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DIY Coffee Table Makeover With A Cool Mosaic Wood Pattern: Steps and Photos

See how I turned an OUTDATED two tier end table into a STYLISH mosaic coffee table in this before & after DIY Coffee Table Makeover tutorial.

Beautiful DIY Coffee Table Makeover

Whether your looking for mosaic coffee table DIY ideas or ideas to cover a damaged table top, this tutorial is for you. I LOVE how great this DIY coffee table makeover turned out.

You won’t believe what it looked like when I found it. I doubt the last owner would even recognize it.

The truth is this coffee table started out as one of those huge two tier end tables that was so popular in the 80’s and 90’s. But a table that size (32″x32″) just doesn’t fit into most living rooms as an end table.

Before the wood mosaic DIY Table Top makeover
This DIY coffee table makeover before and after is one of my all time favorites!

I wasn’t sure I even wanted it at first, but the legs are absolutely beautiful and the price was great. So, I bought it off Facebook Marketplace. I just had to figure out what to do about that second tier.

My first thought was to upholster it and turn it into an oversized ottoman, kind of like this DIY Upholstered Ottoman. Then I realized this table top would be perfect for a mosaic design.

Image of a diy coffee table makeover with text that says "DIY Mosaic Coffee Table Top Makeover ideas.

Check out these posts for more DIY mosaic wood project ideas:

OK, let’s get to that DIY mosaic coffee table makeover.

Mosaic Coffee Table DIY Steps

Step 1: Optional

This first step only applies to anyone doing a two tier end table makeover. I started by removing the second tier as carefully as possible. I was able to carefully use a hammer to pop the second tier off.

Then I just wiggled the supports back and forth to loosen the glue holding them in place. Then I pulled them out of the holes they were glued into.

This left me with a slightly damaged table top because of the holes. BUT, I was covering the whole top with wood, so that didn’t matter.

Prepping the table for the wood mosaic DIY Table Top makeover
I applied Kilz primer to the entire coffee table, but I should have stripped the coffee table top to be sure the glue had a strong enough bond to the coffee table.

Step 2: Sand Or Strip The Coffee Table Top

2023 UPDATE: So, I attached my wood pieces to the coffee table top after I lightly sanded and primed the entire coffee with KILZ 2 Primer. But, after years of working with projects like this, I would do this differently today. I’m going to tell you the correct way to do it instead of what I did do.

To really make sure your wood glue gets a strong bond to the coffee table top, you should strip off the old stain or paint finish or sand it completely off.

Sanding Blocks are great for lightly distressing furniture. I used one on this wood mosaic DIY Table Top Makeover.
Using the sanding block to distress the edges

You can see steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture With Citristrip in a previous post.

After stripping the top, I recommend painting or staining everything except the coffee table top to get it looking great before attaching the mosaic pieces.

Check out 25 Beautiful And Easy Furniture Painting Tutorials For Beginners if you need painting ideas. Or, check out How To Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping if you want an easy way to get a stained look.

Image of a white painted coffee table with distressed edges.
I used 2 coats of white chalk paint on the table, let it dry, then lightly sanded the edges to reveal the stain under it. Then I applied a water-based Polycrylic.

Step 3: Cut Your Pieces To Size

I started by drawing an X all the way across the table, from one corner to the other. This pencil mark would work as a guide for my measurements.

Use a Pencil to draw the wood mosaic pattern on the wood. It makes this wood mosaic DIY Table Top makeover easier.
The ‘X’ mark across the coffee table works as a guide for my cuts.

My coffee table top is square, that makes all of my Miter Saw cuts set to 45 degrees. I used 1×3 common board for this DIY Coffee Table Makeover.

I decided to cut and install the pieces from the outside in to make it as easy as possible. So, I measured the outside length of each side to make my first row of cuts.

Once, the 4 outside pieces of the square were cut, I measured the inside edge of one of those pieces to cut the next 4 pieces. Then I repeated that for each row until I needed to cut my 4 center pieces.

Image shows a mosaic coffee table diy for a post with an idea to cover a damaged table top.
Top view of the new mosaic coffee table DIY top.

You’ll still cut the center row on your Miter Saw, but depending on your square size, your pieces might be smaller than mine.

Check out 4 Easy Ways To Safely Cut Small Wood Pieces On A Miter Saw, if you need tips for safely making those cuts.

Image of a coffee table makeover before and after project, this is the after.
I am LOVING this finished table. This late-80’s two tier end table makeover is SO GOOD.

Step 4: Sand And Stain The Pieces

Once you have all of your pieces cut, it’s time to sand them. I sanded the tops and sides of all of the pieces with 150 grit sandpaper. Then I removed all of the dust with a tack cloth.

Before staining, I always use wood conditioner. It helps the wood absorb the stain evenly. If you ever have blotchy stain, you probably needed wood conditioner.

Then I stained the top and sides of the mosaic wood pieces. Follow the directions on your wood conditioner and stain to get the best result. After staining I used 3 coats of water-based Polycrylic.

Image of a Mosaic DIY Coffee Table Top Makeover.
UPDATE 2020: I gave this DIY Coffee Table Makeover another new look with this Blue and Copper Chalk Paint DIY Furniture Makeover.

What do you think about this DIY Table Top Makeover? I love how this turned out. 🙂

Image of a diy coffee table makeover with text that says "DIY Mosaic Coffee Table Top Makeover ideas.
Don’t forget to Save or Share this DIY Mosaic Table Top Makeover.

More Furniture Makeovers You Might Like

See how I cut this old dresser in half to create a bathroom vanity and cute toy storage.

DIY furniture remodel - cutting dresser in half to make vanity and toy storage

Check out this popular Easy DIY Laundry Table Over Washer and Dryer Build Plan.

Image of a DIY Laundry Folding Table over a washer and dryer. with text that says "Easy Build Plan".

Feeling inspired? Now you know how to do this wood mosaic DIY Table Top Makeover.  Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!


Monday 4th of December 2017

Love the me wanting to do a makeover. What type of paint did you use from Behr?


Monday 4th of December 2017

Thanks! I used Behr Ultra Latex - Polished Pearl color - in the Eggshell finish. Just be sure to apply light layers and let dry completely with latex. Or you can mix into Chalk Paint which dries way faster and smoother. I have a recipe here:

Kathleen Rupp

Tuesday 18th of July 2017

This is a great project!! I love this idea. Very creative and gorgeous! Definitely pinning that!


Tuesday 18th of July 2017

Thanks so much, Kathleen!

Kathy A

Saturday 17th of June 2017

Great makeover. Your leftover top piece looks like a wall mount corner shelf with a little trimming or a bottom shelf added inr; maybe done in a bright primary color for kid's room or cream and pink for a frou-frou look. In a kitchen, it would be great for cookbooks, small cannisters, and decor.


Saturday 17th of June 2017

Those are great ideas!. You are right. I could make something really cute for the kids with that. I'll have to get planning! Thanks.


Wednesday 8th of March 2017

Love how it turned out! Great job :)


Wednesday 8th of March 2017

Thanks, Brenda!


Friday 3rd of March 2017

So cool! Nice work, it looks great and is so clever.


Friday 3rd of March 2017

Thanks, Sheri!

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