Antique furniture never goes out of style. With its timeworn charm and unique patina, there’s just something special about a true antique piece. But finding genuine antique furniture can be difficult and expensive. That’s where antique finish coffee tables come in.
Antique finish coffee tables offer much of the beauty and character of actual antiques, without the prohibitive price tag or hunt. With some clever faux finishing techniques, these reproduction tables mimic the aged look of true vintage pieces. But they provide all the durability and practicality of new furniture.
If you love the look of antique furniture but want something more accessible, an antique finish coffee table could be the perfect choice. Keep reading to learn all about antique finish coffee tables – what they are, their benefits, how to choose the right one, and our top picks.
What Exactly is an “Antique Finish”?
When a coffee table or other furniture piece is described as having an “antique finish”, it simply means the wood has been distressed and treated to simulate the look of a true antique. Makers use a variety of faux finishing techniques to give the wood an old, timeworn appearance. This creates a vintage aesthetic without having to use wood that’s decades or centuries old.
Some common faux finishing techniques for antique finishes include:
- Glazing – Using a colored glaze over the wood and then wiping some of it off to create an irregular, aged effect. The glaze settles into corners and crevices, making them darker for a worn appearance.
- Rubbing and burnishing – Rubbing certain areas of the wood to polish them smooth and mimic wear patterns that would naturally occur over many years of use.
- Distressing – Physically scratching, denting, or chiseling the wood in places to simulate nicks, cracks, and other damage from age and use over time.
- Spattering – Flicking paint droplets onto the surface to imitate paint splatters and faded spots that old painted finishes often display.
- Waxing and staining – Layering colored stains and waxes to create a rich, nuanced patina. Natural stains often get deeper and more varied with age.
So while an “antique finish” coffee table may look convincingly old and worn, it was artificially fabricated to have that appearance with faux finishing tricks. The wood itself is not actually aged and deteriorated. This provides the beauty of an antique with less maintenance.
Why Choose an Antique Finish Coffee Table?
Antique finish coffee tables have many benefits that make them a popular furniture choice:
- Vintage styling – The distressed antique finish lends visual interest, charm, and a sense of history. It feels genteel and elegant.
- Compatibility with many decor styles – The versatile aged look pairs well with traditional, industrial, farmhouse, or eclectic rooms.
- Affordability – Antique replicas cost a fraction of what actual antique furniture does. You can get the aged charm for less.
- Easy to match – It’s simpler to find a faux antique table in a specific finish and style to match your vision versus hunting down a true antique in just the style you want.
- Durable and low maintenance – Antique finish tables are made from new, quality wood so they don’t require the delicate care of true antiques. The finish is protected and retains its patina for years.
- Approachable sophistication – Antique finish furniture feels upscale but not stuffy or untouchable. It’s vintage appeal made accessible.
For all these reasons, choosing an antique finish coffee table is a savvy way to bring elegance and vintage character into your space in a more attainable way.
What to Consider When Choosing an Antique Finish Coffee Table
Not all antique finish coffee tables are equal when it comes to quality and style. Here are some key factors to look for when shopping for the right antique finish coffee table:
Focus on solid wood over veneers. Solid wood stands up better to dings and wear and can be refinished. Quality joinery is also important – look for strong corner blocking and joints like dovetails. Heavier, sturdier tables suggest higher quality materials and construction.
Study the finish to see that it mimics aged wood convincingly. The rub-through, glazing, distressing, and staining should create variations in tone across the whole piece. Finishes shouldn’t be paint-like or look fake.
Consider whether you want a traditional or contemporary antique style table. Ornate carved tables suit formal spaces while clean-lined, unadorned pieces work well in modern rooms.
Size and Dimensions
Measure the space where you’ll use the table to ensure it allows for adequate seating clearance around it. Scale and proportions matter too – an oversized table can overwhelm.
If you’ll use tabletop space for dining or entertaining, look for tables with drawers, shelves, or lift-tops to add storage and functionality.
Closely inspect tables for damage like splits in wood, warped surfaces, or unstable bases. Reproduction antique tables should look convincingly aged but not appear worn out or poorly made.
Hardware should be substantial and match the style. Ornate brass or bronze drawer pulls suit many traditional tables. Iron hardware looks fitting on industrial antique finish pieces.
A glass top adds elegance but requires more care. Ensure it’s made from sturdy, thick glass if choosing this option.
Top 5 Antique Finish Coffee Tables We Love
Let’s look at some specific antique finish coffee table models that caught our eye and could work beautifully in a range of home decors.
1. Magnolia Home Bixby Coffee Table
With its simple design yet rustic weathered finish, this table by Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Home brand has casual farmhouse appeal. The rectangular metal frame base has an antique bronze patina while the solid mango wood tabletop features a rubbed antique stain.
- 52″W x 32″D x 18.5″H
- Mango wood top with rubbed antique stain
- Tubular metal frame with antique bronze finish
- Lower shelf for storage and display
Pros: Great size for many spaces. Warm finish pairs nicely with various color schemes. Shelf provides storage without compromising leg room.
Cons: Bronze frame contrasts some decors. Glass top requires careful use.
This handsome yet relaxed table would suit many casual spaces from living rooms to covered patios. Its woodsy finish plays well with natural textures like rattan and wool.
