IKEA Table x The Elements

Our outdoor Ikea table was looking a little rough after a couple of years out in the elements. The sun/rain/heat/squirrels were definitely getting the best of it. We decided this was an easy enough thing to do over the course of one Sunday afternoon  – and while we frequently grossly mis-calculate how long something will take to finish, this one was spot on.

Table Before
We sanded whatever was left of the original finish to expose the wood, finishing it off with a super fine grit paper.

Table sanded

After wiping off the dust and giving the table a good cleaning, we followed up with about 4 coats of Tung Oil (24 hours between applications). This photo was taken after the first application.

Table after

I like how the oil brought out the natural variation of the wood, previously hidden by whatever tinted finish Ikea uses.  This is our first attempt at using Tung Oil outside but I figured since water just beads off, it would be a good choice. It has worked OK thus far, but I find myself re-applying it in spots here and there.  On the plus side, it’s absolutely non toxic and you don’t have to worry about fumes or residue.

A note on Tung Oil: I used pure Tung Oil, not the stuff from the hardware store (which usually has other chemicals added to it). The Milk Paint Company stuff is a bit hard to find in a store (the place where I bought mine has since closed). You can order it online or Google your way to a local store that may sell it.

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