Fireplace mantle, before and after
Erica Sooter portrait

Entryway Table

From Safari to Scandinavian – The Tale of a Table Transformation

Erica Sooter

Dwell Beautiful

Did you know that you can change the whole style of a piece of furniture simply by switching up the paint color? Give an old world Safari table a new life as a Scandinavian beauty by switching up the paint and adding some new hardware! Make pieces you already have fit your décor style with help from Behr!

Behr Color Palette

This color is Graphic Charcoal

Graphic Charcoal


Whether you are just graduating into 'adulthood' after college or you just love to save money, I bet you have at least one piece of hand-me-down or Craigslist furniture gracing your home or apartment. These pieces are great when you're starting out with nothing, and maybe you even loved them at first. But tastes change, and so your furniture should be able to as well!

This was the case with our entryway table. We had gotten it as a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law and it was great for our first apartment! We used it as a TV console in our master bedroom and it was a pretty little functional piece.

Entryway table before being refinished
Sanding the table top with a sanding block
Priming the table with KILZ ORIGINAL primer
Gallon cans of BEHR PREMIUM PLUS paint and KILZ ORIGINAL primer

Ever since moving into our house and starting my blog, Dwell Beautiful, I've honed my stylistic and design tastes. Once I realized what my true décor style truly was, I also realized that the sweet little international Safari style table just wasn't fitting into my design ideals. Where this World Market table was rough and cherry wood red with a hand scraped top and knob, my style was leaning more towards the clean modern Scandinavian look. Instead of buying a new table I decided to revamp the one I already had! Transforming this table into a whole other style type isn't as hard as you think! With a little bit of elbow grease and paint, I was easily able to give this table a whole new look!

Painting anything that isn't raw wood takes a little more effort than painting a wall, but it's still a totally doable project for even novices! There are just a few extra steps to take. Most finished furniture pieces have a gloss or stain or paint already on them, so you'll have to sand that off to make sure your new paint will stick! I just took a 120 grit sanding block and lightly rubbed it over the surface to get the glossy sealer off. No need to sand down to the original wood - just rough it up! Once you’ve sanded your furniture, you'll very likely need to prime your surface, just to ensure the paint sticks properly. I used KILZ® ORIGINAL primer and did an allover coat and let it dry overnight.

Certain colors evoke certain places or décor types so it's necessary to pick a hue that will embody the look you are going for! Since I wanted my table to have a Scandinavian vibe, I wanted to pick a sharp clean, gray, white, or black.

I could've stopped there, but I decided to add a little something extra!

Different décor styles usually have varying hallmarks that distinguish them from other design types. For shabby chic that might be chippy weathered paint, and for nautical it might be gold navy and white stripes. For the Scandinavian look, some things that come up a lot are pops of gold and 'dip-dyed' legs. So, I taped off the bottom of my entryway table's legs and then spray painted the bottom with bright gold spray paint.

Visualize It

Finished table in the entryway

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The Big Reveal

Three-quarter view of finished table
Front view of finished table
Detail of the drawer pull

What a fun accent that mixes up this piece! For the final touch, I switched out the tribal-feeling hand-hewn knob for a fun gold and white clock-faced one. Definitely says Scandinavian flair to me! Mine already came with the nut and washer on the back – all I had to do was slip the knob through the pre-existing hole, and then hand-tighten the washer and nut et voila!

After letting everything dry, I'm SO pleased with how my entryway table turned out! Instead of an out of place cherry red Safari table, I now have a sleek and sophisticated Scandinavian dream that I've always wanted. And for so much cheaper than buying a whole new table!

It's the perfect finishing touch to my entryway and I love the modern gray and poppy gold accents. It definitely brings a smile to my face when I walk in the door! And it's such a great feeling of accomplishment to know that I did it all myself!

Erica Sooter portrait

Erica Sooter

Erica Sooter is the designer and blogger behind Dwell Beautiful. She and her husband are new homeowners living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Erica loves to showcase updates they do to their home, current design trends, DIY & craft tutorials and home owner advice. In her spare time, she loves exploring the outdoors, reading, and going to barre class!