Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY Rustic Wood Coffee Table/Farm Table

For the past two years, Brett and I have been using an Ikea lack coffee table. It was a gift to us from my lovely Aunt C when we first moved in together, and it has served us well.

Ikea coffee table
I was, however, getting a little bored of it and wanted something more natural and warmer to give our living room a cozy feel. While exploring this super cute store in Va Highlands, we came across a black iron table that had wooden planks on the top and we both fell in love with it. One of us (for the life of me I can't remember if it was me or Brett) suggested that if we threw some wood on top of our Ikea table we might be able to recreate a similar look, and a new DIY project was born.

Here's how to do it:

First, we measured our table and talked about whether or not we wanted a few thicker boards or several thinner boards. We decided to go for smaller pieces, about 4 inches wide, to give it more of a pallet look. Then, we decided to lay them long ways on the table, mostly because our rug has horizontal stripes and I didn't want them going the same direction.

Next, we headed to Lowe's to gather supplies. We found some 1x4x8 pine boards for $3.50 a piece and had them cut them in half for us, so each board was 1x4x4. We also grabbed a rasp to round off the edges where they'd been cut. Fortunately, we already had stain from another DIY project and just decided to use the same one to spare us the $10-$12 dollars it would have cost us to buy a new stain (we are cheap). Besides, I wanted it to look slightly Moroccan or Spanish-mission style, and the stain we already had on hand was Mission Oak. Perfect!

We came home from Lowe's and laid out all of our boards on the coffee table to see what it would look like. Unfortunately, we discovered that our boards weren't actually 4 inches thick as the little sign had said. They were 3.5 inches thick. We kicked ourselves for not actually measuring the boards and trusting the stickers before heading back to Lowe's and picking up another one.


We then took all of the boards out on to our patio, which was covered with a tarp and drop cloth and temporarily converted into a little woodworking studio, and sanded the boards down with some sandpaper. Brett used the rasp to round off the edges where it had been cut.



Then we got to staining! We used a wide, foam brush. If you haven't stained something before, don't be intimated! It really isn't that difficult, especially if you're going for more of a rustic, imperfect look. And it is amazing how stain transforms wood. Our stain was a 2-in-1 with a polyurethane in it. But if your stain doesn't have polyurethane in it, you'd want to let your stain dry and then apply a coat of that before putting the boards on the table.

After letting the boards dry overnight, we positioned them on the coffee table and measured carefully to make sure the ends and sides hung off the table evenly. After checking a hundred times, we carefully lifted one of the end pieces up, covered the Ikea table in wood glue and pushed the board back down. Next, we lifted up the board next to it, covered the table and the edge of the board with wood glue, and pressed it on to the table and into the already-glued board next to it. We figured this would help us keep the rest of the boards straight and even, so we removed the rest of the them to the floor and did the rest one by one. I forgot to take pictures of this step because I was busy gluing!

Once we were finished, we took big stacks of books and put them on top of the table to weight the boards down and help them hold.


After waiting 24 hours and dying of anticipation, we removed the books. Ta da! New coffee table.




I love it! It is exactly what we were looking for!

In total, I would say this project only took us 1-2 hours. The cost?

Wood: $3.50 x 5 = $17.50
Rasp:  $5.99
Total: $23.49*

The best thing about this project, besides being an insanely cheap way to get a new coffee table, is that you could do it lots of different ways for lots of different looks. You could always pick a different stain, or paint the boards for a rustic, weathered look. And you could use any kind of coffee table base, paint it any color you choose, etc. I think a white base with a dark stain or a grayish, weathered paint job on the wood would look really cute. The possibilities are really endless.



*If you didn't already have stain, sandpaper, and paintbrushes on hand, you'd have to add about $12 for the stain and a few more for the paintbrushes and sandpaper. 

116 comments:

  1. Wow. LOVE!
    I just bought myself this same ikea lack coffee table about 2 weeks ago and I am SO tempted to try this.

