Andy and I were endlessly searching for the perfect table for the entryway in our apartment. We needed something with at least one shelf for storage but with enough room underneath for tall boots and shoes. And of course, we wanted a budget-friendly option. I’d been keeping my eye on the whole dipped furniture trend and then spotted IKEA’s SVALBO sideboard. Made of pine and only $79.99, SVALBO is a DIY dream. Unfortunately, the SVALBO line has been discontinued, but I recommend any solid pine piece from IKEA. The REKARNE or NORRAKER are great alternatives.
The SVALBO fit all of our requirements except for the lower shelf and side brackets that just make the whole thing look country. Plus, they refuse to accommodate my tall Hunter boots. You’re probably thinking “Just don’t install the shelf, dummy.” Listen, unlike most IKEA furniture, this sideboard comes partially assembled, with the legs and shelf brackets/supports/annoyances already put together. So while it’s easy to just not put the shelf on, there are still two ugly chunks of wood to deal with. And I dealt with them, alright. But first, I primed.
I followed Centsational Girl‘s guide to painting furniture over an existing finish without sanding. The key is Zinsser Oil-base Cover Stain which bonds to pretty much anything and dries to the touch in about 30 minutes. To get the dipped look, I masked off a line about 13 inches up each leg and primed everything above that mark.
Then I asked my dad for help. I knew he’d know how to solve my bracket problems, because he knows everything. He set up a pair of saw horses and sawed the middle out of the bracket. Next, he wedged the remaining piece of wood away from the legs, exposing two shoddily glued, signature IKEA dowels.
The dowels are a little tricky to remove. You can try pulling them out and you might get lucky, or more likely, they’ll split and crumble. Then, like my dad, you’ll want to take a drill to them.
He drilled to remove as much of the glue and dowel remnants as possible and then switched to a countersink drill bit to get a clean edge. After finishing both sets of legs, he filled the holes with Elmer’s Carpenters Wood Filler in Natural which matched the pine perfectly. It makes more sense to remove the brackets before priming, so if you tackle this project yourself, I recommend doing that first.
Next, I painted over the primer with Behr’s Juicy Passionfruit latex paint. I added Floetrol to the paint, as Centsational Girl recommends, which makes paint go on more smoothly and helps minimize the appearance of brushstrokes. I left everything unassembled for the first and second coats and used a foam roller for the table top and shelf and a brush for everything else. I recommend sanding between coats and using a tack cloth to clean up.
When the second coat was dry, Andy assembled the table and I added some touch up paint. Then, I applied a clear gloss water-based Minwax Polycrylic over the paint. Water-based Polycrylic dries really quickly and won’t yellow over time.
And here it is, all finished and styled up fancy in the entryway. The table and supplies together cost me less than $120.00 and absolutely no heartbreak.