IKEA bench makeover

Decor, DIY, Furniture

Sometimes you can find great deals for used furniture at garage sales, on Craigslist or even at thrift stores. But they don’t always work with your decor. I found an IKEA bench (STUVA) in very good shape at a the thrift store but it was very plain and needed a bit more character.

I came up with this idea to cover the top of the bench with pine boards to make it look thicker and to give it the look of reclaimed wood, all without using any power tools!

Materials I used: pine boards,  2″ wide iron-on birch edging, Glue Dots HybriBond Repositionable Mounting Tape, and chalk paint.

Step 1: I figured out the number and size of the boards I would need to cover the entire top. My bench was 35 1/2″ long so the wood board configuration I came up with was the following: 2 x 1″ x 1″, 8 x 1″ x 3″ and 9 x 1″ x 2″. I had all the boards cut at the hardware store to match the depth of the bench (19 3/8″ ).

Step 2: I cut lengths of the edging to fit the width of each board – I used a speed square to make sure to cut the edging at a 90 degree angle with a utility knife.

Step 3: To give the illusion of thicker boards, I ironed the edging to the front edge of each board and along the side edge of the 1″ x 1″ boards that go at the ends of the bench.

Step 4: I placed several strips of the Glue Dots HybriBond Repositionable Mounting Tape, along the length of the bench, removed the liner and pressed each board in place.

 Step 5: I ironed the edging onto the side of the bench. With the tape and the edging glued to the sides, the boards stay in place nicely but you could also attach the boards in place with screws to have them be even more secured to the top.


Step 6: I used a pencil to color in the spaced in between the boards to keep the illusion of wider boards

Step 7: I removed the feet from the bench, filled in the holes with wood filler.

Step 8: I painted the base of the bench in a white chalk paint and I painted the wood with a base coat of white chalk paint and a top coat of a gray, using some sand paper to give it that reclaimed wood look. You could also skip the paint and just stain the wood.

I love the way the bench came out and it looks great in my bedroom now!

 ** This post was sponsored by Glue Dots – all opinions are my own **


  1. Gina

    Isabelle, I really wish I could take a class with you. Or share my own ideas with you. I would love that! I really wish you’d open up a school or offer that sort of thing. I’d pay you for your time.

    • Isabelle

      Hi Gina, That’s so nice of you to say! And that’s a great idea, maybe one day I can do something like that, offer workshops or classes. I’ll keep it in mind for sure. Isabelle

  2. Lisa

    Hi Isabelle!
    Do you ever consult on spaces? You’re my new DYI superhero!


    • Isabelle

      Hi Lisa,
      I’m focusing on other projects right now but that may be something I do in the future. That’s so nice of you to say, thank you!



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