Monday, February 3, 2014

DIY IKEA HACK: Mid-century Modern Dining Room Table

When we first moved in together, Rob and I had absolutely no furniture of our own.  Thank goodness for the ease of all things IKEA.  We splurged on some high end pieces here and there but the dining room set was not one of them.  Instead we opted for a simple five piece set from IKEA, in hopes that we would upgrade in the future.  

I was searching high and low for a minimal table with mid-century modern detail.  But since that style is high in demand, the prices were right up there.  With the power of Pinterest behind me, I saw our generic IKEA table with fresh eyes and tackled this simple do-it-yourself weekend project.  We're extremely happy with how it turned out! It should be noted that we are not exactly "handy" around the house so if we did it, you most definitely can.

You will need some basic tools.  I used:
--power drill
--power sander
--wood stain
--table legs of choice (I used these)
--wood screws
--old rags 
--large paint brush

I started with this table from IKEA. Essentially, you just have to disassemble the table and start from scratch.

Turning the table over, unscrew the table legs and the apron from the tabletop.

Next, strip the existing finish with a heavy grit sandpaper.  This was the toughest part of the whole thing.  Everything will be dusty so be sure to open a window.  I worked on a plastic dropcloth that served it's purpose well. 

Before any staining, be sure that the surface is completely clean and dry.  Apply the stain in large strokes going with the grain of the wood.  Let it sit as directed.  I used Rustoleum in "sunbleached."  Then just wipe it off with an old rag, going in the same direction. 

Wait for it to dry completely.  On the underside of the table, you'll need to screw your table legs in.  For hairpin legs, that's a one inch border on each side so that the legs don't stick out too far.  Use the wood screws to drill them in to place.  Make sure the screw isn't long enough to go through your tabletop.  I had a minor freak out when I didn't think to check first (the tabletop is really thin)!  If you're using different legs, a quick Google search is all you need.  Dining room tables are typically 28"-30" inches high.  I used 29" ones, a bit higher than the original design, and love how neatly the chairs tucked in afterward.  Hairpin legs were perfect for our space--they're a little industrial, but still not heavy or bulky.  Also, they will rust so many sites recommend sealing it with some kind of finish.  I have not done that yet but plan to do so later.  Same goes for the tabletop.

And that is pretty much it!  It took me two days to complete, but you could finish it in one. The most important thing is to sand off most of it and of course, getting the legs in the right place.  We got lucky and found these vintage chairs that came out of an old garment factory.  We still need to add a few more items, like more chairs, a rug and figuring out the wall art behind the table.  I'm glad I went with a lighter stain--it doesn't take up a lot of visual space and makes the room appear larger.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Let me know if you have any questions!


  1. Love it! Thinking about doing a similar DIY because like you said the mid century look is up there. What was the total cost of this DIY and do you think a pieve of plywood cut in a circle for a round dining table would work as well? Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the late reply! You could do it with a circle shape, just not sure how the legs would fit. Maybe you'd only need 3? Tag me in any photos if you end up doing it--i'd love to see!