If you love your IKEA desk, but want to add a luxurious touch, then hacking it so that the table top looks like aged wood is definitely an interesting idea. All in all, the results speak from themselves, and it's not that complicated to accomplish, especially if you are trying to match your desk to the wood of the furniture that you already have in your room.
Kelley from Conshohocken, PA had various pieces of furniture in her room in different wood finishes. The trouble was that her IKEA Vika desk looked too modern and clashed with the other furniture. She planned on using it as her workstation. She wanted to make her Vika looked expensive by only spending a little amount of money.
She decided to use a burning technique that makes modern wood look like rustic wood. Then, she stained her desk and finished it so that it would shine. The final touch was a custom-ordered glass top.
-IKEA Vika Amon unfinished pine desktop 47×23
-Vika Leif desk legs
-sandpaper, fine and medium grit
Kelley started off by sanding down the desk to roughen up the surface with the medium grit sandpaper. She wasn't concerned with the bottom of the desk, since that part wouldn't show. Then, she used a blowtorch to burn the table. She mentions that there's little chance of messing it up since it will be sanded down even further. The torch was laid at such an angle so that the flame licked across the surface as she moved horizontally. This allows the sap to rise up and to slightly burn. The burns need to be clearly visible, as the sanding down process will make it a lot lighter. Then the table was sanded down. Kelley repeated the process just for good measure.
She started the staining process with two coats of a honey-gold stain. Then she sprayed on two coats of gloss, which needed to dry between each application. She ordered some custom glass shelves and a glass top so that it would protect the wood of the desk.
This is an interesting way of obtaining an aged wood look. Further improvements could include an integrated cable management system at the back of the desk, so that all of the cables stay out of sight. An LED lighting system, made out of IKEA Dioder LEDs would also work pretty well in this situation. Lastly, a rustic desk like this needs a chair of some sort, and we'd suggest using an airy wireframe chair to contrast with all of the wood. It would also not be a big eyesore when you're trying to match it with other pieces of furniture.
[via Ikeahacker, photos by Kelley]