Introduction: Ikea Leksvik Upcycle to New England Chic

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My mother-in-law bought the Leksvik coffee table some years ago from Ikea, but it really isn't practical in her home now, and the honey pine look is rather dated. So, I gave up a few hours to convert it, very easily, into a chic, part painted, coffee table, with a book/magazine shelf.


A jig saw, drill, screwdrivers, sandpaper, paintbrush, and paint, is all it takes. If you have a router, you can speed up a few steps, but it's not essential.

Keep reading to see how it's done

Step 1: Disassemble the Leksvik

Turn the cam-action knock-down fixings anti-clockwise, until the joints are all loose

Pull apart

It's that simple! (unless someone wrongly used glue during assembly, in which case a little force may need applying)

Step 2: Sides - 1

To reduce the size, and keep sensible sized feet, I first cut approximately 25mm off the bottom, and each side, of the two sides.

Step 3: Bottom Shelf

To reduce the width of the table, first cut approximately one third off the bottom shelf - measure the exact length by installing the sides into the table top using the fixings for one intermediate upright instead of one end

This will become the magazine shelf in the finished table

Cut from the waste third, a 20mm strip with the dowel holes in it - this will be used to guide an 8mm drill bit when making new dowel holes in the sides, and the cut end of the shelf

Step 4: New Dowel Holes

Use the strip you cut in the previous section, as a guide to drill new dowel holes in the cut end of the new shelf. Clamping two boards either side will keep it aligned with the faces

Then use the same strip as a guide to drill the matching dowel holes in the two sides, which will support the magazine shelf in it's new position

Step 5: Test Fit - 1

Test fit the two sides, shelf, and table top

Use the original screw fixings, drilling pilot holes for them into the cut end of the shelf

Step 6: Anti-Racking

Use the anti-racking strip from the bottom of the original table, cut to the same length as the shelf, to fix to the table top between the two sides. This will provide sufficient anti-racking

Drill and counter bore for screws into the top, and for screws into the ends through the sides (use the special thick screws from the original table, as they will hold well in the end grain)

Step 7: Side Legs

Mark in for the legs on each side panel. At least 25mm wide at the bottom, and 50mm or more at the top. Remember the 'top' should be approximately 25mm below where the magazine shelf will be

Saw out the waste areas between the legs of each panel

Step 8: Table Top

Cut down the table top, so that it ends up overhanging the base approximately 25mm front and back, and 35mm each side

Round the corners to a radius of 25mm

A simple corner rounding jig and a router would speed up things

Step 9: Clean Up

Clean up all cut edges with sandpaper, or better still use a hand plane for all straight sections

Take your time with this, as it will reflect on the finished item

Step 10: Finishing - 1

Prepare all surfaces for finishing by sanding with 120, 180, and finally 240 grit sandpaper

Prime and undercoat everything below the table top, before painting with an off-white or similar eggshell top coat (two coats recommended)

Use shellac on the table top, rubbing down between each of three coats. This should greatly improve on the factory honey pine lacquer appearance

Step 11: Finishing - 2

Assemble, and give the top a coat of furniture wax

Fill with magazines, and get yourself a coffee!

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