Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ikea Hacked Barnboard Coffee Table Tutorial

Happy Wednesday!
Thank you so much to everyone who left such lovely, kind & sweet comments about my family room.
I really let my heart led the way with this space, as silly as that sounds. I challenged myself to take some risks and to think outside the box.
And I am so glad I did.
Taking risks isn't always an easy thing because sometimes,
 it doesn't work out how you had planned.
BUT then there are other times it comes out so much better and it is those times that make the creative journey worth the while.
This project was a little bit of a sore spot for me last week:).
I bought this coffee table form IKEA a few months ago because I just adored the size and shape.
I knew I would alter it in some way but.....
we had the hurricane,
then Thanksgiving,
then Christmas.
I kept sitting in the room, trying to decide WHAT to do.
Then I thought,
"this shouldn't be this hard."
So one day last week, I decided to just paint it in ASCP in
French Linen.
Then, BM Kendall Charcoal.
Then, BM Revere Pewter.
Then, ASCP in French Linen again.
Do you ever have those days where
you just can't seem to get it right?
So I guess it seemed to my 7 year old that I was just a little stuck & a tad frustrated:).
He said, "mom, you know it took
Thomas Edison over 2,000 trys before he got the light bulb right."
Phew, I needed  that reality check:).
I decided to let it go for a few days.
 Until...... the "light bulb" went off,
a barnboard table top!
 This was the table before the hacking:).

The many colors I tried until finally repainting it in ASCP,
French Linen.
 Ok, so here is the fun part, the barnboard top:).
I had my base color, French Linen & I had sanded the entire piece with a fine sand paper.
Keeping in mind the table top was 35.5" x 35.5",
 I had my 5 -1"(d) x 8"(H)(really 7.25") boards cut to exactly 36"(L).
And a piece of 35" x 35" MDF for the subfloor for under the planks.
Step 1-Sand & Stain

 Aging Stain- Vinegar & Steel Wool
In a glass jar(with lid) put in 1 big ball of very fine steel wool,
then add vinegar, I filled 3/4 way.
Let sit for a few days sealed tight until the steel wool is dissolved.
Use gloves when applying with foam brush.
It will darken as it dries.
Step 2- Gray the wood

The vinegar/steel wool stain should turn the wood gray,
I have used it a few times and it worked but in this case it didn't.
Trail & error, don't use apple cider vinegar:).
So, I added a stain of BM Texas Leather.
I just added water, enough to make it a milky consistency.

Step 3- Another layer of gray

I used French Linen, you can use any light to medium shade.
Again I made a stain by adding a little water.

Step 4- Last, lighter layer of gray

I made a stain from BM Revere Pewter.
Make sure you hit the wood with the different layers of stain, unevenly.
You want it to look weathered.

Step 5- Sand & Distress
Let dry & sand each plank good, using fine sandpaper.
This will give it a naturally aged look.
Sand unevenly for more depth.
I also used some metal tools to distress certain areas more,
I gave it some good hits with
a crow bar & hammer,
large chains are good too.
You want to make it feel aged, battered & distressed so it looks authentic.

Step 6- Subfloor & Planks

I wanted it to be more stable & removable, so
I took my planks & lined them up under the
35" x 35" square piece of MDF.

Step 7- Pre-drill & screw together

I drilled & screwed a line up left, right & middle, 3 all
together in each plank.
Step 8- Nailheads

I wasn't able to find black roofing nails so I sprayed them with
black chalkpaint.
A good tip for this is, find a shoe box top and puncture them through top and spray just tops.
I did 2 on each plank at the end, 20 all together,
you can see my very technical template above:).
Pre-drill first,
leaving the holes at each corner empty,
but hammering the other 16 nails in(these are mostly decorative.)
I placed it on top on the existing table,
then I hammered the last 4 longer nails(at corners)
 right into the top, securing it.
You can also screw one last screw from bottom.

You can wax the top for more protection.
I used Anne Sloans Clear Wax.
It shouldn't look perfect & that is what I LOVE most.

I am over the moon!
This is my favorite project by far, it really was so easy,
 2 hours, max.
I did it while my little guy napped:).
Don't be afraid to ask Lowes or Home Depot to cut your wood,
just be sure to give them exact measurements.

Sharing at
French Country Cottage
Miss Mustard Seed
Liz Marie Blog
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Email me if you have any other questions.
Enjoy the rest of your week, 


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I had already pinned a pic of your coffee table in your family room post because I loved the look so much!! Great tutorial, def keeping this one saved for future reference. Also love the tip about the shoebox top.. clever! It came out great, and I love AS french linen! One of my all time fav's. ~Bre

  2. Awesome & I can't believe you did the project that quickly. The color is just great and I have been wanting to try that steel wool/vinegar for a while now. I love the wood cutting service at Home Depot and just used it over the weekend. It really makes projects more attainable.


  3. LOVE's so beautiful! I just had my husband make our first piece of furniture for our home and I don't love the all. This information is so helpful. I am going to have him try to sand the stain off (not sure if it's possible) and try this. Definitely having him make this coffee table next. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Jen,
    This is so beautiful. You've done a wonderful job!


  5. I can see why it's your favorite project...I love it! Love ASCP French Linen!

  6. It looks amazing! I love the stain color you used on the wood! I have used the vinegar/steel wool stain on a bunch of projects this year and it has never turned the wood gray unfortunately.

  7. Very simple but what a change! Nice reuse job. So much better than the original, Bravo!

  8. What a lovely idea! I love how the wood planks look and it adds a rustic look to this ikea table. Great job!

  9. Fabulous looking table. Glad this is where your final decision led you . Laura @Top This Top That

  10. This is amazing...I love it! You really know your painting techniques! And do you work quickly!! Well done!


  11. Charming upgrade to the table. It looks so great!

  12. What a great job! So impressed with you and your blog...Happy to be following along now.

  13. Loving your blog! Just found you on good ol' Pinterest. Can't wait to browse the blog some more tonight after the kiddo's go to bed.


