I have a real strong love-hate thing going on with IKEA. Obviously I love the cheap furniture. But I also hate the cheap furniture. If you’ve ever bought anything from IKEA, you know what I mean! Luckily with a little extra effort, IKEA pieces can feel alot more expensive!
I bought this $50 coffee table about 2 years ago and it’s alright, but there are a few things about it that I can’t stand. Like how dirt visibly builds up between the glass and the frame. Gross. I also wasn’t really vibing with the bottom shelf. I didn’t need it, and it really did nothing but give me more surfaces to clean.
So like any basic millennial, I got on Pinterest and searched “IKEA coffee table hack,” and Pinterest delivered! I was inspired by similar makeovers like this one and this one to give this lame coffee table some new life.
I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t do an amazing job ha! But when I started this blog I promised to share my successes and failures, the real-life stuff. I threw in an unnecessary step thinking I was smart, but I ended up with a couple of crinkly spots that I can’t get out. You can’t really tell until you’re up close, luckily.
The silver lining of my fuck-ups is that if you try this tutorial, you’ll know what not to do!
Here's What I Did
First and foremost, I removed that bottom shelf. I plan on adding some legs to it and using it as my coffee table for the sunroom, to be continued.
Then I added marble contact paper to the glass top, and that’s it! The concept is simple enough, but let me tell you this stuff is a bitch to work with!
I was worried that the contact paper would end up being too thin on the glass, and with darker objects behind/underneath it it might not have a sharp, white marble look to it. I had the brilliant idea of doing a layer of white contact paper underneath, and this is where I went wrong. It just made the surface softer and harder to work with.
I repeat: do not do an extra layer of contact paper.
- Contact paper
- Scissors or utility knife
- Credit card or putty knife
- Hair dryer
How to (and not to) contact paper:
Here’s the contact paper I used:
Step 1 - Cut
First step is measuring and cutting the contact paper to size. Contact paper is hard to find in wide sizes, so I had to do it in 2 pieces. For the second piece I cut it from a section of the paper that would line up the marble pattern for a more seamless look.
Step 2 - Stick
Starting at one edge, line up the paper where you want it, and peel off the backing in a small section. Let the paper stick to the table, and use your credit card to smooth it down and get rid of any bubbles before peeling back the next small section of the paper.
This works best when you peel off the backing in a thin straight line across the surface, then smooth it out from the center to the edges, instead of the other way around. The paper has a tiny bit of stretch to it, so if you start from one side and work your way to the other, you may be left with some slack that will give you bubbles.
Slowly repeat peel and smooth until the whole top of the surface is covered, don’t worry about wrapping it around the bottom just yet.
Step 3 - Trim
Use your utility knife to trim the edges of the paper so you have about 1 inch of overhang.
Step 4 - Lick n' Stick
Lick it I dare ya.
Flip over the tabletop. This next step is more important for circle tables. You don’t want to be left with a bunch of folds on the edges of the table, so here’s the hack for it.
Grab a small section of the paper, then blast it with your hair dryer for 15-20 seconds. You’ll see it start to loosen up, and when it does you can stretch the paper around the edge and stick it down. Once it’s all stuck down, you can take your knife around the border to trim the paper so it’s closer to the edge for a cleaner look.
Step 5 - Touch-up
The last thing to do is just touch it up. If there are any bubbles, you can poke them with the tip of your knife to get the air out and then smooth them out with the credit card.
And that’s it!
Now you have a beautiful, faux-marble coffee table! Check out how it fits with the rest of the living room. You can try other variations of this, like painting the legs, or using different types of contact paper.
Like I said, I’m not 100% satisfied with how it turned out. I may rip off the paper and redo it (without the extra layer) but I’ll update this post if I do!