How to Repair a Lift-Top Coffee Table

A lift-top coffee table resembles one that's traditional, until you pull up on the edge.
The top lifts away from the base, revealing hidden storage inside. Some designs feature extending brackets that let you pull the coffee tabletop toward you, creating a tray that sits slightly above the table. Repairing a lift-off coffee table involves finding the exact cause of the damage.

Step 1

Open the coffee table and examine the hinges on the inside. If the screws are too loose, the tabletop might feel wobbly -- and if the screws are too tight, the table will not open properly. Loosen or tighten the screws to fix your particular problem.

Step 2

Lift and extend the tabletop, if the coffee table has extending brackets. Spray the brackets with a liberal coating of spray lubricant. Leave the lubricant on the brackets for 10 minutes and lightly rub the surface with an old rag, wiping off the excess lubricant. The lubricant prevents squeaking and loosens tight brackets.

Step 3

Turn the table upside down and look at the table legs. The table legs often feature a screw-in design that attaches to a hole in the bottom of the table. If the table feels loose or wobbly, the legs might not be tight. Grasp the end of each leg and ensure it's tightened properly.

Step 4

Repair fine scratches on the surface of the lift-off tabletop with a wood color stick. Ensure you match the color of your table. The pencils resemble thick crayons. Simply rub the stick across the fine scratches and buff with an old cloth.

Step 5

Cover deeper scratches and chips with wood putty. Peel a small clump of putty from the container, rub between your hands and press onto the damaged spot. Lightly spread the putty out with your fingers. After the putty dries, sand the excess off with fine-grit sandpaper. Paint matching wood stain over the putty and wipe off the excess with a rag.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Spray lubricant
  • Rag
  • Wood color stick
  • Wood putty
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush

Tip

  • For squeaky hinges, spray the bolt on the hinge with spray lubricant. The lubricant slowly drips into the hinge, moisturizing the inside and stopping the hinges from squeaking.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.