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  2. It's so great! Looks especially nice against he rug. We also have a black coffee table that needs revamping, but I'm not sure how wood will next to our particular oriental rug.

    Good job!

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    1. I bet wood would look great next to your rug. What does it look like?

      My next DIY project is to turn an IKEA bookcase into a weathered looking sofa table. Fingers crossed that does not turn into a disaster.

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  3. You left out the extra plank of wood that I strategically placed in the corner of the room. You know, to tie the room together. Classy.

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    1. Where would we be without your decorating skills?

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    2. Net thing you know, Brett will be painting accent walls!

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    3. After making fun of me, he also caved to my matching table lamps. And then loved them so much he just stared at them and muttered, "CLASSY!!" over and over.

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    4. I just got this table(much older but same size,style and a bit beat up)at a yard sale for,...$1.00.I can't wait to start this project!!! Thanks a bunch,Karen

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  4. DIY's are fun when they go right and yours went RIGHT!! Nice job. I didn't see the plank in the corner. I bet it looks fabulous.

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  5. Beautiful!

    FYI: wood always is marked as the size it is before it is planed and they lose about 1/2 inch (or 1/4 inch per side) in this process (ex. a 2 by 4 is actually a 1 1/2 by 3 1/2)

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    1. Thanks!

      I can't believe we didn't know that about the wood, or at least double check the measurements!

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  6. I think I'm gonna do this to my kitchen table. But paint it red. Thank you!!!!!!!!!! Debbie

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I think our stain had a sealant in it. It was a two-in-one. I'll update with more info on what stain we used.

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  8. Love it! We are moving soon and need some furniture... so I cannot wait to start. I have found a lot of inspiration lately. :) Especially anything the color of chocolate brown!

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    1. Pinterest is the best! :-)

      Good luck with the move!

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  9. Years ago lumber used to be "dimensional".....meaning a 2x4 is actually 2x4

    Now, your 1x4 is actually 3/4"x 31/2". Once you get above an inch thickness, you lose 1/2".

    And this goes for pretty much all lumber you will find at Home Depot, Lowes , etc. This only goes for width and thickness... Not length

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    1. That's not entirely true once you get into stud lengths of eight, nine, or ten feet. Then the length is short so as to take into account the height of a single bottom plate and a doubled-up top plate, which will give you an eight, nine, or ten foot wall.

      The moral of the story is to take your tape measure to the hardware or lumber store and measure it for yourself.

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  10. Love the project, but you didn't mention what kind of wood you purchased.

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    1. Sorry about that! We just bought the cheapest kind,which at our store was pine. I think any kind would work!

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  11. You should put a polyurethane coat on it! That wood is going to soak up anything that's spilled on it. It's cheap and easy. Comes in a spray too. Great idea!! We seriously just trashed our lack coffee table- now I'm sad! Thanks for the tutorial!

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    1. Hi Abby, our stain was a 2-in-1 with polyurethane in it, so we do have a coat of that on there. I've edited my post to reflect the process a little more accurately. Thanks!

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  12. What color was the stain?

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  13. Fantastic! I am going to do my coffee table just like this! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

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  14. I want to do this to ours but my husband is skeptical about how it will look leaving the sides and legs as they are with the wood top. Your thoughts? It's hard to tell from the photos above what it looks like from the side but you think it looks fine with the wood top?

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    1. I think it looks fine. You can see from some of the pictures how the table looks as a whole. The wood hangs off the sides by half an inch, so you don't really see the black underneath. But when I do it doesn't bother me. I think it looks fine. But that's just me!

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  15. Do the boards hang over the sides a little bit or are they flush with each side? I am so excited I found this! :]

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    1. Hi Cassie,

      The boards hang over the sides by 1/2 inch. I think it looks better that way than having them flush with the sides.

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  16. Super cute! I'm going to try this soon w a table as well. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. You might find that over time the glue won't hold up. Wood expands and shrinks while your coffee table, which is most likely not solid wood, does not. So depending on the climate you might have some issues down the road. Im goig to try this but use screws instead of glue and I'll leave a 2mm gap between each board to allow for expansion. Looks good!

