IKEA Table Gets a Natural Modern Makeover

This month, Krylon is sponsoring a series of thrifty, creative DIY projects:

Over the last month, we’ve been giving some love to our favorite room in the house … our porch. Earlier this month we spruced up our porch coffee tables and a rocking chair. Then we kept the momentum going and re-did some candle-holders. This week’s project was both functional and fun, and we were thrilled with the results. 

IKEA table makeover - before
In the summer, we spend a lot of time on the front porch, relaxing, eating, and winding down with friends. Our newly-painted coffee tables get a lot of use (both as side tables and as footrests), and it became clear we needed extra space for food and drinks.

We thought about adding a larger coffee table, adding a picnic-style table to the north-wing of the porch, or finding a rolling beverage/tea cart/butler stand. None of these seemed quite right. We realized a small buffet-style table (with room for storage) was what we needed.

After scouring the internet for options, we came up empty-handed, and ended up (as we often do) at IKEA. I love IKEA because it’s full of stuff that can be easily turned into…other stuff. When you’re walking around IKEA, make sure you’re looking at their products not for what they are, but for what they might become.

A trip to IKEA!

After a long walk through the store (and an almost-permanent detour into the kids’ section with Ayla), we found our piece. It was a modest little console with shelves; affordable and unfinished (i.e. ready-to-tranform). As I looked at it, it looked at me, begging for a little spray-paint infusion.

IKEA table - $79

On the way home, visions of florals popped into my head and I began formulating a plan. We have a lot of red and brown on our porch, and I wanted to stick with that theme, because the red adds a much-needed layer of color.

I picked up some cheapo contact paper (Notice the ugly beige marbling? Clearance!) from our local hardware store and began drawing a simple floral silhouette (perhaps it was gerbera-daisy-inspired, or maybe a hydrangea). I loosely traced this stencil on the grid side of the contact paper and cut out the silhouettes. Then I laid them on the table top, adjusting the heights a bit. 

Sketching out my floral design on contact paper

Once I was happy with the placement of the floral decals, I peeled the paper backing away and laid them on the tabletop. Next, I brought the tabletop outside to my make-shift studio (which consisted of old canvas tarps and a utility rug that we had lying around in the basement). Before applying any paint, I lightly sanded the non-silhouetted portion of the table with a fine grain paper, and then wiped with a damp cloth.

Applying the decals to the table.

When the table was dry, I got busy with a can of Krylon Dual spray paint in “Banner Red” (glossy finish). Although it doesn’t perfectly match the “Cherry Red” we went with on our coffee tables and rocking chair, it’s close enough, especially since the table is on the opposite side of the porch.

Ayla helping me watch the table dry
Here’s Ayla ‘helping’ me watch the tables dry.

The painting process was a breeze. The paint went on smoothly and evenly in three coats. Each light coat dried in about 30 minutes. Krylon has some great tips for successful spray painting here. These ones really helped me out:

  • Begin and finish your spray off of your object.
  • Protect your surroundings from overspray by using tarps or old newspapers. For smaller objects, create a “spray booth” with a large cardboard box.
  • Several light coats are better than one drippy coat.
  • Let the paint cure completely between coats.

The entire sanding and painting process took less than two hours. I got a little impatient and began pulling the contact-paper silhouettes up before the paint fully dried (I guess this is what happens when you have a few projects under your belt!), and the paint stayed put. Whew!

Peeling up the decals.

While Bruno grabbed attached the finished tabletop to its base, I started painting some old wicker baskets so we could place them on the table’s lower shelves for extra storage (I used the Krylon’s “Earth” in satin). The baskets are small, but painting them was time-consuming because of all the angles involved. 

The table has been a happy addition to our porch; it does the job when we entertain, and the floral wood-grain design provides a little pop. Here’s the finished product; we’re thrilled:

Our completed IKEA tables makeover

A close-up view of our floral tabletop.

Another after shot, with our very useful storage below.

The baskets provide storage for all of Ayla’s summer doodads (chalk, sand toys, and bubbles) and there’s an extra basket where we store our back-up supply of porch candles and a few gardening tools. 

I’m sure it won’t be long before we find another spray-paint project. I love spray paint because it’s easy to use, durable, and can quickly transform almost any object. It can be as complicated as re-painting and stenciling a cast-off tricycle, or as simple as refreshing an off-color decorative piece in a brighter shade.

What creative spray-paint projects have you done recently? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks to Krylon for sponsoring this project! 
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