2. Copeland Furniture Catalina Rectangle Extension Coffee Table
For a touch of traditional refinement, this solid mahogany lift-top coffee table impresses with fine woodworking and gorgeous finish. Sophisticated cabriole legs, carved apron rails, and a rich mahogany stain give Copeland’s Catalina table an air of antique luxury.
- 48″W x 26″D x 19″H
- Solid mahogany with multiple step hand-rubbed finish
- Lift top with storage compartment inside
- One drawer and lower display shelf
- Carved cabriole legs
Pros: Striking antique-inspired design. Hidden storage space is ideal for remotes, books, and more.
Cons: Ornate styling not suited to minimalist decors. Lift-top requires gentle, careful use.
With its warmth and graceful shaping, this coffee table would beautifully anchor a traditional living room or study. Place beside a leather chesterfield sofa or wingback chair.
3. Soulvine Vintage Style Lift Top Coffee Table
Rustic and surprisingly spacious, this handsome lift-top coffee table conceals extra storage space. With its reclaimed wood surface and black iron base, it has an appealing industrial edge.
- 48″W x 24″D x 18″H
- Reclaimed pine wood top with vintage gray finish
- Black metal lift-top mechanism and shelf
- Lower metal shelf for display
Pros: Lots of hidden storage area inside. Industrial materials suit urban loft spaces. Made in the USA.
Cons: Reclaimed wood has natural splits and knots. Black base shows dust easily.
Perfect for social spaces in need of storage, this table adds weathered warehouse chic. Pair with repurposed decor, rich textiles, and black framed art.
4. Mantra Indow Table
Beautifully balancing sleek lines and vintage styling, this spindle-legged coffee table has an airy, contemporary farmhouse look. Its metal base is finished to resemble antiqued brass, complementing the soft gray washed top.
- 48″W x 26″D x 18″H
- Wide plank engineered wood with gray wash
- Tapered metal legs with brass antique finish
- Lower shelf for storage and display
Pros: Slim tapered legs maximize leg room. Gray wash finish fits with both warm and cool palettes. Made in Indonesia; ships assembled.
Cons: Spindle legs prone to wobbling if bumped. No drawers for hidden storage.
With its light and airy presence, this table would suit a casual coastal cottage or contemporary farmhouse space. Try pairing with woven textures, painted wood, and rattan accents.
5. Nathan James Trenton Lift-Top Coffee Table
Clean and uncomplicated, this straightforward Shaker style table gets warmth from its antique oak finish. Splayed tapered legs connect with an apron inset with antique brass nails around the edge.
- 42″W x 22″D x 16.5″H
- Asian hardwood with hand-applied oak finish
- Lift-top with interior storage space
- Splayed legs with brass nailhead trim
Pros: Simple design suits many casual spaces. Lift-top adds hidden storage. Affordably priced.
Cons: Asian hardwood not as premium as solid American oak. Basic style lacks ornamentation.
With its stripped-back form and subdued oak stain, this adaptable coffee table would complement rooms from coastal to modern farmhouse. Try pairing with linen upholstery and a jute area rug.
Frequently Asked Questions About Antique Finish Coffee Tables
If you’re considering an antique finish coffee table, here are answers to some common questions to help you make an informed decision:
Are antique finish tables as valuable as real antiques?
Generally no – reproduction antique finish tables don’t appreciate in value like authentic antique pieces, and are typically only worth their original purchase price. Their value comes from their usable function.
How durable is the antique finish?
Most quality finishes are protected with several layers of sealant so they retain their aged charm without significant wear. Avoid excessive moisture and heat. Long-term, refinishing may be required if the finish sustains damage.
What’s the best way to clean and care for an antique finish table?
Use a soft cloth with a mild soap and water solution. Avoid harsh cleaners, abrasives, or furniture polish that could strip the finish. Promptly wipe spills and lift objects rather than sliding to prevent scratches.
How can you tell if a table is true antique versus reproduction finish?
Examine construction details – reproductions often have glue blocks, machine-cut joinery, and laminated tops versus antique handcrafting. Look closely at the finish for uniformity vs. genuine variation achieved through decades of aging.
What style options are available?
Antique finish tables span from ornate, carved traditional to pared-back contemporary tables. Rustic farmhouse, industrial loft, French provincial – with distressing, glazing, waxing, and staining, the antique look can be adapted to almost any style.
Are salvaged wood coffee tables a good alternative to antique finish?
Yes, reused solid wood tables are an eco-friendly option. Since the reclaimed wood was once old barn beams etc., it often has a natural patina. Ensure the salvaged wood is structurally sound.
How much do antique finish coffee tables typically cost?
Prices average $300-$1000. Boutique designer pieces can be over $1000. Basic big box store tables under $300. Consider longevity – better construction merits higher prices for long-term use.
Where are good places to shop for antique finish coffee tables?
Furniture stores, antique shops, salvage yards, online direct from brands like Magnolia Home. Scout consignment stores and vintage markets for bargains.
The Allure of Antique Charm Endures
For timeless character that gains patina over time, antique finish coffee tables deliver vintage styling blended with everyday livability. Their ageless warmth and charm infuses spaces with cozy history. With some smart shopping strategies, you can find the ideal antique finish coffee table to create a comfortably well-worn look steeped in nostalgia. Let your style story unfold with each use, conversation, and gathering around your antique finish table. The memories made will outshine any artificially induced finish.