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    1. Good point. So far, we haven't had any issues. And I've seen some other DIY tutorials where they glue boards down to things with only wood glue. I think because it really isn't supporting anything and is just laying there we should be fine. But of course, using screws would take away any potential for issues!

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  18. Lumber measurements are strange. They are called one thing and actually measure another. Here is a lumber conversion chart:

    Nominal Actual
    5/4″ 1 1/8″
    1″ 3/4″
    2″ 1 1/2″
    3″ 2 1/2″
    4″ 3 1/2″
    6″ 5 1/2″
    8″ 7 1/4″
    10″ 9 1/4″
    12 “ 11 1/4″

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    1. Thanks for this! I already have another project in mind, and this will come in handy.

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  19. gorgeous table revamp! I found you on the "everything" section on Pinterest!

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  20. My husband and I just glued boards down! Cross your fingers they stay down! Yours looks beautiful--thanks for the post! And we live in Atlanta too--love VA Highlands furniture and ecclectic/modern/vintage styles, but hate the price. Amen for DIY!

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    1. Good luck Amy! I'm sure it will work out great!

      I'm happy to "meet" another Atlantan! We've loved it here so far.

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  21. I have the same coffee table (which isn't all that surprising because its Ikea!) and have been trying to figure out what to do with it. Perfect solution! Thank you for the step by step directions too. Newbies like myself need those :)

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  22. My husband and I set out to do this DIY because we love the rustic feel and have the same coffee table! Sadly, we brought our planks of pine home and they turned out to be so warped and crooked, they look pretty ridiculous lined up side-by-side - big gaps in between some parts. Bummed :(

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    1. Oh no! We spent a lot of time at the store laying boards side by side to see how they fit together. It was crazy how crooked some of the boards were! I'll edit my instructions to include a little note about that.

      Sorry it didn't work out for you!

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  23. Love it! What size is your table do you know? I see there are a couple different ones on Ikea's site. TIA!

    Sara

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    1. It is the biggest version they sell. But I'm sure a project like this could work on any size table.

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  24. Hi, this is great. I found you on Pinterest as well.I was also wondering which Lack you have: the 19.99. 29.99 or the 39.99?

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    1. We have the 39.99 - the biggest version.

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  25. Do you have any problem with stuff (dirt) getting between the boards?

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    1. Hi Cheryl,

      We haven't had any problems so far. We tried out lots of pieces of wood to ensure they fit together snugly. And we don't really eat on our coffee table, so hopefully there isn't too much dirt and stuff on it to get in between the cracks.

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  26. I so LOVE this!!! Thanks for the idea~

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  27. Hi! Found this on Pinterest and ended up doing a version myself. Just wanted to give you a heads-up that I linked back to your post on my blog. http://scarves-chapstick.blogspot.com/2012/09/i-made-coffee-table.html

    Thanks so much for the inspiration for our hand-me-down table! :)

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  28. Hi, I finished my version of this project this weekend and it came out great! I also linked back to your blog. It'd be really cool if you took a look and told me what you think.

    http://decordilettante.blogspot.com/2012/09/ikea-lack-coffee-table-re-do.html


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  29. hi.. we are exporter of teak furniture Indonesia, visit my web and get inspiration about traditional coffee table with storage. thank you

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  30. Nothing gives a home more character than customized hardwood furniture. Having furniture pieces designed based on your own preferences allows you to express your personal taste and style

    Rustic farm tables

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  31. All lumber is smaller than it is labeled. Something to do with how big it was originally before it got sanded down, etc...

    ATL holler!

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  32. Wow lovely and easy craft!!love that table
    http://www.mogulinterior.com/wooden-tables-chests.html

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  33. With the aid of some coffee table plans you can easily make yourself a table in the space of a few hours. Having a table in the living room can give it a lot more aesthetic look and feel.

    farm table

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  34. I just did this to my ikea table and LOVE IT!! I used glue and nails, just in case!! Thanks so much for the idea!!

