This IKEA table hack will make you look at your old furniture in a new way! Upgrade your worn-out pieces with these tips.
When we got married and moved into our first apartment together, we ate our first dinner on a picnic cooler. Convenient but not too comfortable.
At that time, we had very little money to buy furniture.
Eventually, we found our way to IKEA, where the furniture is cheap and made of wood. There, we bought almost all of our furniture (kitchen table, TV stand, couch, dresser and desk).
Almost 7 years later, we still have the same table – I think we got our money’s worth. The table we bought was the Jokkmokk Ikea Table for $150.
If you examined it more closely though, this table had seen better days. But instead of getting rid of it and buying a new set, we gave it a makeover!
This is how we DIY a farmhouse table from a basic IKEA table.
This is what the table top looks like – my kids love to paint and you can tell what their favorite color is. The blue paint would not wash out because it was ingrained into the table.
Take a look at the chairs now. This one needed to be fixed with wood putty. Can you tell I used the chairs to paint in high places?
Our first step to this table makeover was building a wood bench to give us more room around the table.
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IKEA HACK: FARMHOUSE TABLE
- #60, #120, & #400 Sandpaper (you can use less than #400, it’s what I had on hand)
- Wood Conditioner
- Wood Stain (I used Dark Walnut)
- Polycrylic or Polyurethane
- Rags (to clean & wipe wood conditioner/stain)
- Plastic Cups (to keep things off the ground)
- Table & Chair Protection Pack(felt pads)
PREP THE FURNITURE
To begin, I first cleaned the tables and chairs because they were dirty.
Then, I took them outside and sanded them with our orbital sander. I had to manually sand some areas because there were grooves that the electric sander couldn’t reach.
TIP: For the table and chair tops, I started with #60 sandpaper, then moved to #120 to remove all the old stain.
Here is my set-up while I was sanding. This was a messy job that took all day to finish!
After I sanded everything, I washed the table and chairs again. I then put the chairs back together. I did not screw them in completely because I did not want to paint the black screws. Instead, I wrapped tape around the tops of the screws.
PRIME AND PAINT THE FURNITURE
Next, it was time for primer and paint.
TIP: Use a paint sprayer to save you time in this step – it’s worth buying! Take a look at one of my favorite paint sprayer.
I applied 2 coats of primer (used KILZ Premium) before I started painting. I used a foam roller and an angled paint brush.
After the 2 coats of primer, I applied 3 coats of BEHR Ultra Plus in Ultra Pure White, plus some light sanding in-between coats with the #400 sandpaper.
Here is my setup in the garage:
While I waited for the paint to dry on the chairs, I started the staining process.
I first applied a wood conditioner to the table and chair tops.
SIDE NOTE: If you are wondering why you need a wood conditioner or if it’s really needed, be sure to visit my post “do you really need a conditioner before staining.”
After following the instructions, I waited impatiently, allowing the conditioner to sit on the wood.
Then, I lightly sanded the tops using the #400 sandpaper and wiped clean.
TIP: Make sure you are sanding in the direction of the wood grain.
APPLY THE STAIN
Finally, I could apply the stain.
Here is the difference between one with stain (just applied) and one without.
And the tops after one coat of stain:
TIP: I used plastic cups to raise the tops off the ground but they can leave a ring so I first applied the stain to just the bottom (I only did one coat). Then I turned them over to add stain to the tops.
Here are the table and chair tops after 2 coats of stain. And I only did one coat to the bottoms because no one will see them.
Allow the stain to sit for at least 8 hours (I let mine sit longer).
REASSEMBLE THE FURNITURE
Now, it was time to assemble the table and chairs.
After they were all back together, I applied Polycrylic to both the stain and paint to give them a better protective finish.
When applying Polycrylic, it will look blueish but do not worry – it will dry clear.
SIDE NOTE: After a couple of years, I was having issues with the Polycrylic finish being sticky. From research, I discovered that you shouldn’t use Polycrylic on the stained top but only for the painted areas. I would recommend using either a Polyurethane finish or General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Urethane Top Coat (I recently used General Finishes Arm-R-Seal and it was the best top finish I have used yet).
I wanted to have a smooth finish so I lightly sanded with #400 sandpaper, in-between coats. Making sure to sand with the wood grain and clean the surface after.
To give you an example of the difference between having Polycrylic and not, can you guess which one has it?
If you guess the one to the right, you are correct! I loved how the Polycrylic made the color of the wood stand out more but any top finish does this too. I applied 3 coats of Polycrylic to the table and chairs.
After letting everything sit for 24 hours, they were ready to move back inside.
Before I did this, I wanted to add felt bottom protector to the table and chairs; it makes it easier to move the chairs around. I bought this at Joann’s for $5.
And here is my table, all finished and maybe even better than when we first bought it! The stain looks amazing!
And the newly-refinished table is back in our kitchen…
Look how smooth the table top is.
Even my kids are loving the new table. My son’s first reaction was coming up to the table and rubbing the top, then saying “WOW, nice”!
And one more, because our kitchen is looking a little bit nicer these days:
Anyone else thinking about DIYing their kitchen table or giving it a makeover? It could really transform your space!!