Ikea Latt Hack

January 25, 2012

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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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Ah, the classic, cheap and standard Ikea Latt table.  We got this set for Greta for her first birthday nearly a year ago (I’ll have a two year old next month.  Pinch me.). 

Of course to a toddler a table and chairs just their size is delightful no matter what it looks like–but after staring at it for a year, I knew that we could do better.  For the most part, this just hung out in her room and held her basket of books.  Occasionally, she would pull out a chair and actually sit and pretend to read.

Last night, after she went to bed, I snuck it out of her room to give it a little personality, a new life that didn’t scream, “Ikea Latt!” and most importantly, I was hoping a lot more use.  After about 4 hours, the tabletop was now a chalkboard (I can’t have all the fun), and I color blocked portions of the chairs and table for a contemporary, clean, mod look.  Ta Da!:
I had all of the paint on hand, so this project was a freebie.  For the chalkboard paint, I used Rustoleum, the same quart-sized can I had left over from my making my big chalkboard for our laundry room.  The white border around the chalkboard is right off the shelf semi-gloss white that we use for all of the trim in our house.  The green is Martha Stewart’s Cornichon.  We have used it previously here and here.

The white and green color-blocking also got 3 coats of clear high-gloss Polycrylic to seal, protect and shine!  And boy does it shine:

I love the juxtaposition of the raw pine, the glossy color and the matte black chalkboard.  Once I showed Greta her “new” table and chairs–I realized I should have saved it for her birthday even if we would be regifting her own gift.  She went bananas.

And just when I was sure we had a left on our hands, she switched:

Of all the DIY projects we do around here, there is hands down nothing more rewarding than doing something special for Greta.  She gets so excited and is so grateful.  Now, I am just hoping the excitement of drawing on the chalkboard lasts the afternoon…at least.  

What do you think?

  1. […] struck when I saw a post via Apartment Therapy of a little Ikea kids table a chairs by Chris Loves Julia. They turned the Latt table from this:Into […]

  2. […] hedder Lätt, og det kan købes til den nette sum af 139kr. Jeg fandt en fin “hack” her, og valgte at male bordet med tavlemaling, så N kan male med kridt derpå. Derudover malede jeg […]

  3. […] struck when I saw a post via Apartment Therapy of a little Ikea kids table a chairs by Chris Loves Julia. They turned the Latt table from this:Into […]

  4. Kary Glawe says:

    I searched online for ideas for a Latt table makeover and yours was at the top of my list. I love the two toned look on the chairs. I got around to painting ours and blogging it this week. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  5. Thanks for the tips! I think I’ll use a roller. I’m not very good at even brushstrokes. :)

  6. I just painted it assembled. I taped off the close edges!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Oh I LOVE it! Did you take apart the chairs and tables to paint? Or just paint them assembled? Thanks!

  8. Love this! We have this table..and it has been colored on..might need this facelift to make it cute again! great idea thanks for sharing (found you via apartment therapy :)

  9. I definitely don’t think the living room will be a permanent residence for the Latt, but after I finished it last night, it just stayed downstairs to dry. So when she saw it for the first time it was like Christmas morning. Although I will say, she has been drawing on it all day long–so it has been nice to have it down here so I can keep an eye on her. Once we are done babysitting the baby grand piano, I think that space will turn into a little desk/play/homework area.

  10. What made you switch it downstairs instead of keeping it in her room? Just wanting to pick your brain a lil : )

  11. Heidi P. says:

    I love it!

  12. michelle says:

    we have that same set and it could really use a make-over! i pinned this and will discuss with the hubs tonight! thanks for the great idea! ~m

  13. Looks awesome, Weiya! What a versatile little table we own. Enjoy it and congrats on the feature.

  14. Weiya @ enjoyer of grace says:

    Hi Julia! I love the makeover! Actually, I just did the same hack last week! :D It was actually featured today at the DIYShowOff.

    check it out at:

    Hope you like it! :)

  15. I just use the quart-sized can. For my large chalkboard, I rolled in on, but for this little table 2 coats of even brushstrokes worked great. The brushstrokes leveled out by themselves and the table is real smooth. Hope it helps. Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve!

  16. Great is going to be 2?!? Wow.

    Question about the paint: Was yours a spray or one you need a brush for? I’ve got some chalkboard projects in the works and I’ve been researching Rustoleum. Your feedback would be much appreciated. :)

  17. Thanks Patsy!… we had ours for a year before touching it. No worries.

  18. That looks so pretty now! I want a full-size version, for me :)

  19. meaganbriggs3 says:

    What a genius idea!!!!! Brinley loves to play with chalk outside, this old be perfect for her inside!!!

    Swoooooon-Greta’s hair…… Oh my she is a doll!!!

  20. Patty.Published says:

    Jealous. Kole’s looks so drab now. You’ve got serious creative ideas flowing over there.

  21. Jane says:

    love what you did with the chairs! so mod.

  22. Hayley Clapham says:

    Love it. Working on one now. Did u gloss the whole thing or just the colored parts?

  23. Just the painted parts. Have fun!!

  24. Thanks, Jaimie! No priming and it has held up wonderfully. Woot!

  25. Jaime says:

    Wow! That is awesome. We have the same table!

    Did you have to put a primer down before the chalkboard paint? Or did it adhere to the slick surface as is?

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