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    1. I'm so glad it worked out well for you! Enjoy your new table!

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  35. Absolutely love this! Just moved and need more furniture. Love how cheap it is being a college student. Can't wait to try and possibly put a spur of the moment spin on it (always the way it seems to go haha) :D Thanks so much for sharing!

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  36. great idea! can't wait to try it.

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  37. Hi! I Love this! We have the same table from IKEA and have wanted to see what we could do to cover the ugliness that our two kids have done to it. This is the winner! How has the glue worked out for you! Would love to know!

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    1. Hi Lynet!

      The glue has worked out fine for us. The boards haven't moved or warped at all. Let me know if you try it!

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  38. This is beautiful! Found you on Pinterest and couldn't believe the cost of this table so I had to come over and see how you did it :) Very nice work!

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  39. Love the color, what brand of stain did you use?

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  40. I have this EXACT table from IKEA and have been trying to find something to do with it! Thanks for the affordable DIY for it!

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  41. do you know what the model of the table was from Ikea?

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  42. I am in the process of doing this with my own Lack table right now, thanks to your blog and to Pinterest!

    I bought 1X4X8 Douglas fir boards (only because they were cheaper than pine) and am staining them with a tea/steel wool/vinegar oxidizing solution for which I found the recipe online. I'm buffing the boards with a layer of black shoe polish and finishing it off with a couple of layers of furniture wax. It is looking amazing!

    Due to my nonexistent woodworking skills and limited tools, this project has been a huge case of trial and error. I initially rounded the ends a little too much, and did not like the look at all, but fortunately, there was enough overhang for me to sand them down for a re-do to look more like yours.

    Tonight will begin the gluing process, and I am so excited to see the results tomorrow morning. My boring coffee table will be so much nicer to look at when all is said and done. Thanks so much for your tutorial! You are a genius.

    :-) Allison

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    1. This makes me so happy! I'd love to see photos of how it turns out! And please share the recipe for your stain. I'd really love to experiment with natural stains.

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    2. Certainly! I used several websites for tips on the finish, but this one sums it up well: http://thefriendlyhome.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-oxidize-wood.html

      I let my steel wool "steep" for about a day and a half, and I made my tea using an unmeasured amount of PG Tips black tea, because that's what I had on hand. (Boy, do I wish I had measured it, but as far as I can remember, I used about twice the amount of tea leaves specified per volume of water.) It is so cool to watch the "stain" oxidize when brushed onto the tea-treated wood! I'd say it took about 15 minutes for the wood to darken to its final color, and mine only needed one coat. It was like a home improvement project and science fair project all rolled into one!

      The black shoe polish kind of settles into the grain, creating a really nice, dark, old wood look, though the finish still looks great without that step, according to my "test board."

      I'm going a little against convention using furniture paste wax in lieu of polyurethane as my final coat, because I've read that it's not the best protective finish for surfaces that are destined for a fair amount of use, such as coffee tables, but since this table is supposed to look somewhat rustic, and I don't care if it gets "damaged," I'm giving it a shot. If it fails, I'll just sand it down and go from there... but I have a feeling that it's going to be great!

      As soon as the table is done, I'll figure out a way to share the results with you!

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    3. Okay, all done! I mistakenly thought my table was Lack, but it is Hemnes. Fortunately, it is made of wood, because one of my boards was a little warped, and I was afraid that the glue wouldn't be enough to hold it down-- so I screwed them all to the table from beneath with 1 1/4" screws (into pre-drilled pilot holes), and it worked perfectly!

      Please excuse the mess-- I've been woodworking! :-)

      Photo 1

      Photo 2

      Thanks again for sharing this-- I love my new table!

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    4. I really wanted to see your finished product, but there are no pictures when I click on "Photo 1 and Photo 2".

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    5. Allison - I LOVE how your table turned out! It is gorgeous!

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. I have this EXACT same table!! I am totally going to do this!! What brand is the Mission Oak? Miniwax? thanks!!

