How to Make a Penny Coffee Table

The coffee table after pennies were added to the top.
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There is nothing I love more than a DIY project! More than half of the furniture and decor in my house is second-hand and refurbished by me and my husband. (You can see my favorite DIY projects here!)

So, I couldn’t pass up this solid wood coffee table when I saw it in a thrift store for $20.

It was in great shape! It showed a few signs of normal wear and tear, but nothing really noticeable. So, for a few years, it sat in our living room in it’s normal wooden state.

However, over time, between toddlers and Army movers it was looking pretty rough.

Before picture of the wooden coffee table.
(It was obvious, that this coffee table had seen better days.)

Our first idea was to paint it. We had recently refurbished an antique medicine cabinet and decided to paint the coffee table to match.

So, we sanded it down and started with a coat of primer before painting everything a dark red, except for the top. We decided to paint the top of the coffee table white with a navy chevron pattern.

After we painted chevron on the coffee table.
(The chevron turned out cute, but it just wasn’t right in our living room.)

This turned out well, but after moving it inside, we decided that it looked a little too bright and whimsical for our taste.

Intrigued by pictures on Pinterest of floors that had been covered with pennies, we thought that we could try it on this coffee table. It had a small lip that ran all the way around the top and we would only be out $20 if it didn’t work out. Plus, we already had a big jug full of pennies, so why not?

Here’s how we did it:

How to Make a Penny Coffee Table

Step 1: Sand & Paint

Our first step to a penny coffee table was to lightly sand the top in order to put a coat of navy paint on the top. We wanted the top to be all one color so that the gaps between the pennies wouldn’t be so noticeable.

Zinsser Rust-OLEUM 249933 1-2-3 Plus Quart, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), White, 11Zinsser Rust-OLEUM 249933 1-2-3 Plus Quart, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), White, 11Zinsser Rust-OLEUM 249933 1-2-3 Plus Quart, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), White, 11Bates- Paint Rollers, 4 inch Paint Roller with 10 Covers, Small Paint Roller, Paint Rollers for Painting Walls, Mini Rollers for Painting, Paint Roller Small, Paint Roller Frame, Wall Painting ToolsBates- Paint Rollers, 4 inch Paint Roller with 10 Covers, Small Paint Roller, Paint Rollers for Painting Walls, Mini Rollers for Painting, Paint Roller Small, Paint Roller Frame, Wall Painting ToolsBates- Paint Rollers, 4 inch Paint Roller with 10 Covers, Small Paint Roller, Paint Rollers for Painting Walls, Mini Rollers for Painting, Paint Roller Small, Paint Roller Frame, Wall Painting ToolsDEWALT Electric Sander, 1/4-Inch Sheet, Orbital (DWE6411)DEWALT Electric Sander, 1/4-Inch Sheet, Orbital (DWE6411)DEWALT Electric Sander, 1/4-Inch Sheet, Orbital (DWE6411)

 

Step 2: Sort the Pennies

Next, we sorted our pennies into 2 piles. Since I wanted to make a monogram out of the pennies, we sorted them into light and dark.

Step 3: Arrange the Pennies

The third step was the most time-consuming. We arranged all of the pennies on top of the table.

First, I used the shiny pennies to make a big H in the middle and a border around the edge of the table. Then I used the dull pennies to fill in the rest.

(Before applying the resin.)

Step 4: Trim the Edge

There were several gaps around the edge of the table where a whole penny wouldn’t fit. So, my husband used tin snips to cut some pennies to fill in these holes.

STANLEY FATMAX Tin Snips , Straight Cut, Aviation Snip, 9-7/8-Inch (14-563)STANLEY FATMAX Tin Snips , Straight Cut, Aviation Snip, 9-7/8-Inch (14-563)STANLEY FATMAX Tin Snips , Straight Cut, Aviation Snip, 9-7/8-Inch (14-563)

 

Step 5: Glue The Pennies Down

After arranging the pennies exactly how we wanted them, we glued them in place with super glue. One by one, we picked up each penny, put glue on it, and put it back in it’s place.

Step 6: Apply Epoxy Resin

The final step to the tedious process of creating a penny coffee table was to apply the epoxy resin.

We used a 32 oz. Epoxy Resin Kit for Super Gloss Coating and Table Tops. After mixing it according to the directions, we poured it directly on top of the pennies, and used a plastic spreader to smooth it over to each edge.

Epoxy Resin 8 oz Kit | 1:1 Crystal Clear Resin and Hardener for Super Gloss Coating | For Bars, Tabletop, Art, Jewelry, Casting Molds | Safe for Use on Wood, Metal, Stone, Plastic, Marine SealerEpoxy Resin 8 oz Kit | 1:1 Crystal Clear Resin and Hardener for Super Gloss Coating | For Bars, Tabletop, Art, Jewelry, Casting Molds | Safe for Use on Wood, Metal, Stone, Plastic, Marine SealerEpoxy Resin 8 oz Kit | 1:1 Crystal Clear Resin and Hardener for Super Gloss Coating | For Bars, Tabletop, Art, Jewelry, Casting Molds | Safe for Use on Wood, Metal, Stone, Plastic, Marine Sealer

 

We locked the table in our spare room for the next 72 hours to harden without little fingers poking it.

And we were done!

Our penny coffee table turned out beautifully!

It is one of our absolute favorite pieces of furniture. Guests always comment on it when they come over. And years later, the penny coffee table is still in great condition!

The coffee table after pennies were added to the top.
(The finished product!)

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This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may make a commission at no extra cost to you. For more info, please see my full ad & affiliate disclosure.

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