Do you recognize this table? Sure you do. It's an Ikea Ingo $69 basic unfinished dining table. That was easy. But here's a hard one.
Do you recognize this table? It, too, is an Ikea Ingo, after being stained green, used and abused by a family of 5 for 12 years, and finally relegated to the garage. I didn't stage this photo. That's my old Ingo in it's natural habitat. Please don't call that "Hoarders" show on me. Jon and I bought it 12 years ago as poor newly weds living in Austin. Of course, there was no Ikea in Austin back then, so we had to drive to Houston to get it. But we had a got a heck of a lot of use out of that thing. So many meals, family memories, birthday cakes, Saturday breakfasts, Jon studying for the MCAT with tiny Ethan in his lap. Anyway, now that we're poor oldly weds, I decided to excavate it from the garage and do something with it. And I needed a desk. Ready?
It cleaned up pretty nicely, huh? I can't believe it's the same table. It was really pretty easy. I just cut a few strips of 1x2 to make the sides. The base of the new side (that horizontal strip on the floor) is a 2x2. I joined all the pieces of wood with dowels. Here's the Tao of Doweling:
This is my favorite way to join wood because it doesn't require any special tools other than a drill, it makes a clean joint with no hardware sticking out, and the bond is as strong as hercules. It's easy, too. Just (1) drill a hole, (2) fill it with glue and stick a piece of dowel in it, (3) drill a hole in the other piece and fill it with glue or get the dowel all gluey (you can't use too much glue) and (4) shove it all flush and wipe up the glue overflow.
For this desk I laid out all the wood strips on the floor and joined them first. Then I had to drill the holes all the way through the Ingo legs and slide the whole side structure in. After the glue dried, I filled the holes with wood filler and sanded it smooth. I also used paintable caulk to make the seams where the wood strips meet very flush. Then tons of sanding over the whole thing and about 4 coats of glossy white paint.
Not bad for an Ikea hack! I don't even know what I spent. Maybe 5 bucks? And now I have an awesome desk! Maggie gets under there and looks out the "window" and calls it her treehouse. Hahaha.