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    1. Hi Chantelle - We used the Miniwax Polyshades in Mission Oak (it has the polyurethane it). We bought it at Lowe's.

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  45. I have lack end tables and I've been combing the internet trying to find plans for new tables, but this idea could save us even more money! Thank you so much for this idea!

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  46. Cute coffee table! You may like these as well: http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/armchair-junking-coffee-tables/

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  47. any idea of how to do this with a round top table?

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  48. The results look great, but as someone else mentioned above you will most likely have problems down the road. The wood for a table top that wide will expand and contract seasonally as the wood cells take on water and lose water. Because you have glued the boards down to the table there will be resistance to the expansion and contraction which will eventually start cracking the boards or the joints in the base of the table. Typically a table top is constructed and attached to the base in such a fashion that it is free to move, which takes care of this problem. Even then, enjoy it as long as it lasts. With the climate control in today's homes you might get more seasons out of it than you would otherwise.

    Regards,

    A professional woodworker

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  49. Hi! Just found this post! Love this idea. What is color of the stain you used on the pine boards? Thanks!

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    1. Hi! We used Miniwax's Mission Oak (the stain with the polyurethane in it).

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  50. I would also be interested in knowing how one might do this for a round or oval table. Anyone have any ideas?

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  51. Hi, I seen this GREAT DIY table on Pinterest and absolutely LOVE it. I am a single mom on a serious budget and this is just my style. However, I have one question before I start out on a project like this - can this be done to tables made of different materials? I have one of the rectangular white folding tables (a very sturdy one though. Do you have any suggestions on what would be best to get the boards to stick to the white table top

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    1. Hmmmmm. I'm not sure. I've been very happy with the way my wood glue has held up. Maybe you could try that liquid nail stuff they sell at Lowe's? I'd head to Lowe's and ask them. They know way more than me!

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  52. I am so glad I found this post on Pinterest. I just bought an Ikea Lack end table at a garage sale for $4.00, and couldn't decide what to do with it. I am going to do exactly what you did....thanks so much for the wonderful DIY idea and the great instructions.

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  53. This looks fantastic, perfect IKEA Hack! :-)

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  54. how did you do the nail part?

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  55. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

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  56. Some people are really talented in restyling furniture. I love your project!

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  57. If you want to get even cheaper you could use old pallet wood. You can usually find pallets for free, plus the nail holes will give it a nice, rustic look. You could fill them with some stainable wood putty.

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  58. Adding nails, or something to that effect would look good too. Something along the lions of the old rought iron would look good. Atleast that's alway been a style I like. But awesome project! A great way to save some money over buying new, and probably looks better too! Thanks for the post!

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  59. Mission oak is by far the nicest stain....I've used it on many projects!! Great job

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  60. you could do this to the lack end tables as well. Awesome idea!
    Im doing this, my lack table is about 6 years old, still in great shape, the top is just a little scuffed up. this is the perfect fix!

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  61. Hi,
    Absolutely loved it. Can I do it on my dining table that's a painted wood.

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  62. How does it look from the side? Would you mind posting a picture? I have the same table and I would love to do this - my husband is concerned how the sides will look :)

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  63. I just finished this project, but with wider wood. Thanks for the great idea!

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  64. I have a light colored coffee table that needs a makeover. My new place has dark wood floores any suggestion as to the color if i were to do this. I would have to do somethung with the.
    legs maybe too.

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  65. Love the new design of your coffee table. It's more better if you could also create a DIY for a whole coffee table with that design.

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  66. I love this! It's just what I've been looking for, may have to give this a go.

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  67. sooo it's $25 if you already own the table.

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  68. Hi
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    ReplyDelete
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  71. One of the awesome information about the DIY Rustic Wood Coffee Table/Farm Table .Thanks for your great job regarding it.

    http://www.thegreatcanadiantablecompany.com/

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  72. Its been two years for you now. Have you noticed any change? warping etc?

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  73. Do you know which color stain you used? I love it!

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