Intro: IKEA DESK TOP HACK
My brother ruined the original top to his IKEA LINNMON / FINNVARD desk, so I decided to make him a new one. This utilizes all the original parts except for the desktop itself.
You can build this entire project with only hand-held tools!
Step 1: Building
The first step was to build the desktop. I used 2" x 4"'s to make a 36"x60" top. I cut all of the 2" x 4"
s down to 5'. I used a biscuit cutter and made 4 biscuits between each pair of boards. I glued it all together using wood glue and holding it with pole clamps. I used four, flat metal brackets staggered on the bottom just to ensure the strength of the desktop. This should be the easiest step in the whole project.
2" x 4"'s
Hand Held Circular Saw
Step 2: Spackling
The next step is to fill all the small cracks with spackle/bondo. Unfortunately, the corners of 2" x 4"'s are round, so this makes for small gaps in the top of the desk. I overly filled all the spaces, let the spackle/bondo dry, and then used a coarse sand block to smooth the face of the desk. I went over the whole thing with a 40, an 80, and final smooth over with a 120. Make sure to give the spackle/bondo enough time to dry, otherwise you will sand out large chunks and the top won't be flat.
Step 3: Painting
I gave the whole desk a white primer/base coat to make sure everything is covered. I wanted a very vibrant and abstract top, so I decided to use the pour-paint method. Simply, I poured paint all over the table in different shapes and piles and then would tilt the desktop to cause it to run in different directions. I liked making circles with two alternating colors, which creates the "marble" look. The video is at hyper-speed, the whole paint-pour process took about an hour. Make sure to have a strong supportive surface to put the desktop on, I knocked over the saw horses I was using and it could have been disastrous.
Tips: Buy more paint than you think you'll need. Although very cool, this method is not efficient with paint and requires a lot more than a normal paint job.
Allow 24-48 hours for the paint to dry. The more you pour, the longer it will take to dry. It needs to be fully dry before moving to the epoxy.
Make sure to use enough paint to cover the entire table AND allow the paint to run off the sides so that the whole top is relatively smooth and their aren't any "dry" spots.
Step 4: Sealing
I used a bar top epoxy (pictured) to seal this desk and give it a hard, smooth surface. I used 2 quarts (2 boxes) to give the desktop a thicker top and to make sure the edges of the table were also covered. Mix the batches at the same time (having a partner helps!) and start by pouring most the epoxy in the middle of the table and then using dull putty knifes to gently spread it. Once the middle and most of the table is covered, carefully push excess epoxy towards the edges of the tables to coat them as well. Once satisfied with the pour, let sit and dry for two to three days.
Tips: Having a partner help mix and pour the epoxy allows you to be quick and efficient.
Put a tarp down so that you can run paint and epoxy off the edges of the table
Make sure the edge of the desk where you will sit is covered first, you will touch this the most often!
Try and do in a sealed environment! As you can see, epoxy smells nice to little bugs and they like to get stuck in it.
Step 5: Finishing
The LINNMON / FINNVARD desks use four pin screws to attach the desk top to the table legs. We laid the desk top on its face, flipped the table legs over, and marked the four screw-holes so you know where to put the screws. We made small pilot holes and then simply screwed the screws into the desktop. After standing the table legs back up, all we had to do was drop the table down into the table legs. Add a couple table decorations and Boom! A great looking table.
If you have any questions or comments about this table feel free to comment or email me @ email@example.com