Anything IKEA can make, I can make better!
When you need some cheap and decent-looking furniture, you really can’t go wrong with IKEA, for a couple of years anyway! Hubby & I purchased an IKEA LACK coffee table a few years ago; basic shape, functional, good size & ridiculously cheap (around $40). After some abuse by toddlers, etc . . . The table was looking pretty sad. One leg had broken off & was sloppily reattached with Gorilla Glue (my handiwork). There was a deep gouge in the top as well as various bubbles in the veneer. In the basement it sat, until I saw some great IKEA hacks online & decidied to do something about it!
I wanted to decoupage something, so I initially picked up some funky scrapbook papers & Mod Podge & went to work. Well, I hated it. The paper was too thin, and enhanced every flaw in the table. So I ripped it off & went off in search of another material for the covering. Since I have a tremendous fabric stash (that taunts me daily) I dug through and found a good-size piece of a beige/white striped twill upholstery fabric that I had used to recover a chair. I also wanted to cover the side of the tabletop, & found a spool of twine in my stash as well. The only thing I needed to purchase for this project was a 16 oz bottle of matte Mod Podge!
- First I cleaned the table with a strong kitchen cleaner that would remove any oils that would prevent the fabric from adhering to the tabletop.
- I then cut my fabric to be 1″ wider than the table all round.
- I started applying the Mod Podge to the tabletop with a 2″ angled paintbrush, in a relatively thick application.
- I worked in 12″ stripes, starting on one of the short ends.
- After covering the first 12″ with the adhesive, I carefully laid the fabric over the adhesive, leaving the 1″ hanging over the edges.
- I smoothed the fabric down firmly as I worked. The adhesive allows for a little bit of wiggle & shifting if necessary. If you’re working with stripes, it’s important to make sure your stripes follow the edge of your table, otherwise it’ll look wonky.
- I continued working in 12″ stripes until the table was covered & I was happy with the positioning.
- I then coated the edges of the table with Mod Podge & folded the remaining fabric down like wrapping a present. Don’t stress too much about this part, it will be covered with twine. Apply a topcoat of the Mod Podge to the tabletop, and let dry for about an hour or two.
- Break time! Sit with a hot coffee, tea, or cocktail of your choice & give your back a rest!
- My fabric was very “toothy” and I was concerned about spills, so once it was dry, I lightly sanded the surface with a very fine grain sandpaper (120 is good), and applied a topcoat of polyurethane to help seal it.
OK, so far so good, pretty quick & easy. The side trim, however, was a PAIN! This was primarily due to how thin the twine was that I chose to use. I’d highly recommend using something wider (not necessarily thicker). A trim that is exactly the width of the side edge would be ideal!! Check your local fabric/craft store, it would take roughly 5 yards of 2″ wide trim for this particular coffee table. Back to reality, here’s how I did it:
- Starting at the top of the trim edge, apply a stripe of Mod Podge with a 1/2″ angled paintbrush along one side.
- Lay your trim over the adhesive, pressing firmly into place, move onto the adjoining side & repeat. You may need to use a small piece of masking tape to hold your starting edge in place.
- You are essentially wrapping the table in twine, held in place with the adhesive.
- It is time consuming, I recommmend frequent breaks & kneepads, if you have them.
- Keep going, and going, and going, I’ll be over here reading a good book . . .
- Done? Good, use another piece of masking tape to hold the end in place until dry.
- Let dry for a couple hours & carefully remove the tape.
- Apply a topcoat of the Mod Podge to the twine; this will fill in any cracks & make sure it’s good & stuck.
- Let dry & voila! A new-to-you table!
I have additional plans for this table:
- I’d like to cover the under-shelf using the same treatment.
- I’d permanently attach the undershelf to the legs using 4 small, decorative ‘L’ brackets
- Since the rest of the table would be completely covered, I may eventually have to do something with the legs, maybe just paint them a darker color for contrast.
Parting words of wisdom: Don’t be afraid to paint, glue or recover ANYTHING, especially if it’s an ugly $40 table that’s been collecting dust!