Our old Ikea Lack coffee table had definitely seen better days. After lots of usage, the top was all scratched up and bubbled in places from condensation on cups. The plain light wood color also left us bored and uninspired, so we decided it was time for a coffee table transformation.
We are waiting until we buy a house in order to get all new living room furniture, so we are looking at this as a temporary rejuvenation. Decoupaged table tops are not going to last forever with heavy usage, but look great in the short run. Alex came up with the idea of using pictures from our travels, but I thought color would be too busy. So we opted to use black and white photos on top and paint the legs and shelf black. Now it has much more of a personalized, modern appeal.
Old coffee table • Glossy black spray paint • Glossy Mod Podge • Clear spray acrylic sealant • Printed black & white photos in 5×7 and 4×6 (approx 70 photos total) • Sandpaper • Foam brush
1. To start out, I gathered all my materials. Next I took the table apart so that I could work on the pieces separately. Taking the top outside, I sanded down all the imperfections and bubbled up areas to begin with a smooth surface. I then wiped it clean with a damp cloth and let it dry. Now we are ready to start laying the photos.
2. Start from one corner. Place a photo on the top and wrap over the side. Crease the photo where it bends over the edge to have it lay down nicely. This is important to help the mod podge hold. (There are a few spots on my table where the photo did not adhere all the way on an edge and makes a crinkly noise when pressed.) Using your foam brush, apply a layer of mod podge all over the back of the photo and adhere it to the table top. Continue this process of applying your photos to cover the entire top and edges. Coat the top and sides of table with a coat of mod podge to seal everything in. Let the table top dry for 2-3 hours.
3. While the top of the table is drying, take the legs and shelf outside to spray paint black. I did multiple coats of spray paint, waiting about 15 minutes between coats, to prevent applying too much at a time and seeing runs in the paint. I did not apply a primer first, but would highly recommend it being that the paint seems to be chipping off pretty easily. Also, I would recommend buying two cans of paint to be safe, because I actually ran out on the shelf so there are a couple of light spots that could use one more coat.
4. Once the table top seems dry, take it out side and spray a generous coating of clear acrylic coating. Let dry thoroughly before reassembling the table.
Voilá! Newly transformed decoupage table. To help prolong the life of your photo table top you can purchase a piece of glass and use it as a topper.