee Table on Craigslist for $50. I don't know what they'd done to it, but the paint was peeling off 75% of the surface area. It looked ready for the junk yard. But I knew I could restore it!
I'd loved that coffee table since it was featured in the Friends episode in 2000.
First things first, I applied chemical paint stripper to the coffee table in a thick coat with a paint brush. I wore heavy-duty rubber gloves. I let it sit for ~10 minutes until all the paint was raising up and bubbling. I used a plastic scraper to peel the melting paint off. It only took me about an hour or so to do a thorough job of it. I was in the garage with the door open. Make sure if you're doing something like this you have a well ventilated space because those chemicals are toxic!
Once the paint was removed I sanded it down so it was plain wood. I also cleaned up all the hardware using a wire brush attachment. I gave it a day to dry and then I set to priming and painting! I picked black paint and crystal knobs off of Amazon.
And here's my... $65 coffee table (after cost of materials). This coffee table was like $800 new (if anyone knows the cost of what the Apothecary Coffee Table went for please post in the comments- that's my best guess). :This table still goes for ~$500 on Craigslist today if you can find it.
The paint job has held, here it is 10 years later in my living room just a few months ago. I got a new coffee table off Craigslist just last month so it's been moved upstairs in the movie room. I will never get rid of this beauty, even if Pheobe walks in and is horrified!