So, I feel like for the last year or so I’ve been in sort of a style rut. I would find something I was sure I loved, and then I’d see something I liked in a different style and start heading that direction for a bit, only to realize that cozy and rustic, farmhousey vibe (it’s a word) is really where my little heart lies. When I went back to just going with what I like, things seemed to flow and I am really loving my home again. Rule #1: stick to what YOU love, right? Who cares about anybody else, they don’t live in your house. Anyway, what does this have to do with an Ikea hack?
Well, I bought this Ikea Vittsjo desk to use as a table for my entryway about a year ago because I wanted something a little more minimal and clean than what I had (and what I had was pieces from my furniture hoard that constantly cycled through here and never worked), and because I needed something sort of compact for the size of my entry. I (of course) spray painted it gold and I LOVED it–sort of. Sometimes I loved it and other times it just felt small and out of place, and the glass wasn’t really my jam–a little too modern for me, as Ikea can sometimes tend to be.
And while I still LOVE gold, I’ve been more into a farmhouse, oil-rubbed bronze mood lately (and oil rubbed is more of what’s already in my house, so I don’t have to work so hard to make it all flow). And you know how I feel about wood If you don’t, it makes me happy. The end. So, after looking around for a new metal and wood table for the entry–I get ridiculously obsessive about these things–hours of driving around town and internet searching, I decided a couple hundred dollars just wasn’t something I wanted to budget in for this little space right now. BUT, since I only spent like $40 on this desk in the first place, what would be the harm in trying to change it up? The cost: about $10 in wood–so $50 bucks if you’re buying it all at once. I’m pretty pleased with the results, and guess what? There are ZERO tools required for this!! This is an AWESOME project if you’re not tool-inclined!
So here’s how it’s done:
You’ll need: *contains affiliate links*
Ikea Vittsjo Desk
Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint (optional)
(2) 2×12’s cut to desired length for the top
Liquid Nails or Gorilla Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
120 grit sandpaper (and a mouse sander if you have it)
Stain (I used Minwax Provencial)
C Clamps (or dumbbells work too)
So, a couple of things. First of all, I wanted to add length to the table so that it took up the length of the wall in my entryway, so I measured and cut the wood with about a 4″ overhang on each end. This also hides any imperfections in how flush the wood sits against the metal. If you want it to sit flush, buy a higher quality lumber that doesn’t bow at all.
Also, the desk comes black, but I liked the flecky, metallic finish of the oil rubbed bronze spray paint and had painted mine gold, so I had to paint it with the bronze, but you could totally just leave it the black color that it comes, it doesn’t make a huge difference.
You’ll want to let the lumber sit in your house for a few days to acclimate. It will expand and contract. I learned the hard way with my kitchen table that if you just bring this stuff home and get to work, you’re going to end up with gaps between your 2×12’s down the road (we eventually had to pull the top of the kitchen table apart and put it back together to close the gaps).
So, after you’ve cut your lumber, give it a once over with the sander (this evens out the wood and makes it take the stain better and more evenly) and round the corners and edges off too. If you have a sander, I like to go a little extra in certain places along the edges to give it a more worn look. Just sort of turn the sander on its side and really dig in every so often as you go along the edge.
Now, if I were a patient person, I would say stain the wood, let it dry and then glue your wood to the table. But I’m NOT a patient person and I wanted to see how it would all look, so I glued first, then stained. Either way works, you just have to work around the metal and not be sloppy with the stain if you decide to do that last. And yes, I said glue, because since the base of this table is metal, there’s not really any way to screw it down–well, there is, but it’s more complicated than I want to mess with, so glue it is!!
SO, to glue it down, you’ll want wood glue or Gorilla Glue. I like Gorilla Glue for this because it expands and fills some of those little gaps that the imperfections in the wood create. So, spread a thin layer of glue on your metal, and just clamp the wood down. I wanted the front of the wood to sit flush with the metal so there’s a little overhang with the wood on the back.
Since there is an overhang, I didn’t have clamps long enough to reach the metal and the wood at the same time, so I just set some 20 pound dumbbells on there to press it down and adhere the glue. If you don’t have dumbbells, just something heavy–get creative. And because I’m impatient, I also had to do a “dress rehearsal” while it dried. Also, you’ll probably notice, almost everything on here has changed since the initial trial run. Story of my life around here, but it’s a more edited, clean look for the new year, which I’m diggin’.
For the little square shelf, I just traced the one that came with the desk onto a piece of plywood and then cut it out with the jigsaw. You could use the one that comes with it, if you want, but it didn’t match my wood and it was fake looking. Then I stained all of the wood (if you need some direction on staining, I’ve got you covered here). The stain ended up a little darker than what I had originally wanted, so I went back over it very lightly (heavier around the edges) with the sander to give it a lighter, more worn look.
I LOVE how the finish came out and really, the whole thing for that matter. Not bad for a cheap little Ikea desk, if I do say so myself. And the little shelf, which I wasn’t a huge fan of initially, is perfect for hiding all of our keys and headphones, you know, the stuff that gets dumped when you walk through the door. Next up on the entry project list: painting that door black (why does painting a door make me so nervous???) and hopefully working up the motivation at some point this year to plank the walls!
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