How do i fix up this ugly table?

Meagan Palmer
by Meagan Palmer

Advice on how to refinish a dining table please. We have this IKEA dining table. We don't want to replace it because of how the size fits our small space. The table pulls out into a long table, thanks to the underlays. This makes it perfect for when we entertain.

Since we have such a small space, this table is used for just about everything. Aside from eating at it, it's most used for my and sometimes my son's art projects (which is why it's splattered with gold leaf and paint). So I would like to fix it up so it's 1- not so boring looking, and 2- doesn't look so beaten up. But it will also need to be able to take a beating. I've been nervous to do anything with it, yet, and have been checking out some ideas on here, but I can't decide on what could be best for us.

As for style, we've been moving towards a slightly more boho- look, though not so layered since there's three of us sharing this two- roomed apartment. So while we want more colour and patterns, they need to be cohesive as to not overwhelm our space.

We also have 4 boring black wooden IKEA chairs, which I'd be up for doing something with.

  8 answers
  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jun 17, 2020

    If this is a Melamine or plastic “foil” top, then whatever you do will have to address that it can barely be sanded and cannot have tears or cuts or dents that expose the particle board underneath

    become “holes” for any water-based paint (like chalk paint) deep into the particle board, as it will make it “mushroom” under the plastic.

    Since this forum is “big” on chalk paint, I will skip that and suggest for a short term fix- contact paper.

    For a long term fix, are you up for putting a Formica type product on it?

    It will last 30 years and the gold glitter paint will come off.

    There are literally thousands of pattens the top three sell (Formica, Wilsonart & Laminart) and you can order 5x7 samples from the manufacturer on-line. You can go as Bo-ho as you want. 😁

    You’ll have to buy a 4x8 sheet & have it shipped to a local cabinet shop.

    Formica has videos on YT on how to install it without a router.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 17, 2020

    Scuff with steel wool then clean with denatured alcohol or tsp. Prime and paint a run color. Add cushions or paint the chairs as well.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jun 17, 2020

    Hi! Here's my tutorial on a coffee table... easy-peasy

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jun 17, 2020

    Hi there, I would stick to oil based paints for when you paint the top of that table. Rustoleum comes to mind. They're stinky but much more durable than water based paints. You can apply a oil based sealant after the paint dries too - that will help a lot in making a rock hard surface.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 17, 2020

    Hello. I would consider repainting it black, unless your ideas for transformation are a bit more exciting.

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Jun 17, 2020

    Hi Meagan, It looks like the top is painted or stained so are you able to sand it down? If you sand it down to bare wood, you can finish it with hemp oil and it will have a nice wood look that will be able to take a beating. Several coats of hemp oil will not only protect the wood but give it a great look. (it will be a bit oily when you put it on but then as it dries it protects it beautifully).

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 17, 2020

    Hello MEAGAN,

    Rub it down until smooth to the touch and then re-stain or paint it! Should come up

    really well.

    • See 1 previous
    • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 17, 2020

      Thank you for enclosing a photo of your room, table, & chairs. Honestly, all I could think about is how much it needed some coloring. Do not mean to be judgemental, that was a first impression. Best to you.