Ikea Coffee Table - Before and After

Magazines and websites entice me with their "before and after" photos of furniture, kitchens, and bathrooms.  I love all things remodeled and re-purposed, especially since it rescues many objects from the landfill.  You can love an object for many more years after a fresh coat of paint or some more creative handiwork.  I am jumping on the bandwagon and showcasing one of my favorite "before and after" projects.

This all started with an Ikea coffee table that I inherited from a friend.  For many years it was just a simple, functional piece of furniture.  However, when I purchased my first home, it was time for a change.  I always loved those outdoor tables with mosaic's on top - so the plan was to try something similar with my coffee table.  First I searched for inspiration.....

Then I gathered the materials...

The following are the nitty gritty details....

Plates - Head to a thrift store and gather cups, plates, saucers, etc... anything that has a good color and interesting patterns.

Hammer, Safety Glasses, Plastic Sheet - Use your hammer to break up all the dinnerware into mosaic tile sized pieces.  This was loud and messy, with lots of sharp pieces - be careful.

1-2-3 Primer, Paint, Rollers, Plastic Sheet - Next paint the coffee table with primer, let it dry... and then paint it with your table color.  This was a multi-day paint job, since it took me a couple coats of paint.

Personal Creativity - Here is the fun part, let your creativity flow and arrange all the broken dinnerware pieces into your pattern.

Liquid Nails - Use a strong glue to secure each mosaic tile piece to the table top.

Sanded Grout, Bucket, Mixing Utensil, Rags - This part is super messy, first pick your grout color (I picked a dark color called Raven), mix the grout per the instructions, and spread onto the mosaic tiles.  I used my hands to spread the grout and then used damp rags to wipe off each tile piece until I liked how much each tile piece was showing.

(Lessons learned - I first used a light grey color pre-mixed grout from Michaels and realized very soon that I didn't like it - so I had to hose off the top of my table - thank goodness it didn't ruin the entire project, but it was a close call.  I would recommend buying a dry grout at a hardware store that you mix with water instead of a grout you can get a Michaels.  Make sure the grout is sanded since the spaces between each tile are variable.  Another lesson I learned, was that I didn't need a fancy grout tile tool, since all the pieces are different shapes and sizes - my hands and fingers worked better to spread the grout; however, be careful of sharp edges.)

Custom Cut Glass - This might be the most expensive part ~ $40.  Measure the top of your table right to the edge (without going over the edges) and order a custom cut piece of glass.  It needs to be thicker than picture glass so that it doesn't break.  I just placed the glass directly on top of the mosaic tile picture.

Molding, Paint, Miter Box, Saw, Hammer, Nails, Nail Set - Measure and cut the molding that will go around the table top, use the miter box to saw the molding pieces, paint the entire molding pieces the same color as your table (make sure to paint even the cut edges to ensure a seamless finish), place the glass on top to get the right height so the table glass is flush with the molding, and use a nail set to hammer in the nails to the table without creating hammer marks in the molding.

(Lesson learned - I didn't use wood filler to fill in where I nailed the molding to the table, I can still see each of the small nails.  Since I don't have the same paint anymore, I have just decided to leave it like that and I barely notice it.  However, if you want to create a final finished look you would fill in over the nails, sand it a little, and then touch up with paint to create a seamless finish for the molding.)

This whole process took me over 6 months to complete.  It took me forever to find the right grout color and I was taking my time trying to figure out how to do this project.  In addition, sometimes you just can't rush the creative process as you design your mosaic.  Now that I have done one table, it would be a lot faster to complete another table and this could easily be done in one or two weekends (if all the painting would dry in time for the next step).

Hope someone else is able to re-purpose a table, so they can continue enjoying it for many more years.  I would love it if you shared your links, blogs, photos - of items you have re-purposed.  I can never get enough inspiration for future projects.

XO Judi

Links to the inspiration mosaic websites:

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  1. Judi Fox says:

    Thanks guys! I appreciate the feedback and hopefully I can post some more "before and afters" with directions. :)

  2. Kate Bree says:

    Hi Judi .. this is very nice ideas :)

    Waiting for more ideas from you..

    DIY Coffee Tables

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