Before and After: A $10 Used IKEA Table Gets a Trendy Concrete-Infused Glow-Up

published May 30, 2021
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Before: IKEA cart with blue and wood finishes and three shelves
Credit: Andrea Willcox

Utility carts sure are handy — it’s in their name, after all — but they aren’t always very cute. Fortunately, there are lots of upgrades that intrepid DIYers can make to take functional-but-boring pieces into stylish furniture.

Here’s proof, courtesy of DIYer Andrea Willcox. She found this IKEA rolling table on Facebook Marketplace for just $10 and knew it was ripe for a redo. “I have a clandestine love for home trends but think they’re bad for the earth mostly, so my rule is that I have to DIY,” Andrea says. This used cart was the perfect way to bring something trendy into her home decor while also saving a piece of furniture from the dump.

Credit: Andrea Willcox

Andrea knew that she wanted to create a stylish storage spot for her sons’ Legos, and this rolling table was the perfect way to do it. She started by removing the wheels on the base — turning it from cart to table — and adding felt pads in their place.

Andrea used leftover spray paint to give the body of the table a face lift. The new all-over gray color modernizes the look and helps the table blend in with the rest of her living room decor. For the top, Andrea wanted to try something a little different. She’d previously bought a cement finish kit for a project that didn’t end up happening, so the kit was sitting in her garage waiting to be used. The table felt like the perfect opportunity.

First, Andrea primed the top. Then, she applied two coats of plaster, waiting for them to dry before sanding in between coats. Finally, she sealed the top to prevent staining. The result is a finish that looks convincingly like trendy cast concrete, but was much easier to pull off. (Better yet: The materials cost only $40.)

“You might be able to get the same concrete look from some of the new spray paints out there but this product feels really heavy and authentic as well as durable,” Andrea says.

Now, the table is just as chic as it is practical, with a design that feels a little modern and a little vintage. “I love that it gets the post modern, curvy, textural, ultra trendy look in a way that isn’t too taxing on earth’s resources, such as when buying new,” Andrea says.