  14. This is beautiful Jen! What a difference it makes! Your whole room came together so wonderfully!

  15. Simple yet beautiful! You've got an awesome color choice and painting techniques! Thanks for sharing this great project!

  16. I Love this DIY. I already pinned it and now I have to definitely try this. Thank you so much for sharing!


  17. oh wow, this turned out great!!! love the muted gray colors!

  18. Thank you for the detailed tut. for this table. I absolutely love it! You did an amazing job creating something beautiful and unique for your home. I love furniture like this, that is pretty but you are not afraid to live with. Thank you for sharing your talents!

  19. Thank you for the detailed tut. for this table. I absolutely love it! You did an amazing job creating something beautiful and unique for your home. I love furniture like this, that is pretty but you are not afraid to live with. Thank you for sharing your talents!

  20. This is fantastic! Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to use it to revamp my much hated dining table which is much too formal for my lifestyle. Thanks!

  21. The table is beautiful! I am in love with it - so simple and so pretty. Thanks for sharing your steps (and colors) that you used to weather the wood. I'm pinning this one so I won't forget!

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  23. Love, love....ummmm....did I mention that I love it! What an amazing project! Totally pinning!

    Thank you so much for inspiring me today!


  24. This is such a great tutorial and it would be perfect fix if your coffee table has a damaged top. Love it!

  25. Great idea! You did an amazing job! Looks fabulous and rustic. I'm a new follower!


  26. I'm having a definite lightbulb moment! This is fabulous - worth all the tries and effort!

    Pinning and sharing this bit of genius!

    Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  27. I am a professional food photographer so was interested in your project to use as "fake" old farm table surfaces under my food photographs.

    But the problem is that REAL barn wood has weathered - the rain and sun have removed the softer parts of the wood leaving the harder areas behind. This means with real wood one has high and low areas of the wood. Whereas your wood is totally flat, nicely stained, but flat.

    What I finally did was to keep my eyes open when someone is having their wood fence repaired due to insect damage or breakage or other reasons. Then I salvage sections of the old fencing that I can use. This wood has three dimensional surfaces that will look interesing when photographed. Right now I have three salvaged fence sections out in my back yard resting against the chain link fence getting more aged over the winter.

    Then this spring when the wood has dried out I will cut out the best parts into four foot sections (so they will fit in the back seat of my car to take to locations such as restaurants or food processing facilities). After cutting, I will rub them with stainless steel kitchen scrubbers, not steel wool. Then lightly sand and finally wax. I want to wax the boards to try to make them appear as though they have been a farm kitchen table for many generations so they have some "character" when the client's food is sitting on the fake table.

    Thank you for some useful ideas on staining and finishing.

    Terry Thomas
    Food Photographer
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

  28. What a beautiful transformation! The table looks just gorgeous!

  29. Your table turned out fabulous. Love the color, love the barnboard and the nail heads. So pretty!
    Thanks for sharing,

  30. I love this table hack! Absolutely gorgeous! I think it's great that you created your own great look!
    House on the Way

  31. Your house could be mine! I have this exact table and for different reasons had been meaning to either cover it in pallet wood, or do what you did or even simply paint it.. my daughter told me to leave it grey as a resting place for the eyes, with all the light walls, soon curtains and white slip covered couches about... but still I dream of a table in a color other than grey.... I just might have to do this as our next project! When I share on my blog I will for sure give you credit!

  32. Gorgeous! What a great idea! It turned out perfect.Love ASCP the French Linen is such a pretty shade.

  33. What a great project and I love the table!! Thanks for the tutorial in great detail...newbie like me needs that!

  34. It's gorgeous, Jen! I love the barn boards on top... and so glad to hear that I'm not the only one that paints coat after coat. :-) It's a perfect reflection of your style... love it!

  35. I've just discover you blog and am your newest follower.Can't wait to have a good look around!
    Cheers! Rita

  36. I love your wood distressing process- it payed off! Lovely :)

  37. GREAT hack!!! I love the addition of the wood planks!

  38. That's really fabulous ... the boards look amazing!

  39. Really great. I'm not worried about the flatness I don't think anyone is going to be checking. It looks beautiful and you used four of my Dave colors! Including white!
    Fab job!

  40. Really great. I'm not worried about the flatness I don't think anyone is going to be checking. It looks beautiful and you used four of my Dave colors! Including white!
    Fab job!

  41. This is gorgeous! Quick did you attach the subfloor to the existing table? Or is it just sitting on top?


  42. That looks great!! What a transformation! Thanks for showing exactly how you achieved the look.

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  44. First, congrats on a very cool feature! I would have been super geeky too for sure when I found out. I ADORE this project. Combining modern, clean lines and rustic wood can be so fun, you nailed it girl!

    xo, Tanya

  45. Found this through the Ikea Hacks blog. This is an amazing improvement to the original table. I probably would have passed up the original table not seeing this end vision. I really love it!!

  46. I love this! Which table did you use? Thanks

  47. I LOVE THIS!!! I am stealing this idea for my coffee table. I found you on West Furniture Revival!


  48. What an amazing transformation!
    My daughter has the same table and it is in a dark stain from Ikea.
    I'm linking this and sending it her way.

  49. I love what you did! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to making this or something very similar, hopefully soon. It's the perfect color I've been looking for.

  50. I love what you did! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to making this or something very similar, hopefully soon. It's the perfect color I've been looking for.

  51. What size screws and nails did you use?

  52. How did u paint the ikea table? What thpe of paint do you need to use?