DIY Series: IKEA Surfboard Table Restoration and Wrap

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We found this IKEA Surfboard Stockholm table on the curb in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and thought it would look good in the office. Unfortunately, it was a little worse for wear so it needed some TLC before we could wrap it and give it the surf and turf makeover we knew it deserved. Once we sanded, cut and filled the dents and gouges with wood filler we then gave it the so-called "millennial teal" treatment (in the words of Phil) with our Rwraps™ Matte Teal. The other supplies you'll want to assemble are as follows:

  • Rapid Prep or Cleaner
  • Lint-Free Towel
  • Razor or Exacto Knife
  • A Hard Card or Squeegee
  • Wood Filler (we used Famowood latex-based but you can use a water-based one if you're fancy)
  • Putty Knife
  • Masking Tape
  • Low-Grit Sandpaper
  • Roll of Vinyl Wrap
  • 3M Primer Pen

Quick Guide to Wrapping and Restoring Your IKEA Stockholm Coffee Table

Step 1: Clean and  Prepare Your IKEA Surfboard Table

Step 2: Repair Any Scratches, Dents or Gouges

Step 3: Tape It Up

Step 4: Apply Wood Filler

Step 5: Measure Your Table

Step 6: Remove Tape and Start Sanding

Step 7: Clean It Up

Step 8: Apply 3M™ Primer to Table

Step 9: Remove Vinyl and Dry Fit

Step 10: Peel and Stick Your Vinyl Wrap

Step 11: Squeegee and Tack On

Step 12: Grab Your Mom or a Roommate

Step 13: Trim Away Excess Vinyl

Step 1: Clean Your IKEA Stockholm Table with Rapid Prep

As you can imagine, this IKEA Stockholm coffee table had seen a lot of things before it ended up on the curb in Carroll Gardens. Unfortunately, things only got worse once it was exposed to the elements and the hot, Brooklyn summer nights. Who knows how many terriers may have peed on it or how many hipsters used it as a stool to tie their neon yellow Supras before heading off to brunch? Luckily, this surfboard table wasn't destined for an errant trash barge (yet) but instead was to become part of the cast of ne'er do wells that we've collected as part of our never-ending series of DIY projects.

Be all that as it may, the first thing we did when we got the table back to the shop was to clean it with copious amounts of Rapid Prep. Watch the video and you'll see how much dirt comes off the surface. And, why do we use Rapid Prep? Simply because we've never found a cleaner that's better for use with vinyl film. It's non-greasy and leaves no residues that could interfere with the adhesives of the vinyl wrap. Use what you like but there's nothing better than Rapid Prep in our book.

Step 2: Repair Scratches and Gouges

The next thing you'll want to do with your lightly used or completely ravaged, curbside coffee table is to begin the process of repairing cracks, gouges and scratches. For this stage of the restoration you'll need to get hold of wood filler that matches the stain or color of the tabletop, especially if it will be visible along the edges. We chose Birch-colored wood filler but there is a huge variety. In addition, even if you pick a color that's too light you can always go back and stain or paint it later.

Step 3: Tape It Before You Scrape It

Once you've chosen your wood filler, get some blue masking tape, a putty knife and sandpaper. Sand down the entire table top. If there are pieces of the table that cannot be sanded down, use a utility blade to remove the sections and match a clean cut that can be easily filled and sanded down. When filling gouges and dents, tape around the area to prevent overspreading the wood filler which will require you to do more work later on.

Step 4: Apply Wood Filler into Gouges with Putty Knife

You've sanded, cut and taped so now it's time to apply liberal amounts of filler. Use the technique shown in the video being sure to apply the wood putty so that it creates a level surface with the rest of the table top.

Step 5: Measure While Your Putty Dries

According to Famowood, the drying time of their filler is 15 minutes. Depending on your age and level of caffeine consumption this could either seem like an inordinately long time or an incredibly quick drying time but, regardless of your thoughts, you'll definitely have time to measure the tabletop to determine the size of the wrap you'll you need. All of our Rwraps™, 3M™ 1080, Avery™ SW900 and ORACAL® 970RA wrapping films come standard at sixty inches in width so keep that in mind when ordering.

Step 6: Remove Masking Tape and Sand

At the risk of restating the obvious, once the filler dries you need to remove the tape and begin sanding.

Step 7: Clean It One More Time

Before you even think of reaching for that roll of vinyl you better clean the surface of the surfboard table one ore time. Use Rapid Prep and a lint free towel to completely clean, giving special attention to the areas that have been filled and sanded.  

Step 8: Apply 3M™ Primer to Table

We recommend that you apply 3M™ Primer to the entire surface but, if you've only bought a small ampule then be sure to at least do the edges.

Step 9: Remove Vinyl and Test Fit

Carefully remove the vinyl from the polytube. Be sure not to dent it or bend it in half or you'll have to find a heat gun and heat up the film to get the creases out.

Step 10: Peel and Stick to Table

Peel the vinyl wrap off of the backing about six inches. Tack  it down so that you can next pull the liner out while applying the film to the table.

Step 11: Squeegee On

Begin squeegeeing the first six inches to a foot on before screaming for your friend or mom to come hold the rest of the film.

Step 12: Grab a Friend to Help

Ask your mom or roommate to hold the film and create tension while she slowly peels back the liner. It's a difficult technique to describe but if you check out the video you'll get it.

Step 13: Trim Away Excess

The final step in the whole process of restoring and wrapping your IKEA surfboard table is to trim away the excess with one of our blades or an Olfa-style or Exacto razor blade.

All in all, the restoration and wrapping of the surfboard table went really smoothly as you'll see in the video although Philip did want everyone to know that he could have used a different colored filler and would have liked to re-stain it. But, since we were going to install the teal vinyl wrap we convinced him not to. Regardless, that's what happens when you're dealing with a perfectionist. Check out the video and be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think. 

We're going to be coming back to this one (or so Phil tells us) because he wants to add some more details to really complete that surfboard effect. So, if you want to see it be sure to subscribe and hit that bell icon to be notified of our new videos.

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