How to IKEA Hack a Plain Table Into Pallet-style Productiveness!

5 Materials
4 Hours

When I spotted this IKEA table on the curb, I lurched to a quick stop in case it was something epic! Turns out, I didn't feel it was really my style, so I left it behind. Until I got home... those 11th hour brainstorms get you everytime, don't they?!

So you guessed it... I drove ALL the way back. But there it sat in front of my house for weeks because... well... my IKEA hack brainstorm fizzled. Until my son requested a table for his fish tank...

BINGO! I brought the table inside, but it needed strengthening first. However that's when things took a very dramatic turn, because, why can't this be my style after all?

Let's hack this thing into coolness!

Here's what I did:

Well hello there plain wooden IKEA table that was wobbly as all get-out. Why don't I take you home in case I like you later? Ha!

Who else gets weak at the knees with solid wood furniture?

Strengthen a wobbly table

I attached a metal X bracket to the back of the table I had on hand, then decided to add some side support boards in between the table legs.

A Kreg Jig is a tool that helps you drill holes on an angle making wood join much easier. I highly recommend getting one!

  1. Cut wood to the desired length.
  2. Insert wood into a Kreg Jig tool, then drill a hole on each side of board.
  3. Slip the wood into place, then attach with screws.

If you click on the original blog post tutorial below this post, it'll show you how to use a Kreg Jig with a helpful video!

Building a shelf

But let's make those side support strips even more productive by adding a shelf on top!

Reclaimed wood was cut to desired length, sanded, then screwed together with a couple of support boards on the bottom to hold them together.

A back upright piece was attached so things couldn't fall behind the shelf.

Staining the table

Being that I was going for a reclaimed wood look, I sanded the piece down with an orbital sander, then replaced the protection back with Fusion Mineral Paint's Stain and Finishing Oil.

I personally love this stain because the odor is much less than most any other stain on the market. If I can work with it inside the house, that most certainly works for me!

A combo of Natural and Driftwood stain was brushed on, then wiped off with a clean cloth, and allowed to dry overnight.

These stain tones softened the original orange wood, giving it more of a reclaimed wood tone.

But let's add a dash of pallet personality next!

Making pallet stamps

Pallet Stamps is a sheet of pallet-styled numbers, logo, and even some fun bolt and screw heads, so you can mimic the look of pallet wood onto any project!

See this and more crate-styled stencils HERE

The stencil was positioned into random places on the table, then stenciled in black to mimic authentic pallet stamps.

Stenciling is easy. The key is ensuring your paint loaded brush feels dry before you stencil to reduce paint bleed potential.

How to stencil for flawless results

  1. Load stencil brush with paint.
  2. Remove most paint with a rag until brush feels dry.
  3. Tap or swirl paint through stencil for desired effect.

No area was left behind! Screw and bolt heads were tucked into nooks and crannies, as well as the skinny sides of the legs. Anything was game!

The finished IKEA hacked table!

And here's the much more productive, pallet-styled results!

The added storage really beefed up the visual of the table, while the pallet stamps added instant rustic style!

I call this the classy pallet look myself... isn't it the cutest?!

In fact, the outcome turned out so cute, I nearly got a fish tank for myself...

Visit more on THIS IKEA HACK plus others HERE!

What would you have done with this table?

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Donna at Funky Junk Interiors
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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2 of 3 comments
  • Jim Cox Jim Cox on Apr 19, 2022

    I'm thinking it needs more strip on the existing finish, or a Minwax Pecan-ish color on the new shelf so they match. Good idea on the X brace

  • JH JH on Apr 19, 2022

    I love this, but the only thing is the difference in the wood on the shelf you added. I agree with Jim, it would look so nice if stained the same color.

    Good job!!