Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ikea Hack

One of my favorite DIY projects to read about is "Ikea hacking." People buy Ikea products--stark, industrial, cheap--and rework them into something completely new. For Bea's birthday gift, I decided to hack this table. While I usually pass by the laminate/MDF offerings, Ikea has a lot of solid pine options at much more reasonable prices than conventional furniture stores. This one had the right raw materials, but had the potential to be much more fun! 

Bea's first birthday is coming up on October 27th (I know!) and I wanted to get her something that signifies her transition from a baby to a big girl. I've always envisioned her working alongside me in the kitchen at her very own kid-height table (knowing her, she'll be working at destroying various kitchen items, but that's another story for another blog). The paperboard chair and table surface was a bit of a wrench, because the laminated texture would be a little harder to work with than wood. In the end we decided to make the tabletop and chairs a chalkboard surface, and do something fun on the frame.  

I started with a spray can of RustOleum Chalkboard paint and a can of Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover in Green Apple. I first taped around the seats and tabletop and sprayed them with the chalkboard paint.

Big mistake.

First of all, I should have primed the whole shebang with my trusty Zinsser Bullseye 123. I didn't. Consequently, when the table tipped over in the yard on the last coat of chalkboard paint, every blade of grass caused it to slide off and completely destroy it. So, back to the drawing board.

This time, I taped off the seat portion (covered with a grocery bag) and sprayed all the wood portions. Again, primer first would have helped, but it turned out fine. I had just enough paint to hit everything twice and touch up thin spots. 

Then I took a black paint pen and did some doodling. Nothing super intricate, just some fun geometric stuff. I did practice in my notebook a bit beforehand, but didn't like anything I came up with, so I just freehanded.

But I didn't like the way the top (most visible) rails turned out, so I decided to paint them with the chalkboard paint as well. That way Beatrix and her friend/cousin/sibling/playmate can claim their own chairs with chalk! 

First I sealed the doodles with clear acrylic spray (a glossy clear coat in a spray paint can available at craft stores), then went back to Ace for some more of the same chalkboard paint (in a can this time) and tried again. This time I did it indoors (no dead bugs or leaves!), and used a foam roller and brush. 

First the brush for edging...

Then the roller for coverage...

Then the brush again (very lightly!) to smooth out the bubbles, a few hours to dry, repeat.

Ta-daaaa! Done! It looks so much better than I expected! I'm planning to add an oilcloth or plastic-lined chalk bag and some accessories to it (I'll be sure to show you when I do) and sign and date the bottom with a super-cheesy message from Mommy. I'm also planning to DIY her a jewelry box--stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing-I'm your newest follower-stop by for a visit!