This Genius IKEA Hack Can Turn a Laminate Tabletop into a Wood Stunner

published Oct 20, 2022
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IKEA, bless its heart, isn’t exactly known for longevity. It may have a reputation as a budget-friendly haven for stylish finds, but if you want those to last — like, say, past your initial post-college years — then you either have to be extra careful or a little neglectful (after all, you can’t scratch up something that gets ignored).

And yet, IKEA is also recognized for something that gives it a particular edge: It fosters creativity. These days, everyone has seen an IKEA hack or two, and that’s because the price and the build of these furnishings almost dare you to put your own spin on them. Reddit user u/Expensive_AD7814 was in the position of having a three-year-old IKEA dining table that had seen better days, but couldn’t afford the high price of replacing it.

As this user told the Ikea Hacks subreddit, “After three years, my table looked beat up and had a lot of scratches, coffee, and red wine stains. I wanted a new wooden table, but there were no wooden tables in my budget, so I took the risk of upcycling my old table.”

The user bought a box of wooden paint stirring sticks for about 30 Euros (about $30), and then sanded down the table from top to bottom until they liked how it looked. “I used wood glue and a nail gun to attach the sticks to the table top,” they continued, which was done in a herringbone pattern. Next, after buying a tube of wood paste to fill in the holes and waiting a day for it to dry, the table was sanded again. 

“I used a jigsaw to cut off the edges,” u/Expensive_AD7814 says. “To be honest I really did not like how the table looked. I wanted a more finished look, so I [nailed wood trim] on the edges of the table, [and] for the round edges, I ‘kerf bended’ the wood. I used this tutorial.”

Any further gaps were once again filled with wood paste, dried, and sanded. As a final step, the user applied a wood lacquer in a light honey color to the top of the table, and a clear coat to the legs. “In total, I used three coats of wood lacquer,” they continued. “The table itself cost me €180. The DIY cost me €180 in total, with the nails and sanding paper included.”

The table looks much more expensive than this grand total, making it a worthwhile project for those who are seeking a similar Scandinavian design without the big price tag. As it turns out, paint stirring sticks can be quite the cool design feature.