Hello! I’ve got a project here for any of you who have wanted to build your own table but aren’t ready to build one from scratch. Or if you just don’t have the time to do a complete build. It’s a pretty quick project that you can finish in a weekend.
For me, this was another curbside rescue project. The table top had become completely warped so the table was no longer usable in it’s current condition and someone had left it out of their curb for bulk trash pickup.
It was originally an IKEA BJURSTA Extendable Table. They come in 3 different lengths, so you should be able to find one that fits your space.
There are 2 wood bars that can be pulled out on both ends of the table so you can extend the length of the table. If you want to add length to this table, you can build breadboards and attach them to pieces of wood that will fit into these spots.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to remove the warped top, but it ended up being really easy to separate. It has been so many years since I did this project and I can’t remember exactly how I did it…I just remember that it was surprisingly easy. Flip the table upside down and you’ll be able to see how to take it off.
STEP 1 – MEASURE AND CHOOSE BOARDS:
Measure the width of the table and add at least an inch to that number for overhang. For this table, I couldn’t get the right width using uniform boards, so I ended up using four 8″ boards and one 10″ board in the middle. 8″ boards actually measure 7.25″ and 10″ boards measure 9.25″, so the total width of my boards was 38.25″. The width of the table was 37″. The length of the boards will depend on which table you have. Measure the length and width of the table before you go to buy the boards.
When you choose your boards, look at them from multiple angles and lay them on the ground to make sure they’re as flat as possible. (If you have the tools to be able to create perfectly straight boards, you’ll obviously use that, but I’m assuming most people don’t). Whenever I’m building a table, I lay the boards down on the floor in Home Depot or Lowe’s and rearrange them until I find boards that fit well together and are as flat as possible. It won’t be perfect, but play around with the boards until you get the best looking table top you can.
Before sanding or staining, lay the boards on the table and make sure the fit works!
STEP 2 – SAND
- Sand the surface of every board, but make sure not to round the edges where the boards touch each other because you want those to stay as flat as possible.
- Wipe the boards completely so there is no dust left on them.
STEP 3 – CONNECT
- If you have a Kreg Jig, use it to drill pocket holes and attach the boards. Kreg Jigs cost about $100 depending on the one you get, but there’s also a mini Kreg Jig that costs around $20. Here’s a pic of my Kreg Jig. You just clamp a piece of wood into it, then drill pocket holes (basically just diagonal holes). It’s really simple to use.
If you don’t have a Kreg Jig you can attach the boards by nailing them to some 1x3s that run perpendicular to the boards. I’d probably use five 1x3s to do that.
STEP 4 – PREP
- Sand the boards again to create the flattest surface possible and rounding the corners of the table.
- Optional – Give your table a reclaimed wood look by hitting it with a hammer or chains and using screws and nails.
- Wipe it down.
- Use a wood conditioner so your stain doesn’t end up splotchy. I use Minwax Wood Conditioner. Wipe it on using an old rag or a piece of an old t-shirt. Wait about 15 minutes and wipe it down again.
STEP 5 – STAIN
- I used Minwax Special Walnut. You can scroll through my Project Page and see colors of different stains I’ve used on various projects. Apply the same way as you did the wood conditioner. Let dry.
- Apply a 2nd coat of stain and let dry.
- Optional – If you want the color to be darker, add a 3rd coat and let dry.
STEP 6 – WAX
Apply 2-3 coats of wax (following instructions on the can for wait times) by wiping it on with a rag or t-shirt, buffing after each coat.
STEP 7 – PAINT TABLE LEGS
- Prime with a stain-blocking, bonding primer. I didn’t have any issues with painting this furniture, but I have seen a few blog posts where people had a hard time painting IKEA furniture and took some extra steps. You can google that or search it on Pinterest and decide how you want to go about painting your IKEA piece. Do 2 coats of primer if you’re using a light color.
- Paint 2-3 coats of paint. To prime and paint, I always use a brush and foam roller. To read about the method I use, you can check out this post. I don’t remember what color white I used. Ben Moore White Dove is a good white. I used that on my Kitchen Cabinets. Sherwin Williams “Creamy” in satin is also a good color. I used that on my Upcycled Desk with Hardware.
STEP 8 – ATTACH TABLE TOP TO LEGS
There are a number of ways to do this. Adding a glue like Liquid Nails will help with any method. You can drill pocket holes in the aprons, then screw the table top into place. You could also get L-shaped metal brackets and use a bunch of them to attach the top on. To use those, you just have to drill holes, then screw the screws in.
STEP 9 – ADD CHAIRS
If you already have chairs you want to match the table to, you can grab a few paint samples and test them on the table to try and match the chairs. These chairs were a light brown that I had painted white, so I used that same paint when I painted the table.
If you’d like to receive one email a month with pictures of my DIYs from the previous month, along with a password for exclusive access to the FindFixBuild printable library, you can sign up below!