Tuesday, 20 March 2012

IKEA Hackers

My once quite smart IKEA coffee table has served me well over the past few years but I've become increasingly aware of just how tatty and cheap it looks. Costing only about £20 the years haven't been kind, leaving a damp cloth on it didn't help the plywood beneath the veneer which swelled and caused an uneven patch.
craftypainter: Ikea coffee table up-cycle
After deciding that it would be well suited to being mosaic tiled, I googled like mad for some ideas and tips on how to go about it. I found the perfect tutorial on IKEA Hackers, this is a great website full of ideas and tutorials of ways to personalise and re-purpose IKEA furniture. I found Jen's tutorial which was really similar to what I wanted to achieve (a more detailed version is available on her blog). The only problem was finding the materials as Jen had listed US suppliers and my searches for a local supplier of inexpensive mosaic tiles proved fruitless. In the end I went for Ebay and as well as the sheets of tiles which I found for £3 each, I also found adhesive/grout and a grouting tool. Jen's table was already a pleasing shade of blue but mine needed painting. I picked up spray paint from Homebase and because the table was closer to plastic than wood I used white plastic primer before starting with the paint. Spray painting takes time, I'd never done it before so I watched a video on YouTube, it's really important to go for thin layers and don't over spray. I made the error of over applying on one end and had to wait for it to dry before sanding it back and re-spraying. In all, the preparation and painting took the whole of the bank holiday weekend and by the end of it the table looked like this.....
craftypainter: Ikea coffee table up-cycle

The following weekend we were ready to add the tiles, first using the pot of adhesive to stick down the tiles. The sheets of tiles are brilliant and the mesh backing can be cut through with scissors to get the correct size, the tiles fitted perfectly. I had to wait a week before grouting in as I hadn't ordered enough of the adhesive/grout to begin with. After a few hours drying time we cleaned off the excess grout and now the table looks like this!!! 
craftypainter: up-cycled Ikea coffee table, mosaic tiled
I did find that I had to fill in a few holes that appeared in the grout once it was fully dry after a couple of days.

I'm so pleased with it as it turned out exactly how I planned.

Happy grouting!!

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