Ladies and gents, I give you a rather sexy Ikea Lack coffee table makeover:Ikea Goes Glam: Lack Coffee Table Makeover with Wallpaper and Nail Head Trim
She came from humble beginnings:

Ikea Lack coffee table

Ikea Lack Coffee Table – $20 

I didn’t have room in my living room budget for a “proper” coffee table, but after trawling Ikea Hackers, I was inspired (especially by this similar Lack hack). I shelled out twenty big ones for an Ikea Lack coffee table and set to work giving it a face lift. Here’s how…

Coffee Table Makeover Supplies:

  • An Ikea Lack coffee table
  • Spray Adhesive (this might also work with wallpaper paste, but I haven’t tried it)
  • ModPodge
  • Shellac
  • Wallpaper (I used Laura Ashely’s Oriental Garden wallpaper; thick wrapping paper would work too)
  • A craft knife
  • A paint brush
  • Decorative nails (I used 3/8″ nails with a nickel finish) or nail head trim
  • A ruler
  • A hammer
Supplies needed for Ikea Lack makeover with wallpaper and nail head trim

1. Spray

If you’re buying a new Lack, this is much easier to do before you assemble it. Make sure your table is clean and dry. Spray adhesive all over the top and lay your paper smoothly over. This can be tricky, but if you have someone to help, one can spray and the other can lay. Use a paint roller or a credit card to smooth out air bubbles.

If your paper doesn’t cover the whole table, you can still make this work by laying two pieces side-by-side and lining up the seams, like I did.
Adding wallpaper to Ikea Lack coffee table - progress
{Side note: On my first attempt, I used ModPodge to attach the paper to the table. Do not, for the love of God, do this. It dries too fast and creases and you’ll be left peeling ruined paper off a very sticky table.}

2. Fold and repeat

Once the top is glued down smoothly, fold the paper along the edges, spray and press it down around the sides. Remove the table legs if you need to, tuck the paper underneath the table top and glue in place there too.

3. Add details to the bottom shelf

Using a craft knife, I measured and cut strips of paper to fit the edges of the bottom shelf too. To attach these, the ModPodge worked just fine, and was neater than using the spray adhesive. It’s subtle and hard to see in the photo, but I assure you it’s pretty in real life. Give it at least a couple of hours to dry before moving to the next step.
Decoupaged Ikea coffee table using Laura Ashley wallpaper

4. Seal it

Use a paint brush to apply an even coat of ModPodge over all the wallpaper. Let it dry then give it another coat or two. When it’s all had time to dry completely, use spray Shellac to seal it.
All this might seem like overkill, but since we have a toddler and I am almost certain things will get spilled on it, I didn’t want to take any chances. As it is, I can wipe it clean no problem.

5. Add the trim

This final step was definitely a labor of love. I love the look of nail head trim, so I figured it would be the perfect finishing touch. I went to four hardware stores and three hobby stores and couldn’t find rolls of it anywhere. Bah. Finally, in JoAnns, I found two boxes of individual decorative nails. And so began the long process of hammering every single nail in by hand.
Detail of nail head trim added to an Ikea Lack coffee tableAdding nail head trim to an Ikea Lack coffee table
Using a metal rule, I measured 13mm from the edge of the table to the center of the nail heads. Take the time to measure, it’s actually pretty straightforward to get them neat and evenly spaced if you do. And yes, I measured every single nail. Sounds completely tiresome, but I stuck Sarah’s House on in the background and had some help from a little red headed fellow with a plastic hammer and it was actually quite fun.I ran out of nails quite quickly and had to buy more – luckily, Amazon sells the exact same ones in a multi-pack. I ended up using I think 6 or 7 boxes of 36 nails.
Of course, if you just use a roll of nail head trim, this part would be a lot quicker (although it might not look quite as nice).

Adding nail head trim to an Ikea coffee table

6. Enjoy!

Ikea Lack hack coffee table makeover for $65Ikea Lack hack coffee table makeover

Cost break down (approximately)

Table – $20
Wallpaper – $0 (I’d already bought it for another project and only used a smidgen for this)
ModPodge – $10
Spray adhesive – $12
Shellac – $11
Decorative nails – $12
That brings the total cost to $65, but obviously I now have lots of supplies I can use again in the future.
It was a lot cheaper than the other options I was considering when I put together my living room design board, and it makes a nice addition to our living room, I think. 🙂

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