Concrete Lack: Ikea Table Hack




Introduction: Concrete Lack: Ikea Table Hack

I wanted  a cheap coffee table, so I went to Ikea and picked up a Lack coffee table for $20. It was a little plain, so I decided to customize it a little.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

IKEA Lack Coffee Table ($20)
12 ft. 1x6 boards ($10)
Bag of concrete ($3) (I used standard quikrete concrete. For a smoother finish you may want to try masonry concrete)
Wood filler
Wood glue
Wood stain (Your choice. I used golden oak)
Wood finish (There is usually satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Again your choice)

Saw (Table, circular, jig, whatever you're comfortable with. I used a table saw)
Concrete trowel

Concrete polisher (hand pads or angle grinder)

Step 2: Cut the Wood

The original dimensions of the table surface were 21.5 in by 35.5 in. I wanted a 1 in overhang around the edge, so the outer dimensions of the wood were 23.5 in by 37.5 in. Measure and cut your wood at 45 degree angles. The longer edge should be equal to the outer dimensions. If its not exactly 45 degrees, its okay, we'll fix it later.

Step 3: Glue the Wood and Fill in the Gaps

Scuff up the surface of the table a bit so the glue will adhere better. Then apply a liberal amount of glue onto the table and place the pieces of wood down. Try to line them up as closely as you can. I had a lot of trouble here because my cuts were not exactly 45 degrees.

Once the pieces are on the table, clamp them in place so they don't move while they are drying. After clamping, I used some wood filler to fill in any imperfections in the wood and the small gaps between the pieces. Then I let the whole thing dry for a few hours. Once everything was dry I sanded off any excess wood filler.

Step 4: Stain the Wood

You could probably wait until after the concrete is dry to stain the wood, but you might get some stain on the concrete. I choose a golden oak color for my stain. I thought it looked good with the black table. You can choose whatever finish you like!

Step 5: Mix and Pour the Concrete

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the mixing, but I basically just followed the directions on the bag. Then using a concrete trowel I scooped concrete into the center and spread it as evenly as possible. I also tried to use a long 2x4 to scrape across the top to even everything out, but it didn't work very well for me. I think the concrete was too thick. After the concrete is to your liking, let it dry overnight.

Step 6: Finishing

After the concrete has dried for a few days (the bag said it takes about 5 days to fully cure) all that's left to do is sand and finish the table. Thankfully the wood was already smooth, so I just used a high grit (300 grit) sandpaper for a silky smooth finish.

After drying, the concrete was a little rough. Unfortunately, I didn't have any concrete sanding supplies, so I just ended up using some 80 grit sandpaper. It worked a little bit, mostly just got rid of the really rough spots. The concrete wasn't perfectly smooth, but it was good enough. I think the rough surface gives it some character. You could use a smoother concrete, like masonry concrete or maybe even concrete resurfacer for a smoother surface.

After all the sanding, I applied a few coats of semi-gloss polycrylic protective finish. After it was dry, my new table was completely done! The picture doesn't really do it justice. The lighting in that room was not the best.



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    25 Discussions

    The best way to do this is with a pressure washer. It takes a very small amount of residual dirt on the surface of your Master Concrete Resurfacing to botch the resurfacing. Since dust and dirt can crop up easily from any chips or cracks your concrete has, its important for your contractor to thoroughly clean those areas

    Nice idea, although the mods have doubled the price. To get a smooth surface on the concrete, you could try applying vibration which settles the concrete, removes air pockets and leaves the finest aggregate at the top (so is smoother, often dead flat). You could use a mains operated vibrating massager on the edge of the table, they are powerful. Not to be confused with any torpedo-shaped er, personal massager...!

    1 reply

    I haven't tried any of these products yet, but supposedly their GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) products can produce a very smooth finish: Thanks for posting your project.

    2 replies

    Thanks for the link! I'd like to do more stuff with concrete, so I might have to try that stuff out.

    Very Cool!! You could also try tinting the concrete, or embedding objects in it, although I really like the elegance of your table.

    2 replies

    Thanks! I thought about using some stain or that powder stuff you mix into the concrete, but I never got around to it.

    Love the idea have you considered the use of concrete dye?

    1 reply

    I thought about dyeing the concrete, but I ended up liking the color of the plain concrete with the wood. I've heard you can even use wood stain on concrete, but I'm not sure how well it would work.

    Really nice idea. How much heavier did the table become after the modifications?

    1 reply

    It was a little heavier, but the concrete was only 3/4" thick, so it wasn't crazy heavy. I can still pick it up and move it easily.

    What a good opportunity to learn to cut exact 45º s! Chop saws have click-stops at 45, and table saw pushers have exact angles marked. Not as easy by hand, so we use those big orange triangles to guide the saw.

    1 reply

    I used a table saw pusher set to 45º, but it didn't have a click-stop, I guess it was off a little. Some of the angles ended up being 44º instead of 45º. I guess I'll try to be more precise next time!

    You can always polish concrete with a diamond polishing kit. It's not in everyone's tool box but it is an option. Check out Cheng concrete counter tops online. There are many ways to form concrete. I like to vibrate all the air out and finish with a slurry of mortar personally in the way you have worked this project. But like danzo321 said to get a glass finish with out a lot of work later, you have to finish against a slick as glass surface, but don't forget to vibrate those bubbles loose. I've build a couple concrete counter tops, all formed off site on a specialized table. They where poured upside down then flipped to install. Concrete is a fun medium to work with. Keep up the good work.

    If anyone wants truly slick concrete, you get it by casting against a slick surface, such as plate glass or shiny formica. Build your form and use silicone glue to glue it down, and maybe make barely-rounded corners. Lift the concrete after a few days and just drop into the wood frame. If you were careful to measure and make perfect 90ºs, it will look great. Gluing bits of tile, metal and glass down before pouring crete will give lots of surface appeal (This is how we do countertops.)

    You can add small amounts of water to wet crete to make it flow better. Just don't try it when crete is taking a set.

    I'll second that, but also add that I would've made a form for the concrete and do that separately, then you can finish the concrete with a grinder and get a smoother finish. Also if you're adding glass beads or other things to give it some "busy-ness" this would allow you to grind it down so that it's all flat, or just leave it as is and enjoy the texture.