There are certain pieces of Ikea furniture that you see in so many parents’ houses, and the mini table and chairs set is one of those. We bought our unfinished wood version when Sam was one, so it’s had more than five years’ use and is looking pretty tired.
When we bought it, it was with the view that it was an arts and crafts table which was so cheap he could make whatever marks he wanted on it and we wouldn’t worry. It was his table, his toddler workspace in the corner of the kitchen/dining room which we weren’t too precious about. Over the years it’s seen a fair few scribbles, scraps of sellotape and rather cute animal stamper sets, but it looked tatty and I’d started to think it needed replacing.
I took a quick snap of it and posted it on Instagram, where my creative followers persuaded me it would look gorgeous painted and upcycled into something new, but with minimal effort.
A few days later and I’d bought a nice tin of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Louis Blue and was ready to go.
I’d never used chalk paint before but if you’ve ever read up on how to revive an old piece of furniture with a lick of paint, chances are it’s made by Annie Sloan. Her chalk paint range comes in a gorgeous range of colours perfect for creating a vintage look. The texture means the furniture needs little or no treating beforehand, and it can be mixed with other colours to get a custom shade, or just to go a little lighter or darker.
I bought mine from a shop called Recollections at Brimstage Hall in Wirral, and the lady I spoke to in there couldn’t have been more helpful, inspiring me with ways I could liven up my little table. She advised me to mix the paint with a little water to get a smoother finish, so that’s what I did and the results are fab.
I didn’t use exact measurements (a bit of guesswork) but I’d say I used two parts paint to one part water. I rubbed the furniture over with sandpaper very lightly beforehand, just in case there were any greasy marks which could have showed through the paint. I say just in case, it’s pretty much nailed on that there will be greasy fingerprints on a kids’ table isn’t it, so I’d say definitely sand it down a bit first!
I did two coats of paint and finished by rubbing in some Annie Sloan clear Soft Wax. You can use a darker wax for more of a vintage finish.
It’s seen nearly a week of heavy use now and there are no bumps or marks visible yet. I’ve moved it out from the corner of the kitchen to the side, so there’s enough room for both Sam and Florence to sit and play, colour or make stuff at the same time.
They love their new little table, with Flo telling everyone who comes round ‘My mummy painted my table’ in a really cute, proud little way! Worth it just for that!
Our table is an Ikea ‘Sulva’ according to the label on the underside, but it seems they have now been discontinued. It’s very similar to the Latt, in untreated pine, which is just £20 for a table and two chairs.
You can find some more ideas on how to upcycle or change up your Ikea furniture on my Pinterest board Ikea Hacks.
PS – Painting is very therapeutic, don’t you think?