10 Unique Ways To Refresh An IKEA Patio Table Instead Of Buying A New One

IKEA is one of the most trusted stores for everything home design, and a big reason behind that is that their products can be reimagined into much more interesting and unique pieces. This comes in handy in the case of outdoor furniture because those pieces tend to wear out, which makes it seem like their time is up, but there are many ways to refresh them. Instead of replacing that old IKEA patio table, some things you can do are paint, stain, or cover it so you can get a few more years out of it.

Some things that commonly happen to patio tables over time are that they lose their color, chip, or break down. Whether you want to revive your table or you simply want to update it to match something else on the patio, you can use any of these methods or a combination of them. And if all else fails, you can still repurpose your table and find a new way to use it in your patio décor.

1. Stain

Staining is great if you like the natural wood look and want to maintain it. With tables like the SJALLAND or the APPLARO, all you need to do is clean and sand down the wood and then apply the stain. This will smoothen and brighten the surface, making it feel and look new. You can also add a white wash after the staining if you want a lighter color. Just make sure to finish by sealing with a waterproofing product like polyurethane or varnish so the table holds up in outdoor conditions.

2. Paint

This needs a bit more work than staining but has more color and design options. Clean the table, sand it, and then cover your table in a fun color using spray paint or a brush. Choose an outdoor paint product in a color you really like, a bold color to make the table stand out or a color that matches another feature on the patio, like the lounge chairs or the greenery. To make your paint job more unique, you can combine colors or add a stencil design.

3. Apply a glaze or chalk paint

This technique can be done after painting if you want to add more texture. Using glaze or chalk paint involves applying a semi-transparent layer to the surface, typically to create a distressed look. To do this, take a water-based glaze, dark wax, or some chalk paint, and brush it onto your table. Rub it off with a cloth, let it dry, and then apply a topcoat to seal and protect the new layer. This is commonly done on wood surfaces, but it can also be done on wrought iron.

4. Deep clean

An underrated way to refresh a patio table is to deep clean it. You'll be surprised at how different your table will look if you just take off all the dirt that has settled on it over time. By scrubbing the nooks and crannies of a wood or plastic table, or making a glass tabletop spotless, you might uncover the original appearance of your old table and be able to enjoy it again. Ensure you use the right products, depending on the furniture's material. It's also a good practice to keep it covered when not in use.

5. Change the chairs

Move the attention away from your worn out table by swapping out the chairs. You can thrift some pieces, take some from inside the house, or build your own. They can be floor cushions, upholstered chairs, or just simple backless stools, but a nice design that matches the table will create a cohesive, planned look. A fun hack is to use the IKEA SKARPÖ chair to make an elegant concrete outdoor chair. You can even combine all these ideas and use mismatched chairs to make the table area more unique and interesting.

6. Change the accessories

As a cheaper option than changing the chairs, you can add or change cushions, throw pillows, or throw blankets to them. Getting new, vibrant pieces or reupholstering the cushions yourself will update the table's overall look and hide the fact that it's old. One way to save on this is to look for any indoor throws that you can send to the patio. Remember to cover them with covers resistant to outdoor weather and they'll be good to go. Another idea is to add a nice potted plant to the table as a centerpiece.

7. Update the tabletop only

In some cases, the table appears to be beyond salvation but it's really the surface that's the problem. If the legs are still sturdy, consider updating just the tabletop. You can replace the tiles if it's a tile table, replace the glass, or DIY a new top layer using wood boards. With the wood option, stain or paint the whole table after so it matches. A budget-friendly hack to refresh your old patio table if you don't want to switch out the entire tabletop is to add some rattan on top. It's a quick, simple way to give it a new look.

8. Change the base

If the tabletop is salvageable but the legs are broken or beyond repair, consider changing the base to give the table a new look. Switch out the standard four legs for a pedestal base, a Concord trestle base, or something more DIY, like a few cinder blocks or wooden crates. Another unique DIY technique is to cover up an old tire with a material like rope and place your tabletop on it. Depending on the type of base you choose, it may help to paint the table after to make the design cohesive.

9. Cover it

Another unique and easy way to refresh an IKEA patio table is to cover it with a cloth. This is especially good with a big table like VÄRMANSÖ, NÄMMARÖ, or BONDHOLMEN, where you can gather or have a meal. You don't have to buy a new tablecloth either. Use an old linen, window curtain, runner, or shower curtain cover for your patio table, and set the tabletop with beautiful placemats, plates, and glasses to create an elegant outdoor dining experience. Switch out the cover from time to time to fit different occasions and maintain a clean appearance.

10. Add an umbrella

Instead of buying a new umbrella table, you can make one yourself by adding a hole to an old table. Get a patio table umbrella, and drill a hole through the center of your table that matches its size. You'll also need a base on the floor to anchor the umbrella, and you can DIY this by putting a metal pipe into a pot and then surrounding it with concrete. Place the umbrella through the table's hole and into the pipe, and make sure it's sturdy. Now, you have shade on your patio and you've given the table a new purpose.