Ikea Latt Makeover

Today I’ve got a super simple little Ikea Latt Makeover to share with you. I feel like I’m in an endless battle, especially during the cold months, to create spaces where 5 yr old daughter actually wants to play for more than five minutes at a time. We’re entering that time of year where it’s been three whole months since she was able to really play outside and my sanity is hanging by a thread–fellow moms, I know you totally feel me (and if you don’t, PLEASE teach me your ways)!! And let’s be honest, considering the limits of my attention span, I should probably just give up all hope of keeping her entertained for long periods of time, genetics may have just doomed her anyway. In any case, I thought maybe giving her play table a little face lift would entice her to spend just a bit more time there.
ikea table

So, this is where this table started. And this picture doesn’t do the gross-factor on this thing justice. It’s been sitting in the basement like this for about a year and a half and it’s main purpose has basically been to catch spills and crumbs, and then of course, kids see a spill as an opportunity to play–amIright?  I couldn’t even venture a guess as to what the substances stuck to this table actually were. I know I saw Oreos and crayon, beyond that…it’s anyone’s guess.

ikea latt hack

I gave the table a really good scrub down (magic erasers work great for getting crayon off of even the raw wood). Then I taped it off and gave everything a coat of stain (Minwax Jacobean). If you’ve never stained before, you can find everything you need to know here. Next I taped off all of the legs and painted them to give them a little extra splash of color and a dipped effect.

dipped table legs

And that’s all there is to it. I love the difference that just a little bit of paint and stain can make. It’s like a completely different table–one that I can actually enjoy looking at when it’s sitting out in the room ;) As for “Operation Entertain the Child…” the jury’s still out on that one. Ok, honesty, it probably gets played with as much as it did before. But we’ve had no spills and messes to report and we’ve been using it for a couple of months, so I’ll just go ahead and put that one in the “win” column for me ;).

playroom ideas

tables for kids


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  1. says

    We must have very similar design taste Jenn. I bought the same table and chairs about a year ago :) Of course, yours turned out better! I painted my daughter’s table and chairs all white, and that was a big mistake. She loves to doodle on everything so it’s a little scary now. Anyways, this is absolutely adorable! LOVE!

  2. chana says

    I LOVE THIS!! I also just bought frames that have a similar rustic feel for my son’s room so this would look perfect together! http://www.craigframes.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=FM74DKW

    My only question is how you got that rustic feel? Like the uneven distressed wood. Did the stain alone do that? Do you know what I mean? The tables and chairs look like distressed wood with the dents and what not. Similar to the frames i bought. How can I create that effect?


    • says

      Yup, just the natural grain of the wood gave it that look. I LOVE the way Ikea’s furniture takes stain. The one “trick” I would say that I use is to start with a very LIGHT amount of stain when you wipe it on and then put more on if you want it darker. Ikea wood is porous, so a little bit of stain goes a LONG way.

  3. Lujain says

    Love this! I was wondering if you lightly sanded the table and chairs before applying the stain or did you stain without sanding to get the effect that you got? Thanks!

  4. Joanna says

    What brand and colors did you use for the bottom? Did you put a coat of sealant on any of the stain or paint?

    • says

      The colors were paint samples from Lowe’s, so I’m not sure of the colors, but they were a very soft mint green and a really light, apricot color. I didn’t seal this one, but it probably wouldn’t hurt with a kids’ table. When I seal, I like to use a water-based polyurethane in a matte finish so it doesn’t shine up the wood too much.

  5. Gaea says

    In…love! Would you mind sharing any links you have for the decor on the table?!!! Adore so much!! Including the pencils? Love love love everything about this post- so glad I found your page- I can see there’s a whole lot more right on with my aesthetic! Yay!!

  6. Gaea says

    In…love! Would you mind sharing any links you have for the decor on the table?!!! Adore so much!! Including the pencils? Love love love everything about this post- so glad I found your page- I can see there’s a whole lot more right on with my aesthetic! Yay!!

    • says

      Thank you so much!The wire basket was one that I picked up at the thrift store and spray painted gold, the white pencil cups are vases from Ikea (I just spray painted the tips), the middle jar is just a spray painted Mason Jar, the colored pencils are Kid Made Modern from Target, and the cards on the wall are from a journaling card pad that I grabbed in the scrapbook aisle at Target. Hope that helps! <3


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