Best Ikea ÄPPLARÖ Patio Hack – Shabby to Chic

So earlier in the year, when CoVid happened and we all were confined to the walls of our home, I wanted to extend our living space and utilize our Lanai (screened back porch) more often. However, it was not a pretty sight so I started making a few changes to the space. I started with a feature plant wall that made a huge statement to our tiny space.

I had an ÄPPLARÖ patio set from Ikea but the red stain on it did not fit the vision I had for this space. I didn’t want to invest in a new patio set, nor did I want to go through the trouble of selling it online at a time where we were all keeping our social distance. I started googling Ikea Patio hacks and nothing I was looking for showed up. Days later I gave up on the search and decided I was going to figure it out on my own. I had no plans in mind but I knew the red stain had to go. I took out my power sander, starting sanding the entire table and there was no looking back. Once the table was down to its raw wood, it became clear to me what I had wanted to do with it.

Here is the before and after of the table:

Here are the exact steps I took to transform this table:

  1. With my power sander and 80 grit sand paper, I sanded the top, side and the legs of the table. (I did not sand the bottom or in between the slats. You could if you want to, but it would be a lot more time-consuming and the red stain in between the slats didn’t bother me) This process took about 2-3 hours. You could also strip it first with a finish stripper. This way you wouldn’t have to sand for so long.

2. Once you have the top, side and legs down to raw wood, I used 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the table again to get a smooth finish.

3. Once the table was smooth, I wiped it down with a wet cloth making sure the table was clean from any dust/debris and let it dry completely.

4. I then used frog tape to create the line where I wanted the black to start on the legs. (the tape is above the line where you want to paint).

5. Then I used this can of spray paint and painted the legs.

6. To seal the wood, I used many different products. This is where it got tricky because the first few products I used change the color of the wood slightly. I didn’t want that and had to re-sand the entire table. I ended up using Polycrylic Matte finish which added a slight sheen to it but kept the wood relatively close to the natural wood color. However, next time I would attempt using the soap finish method that I saw from @mymoderndom (

This Ikea patio table went from shabby to chic with a little elbow grease and about $6 for the can of spray paint. Everything else I had on hand. This is one of my favorite DIYs ever as I was able to keep the existing table while ensuring it fits into the rest of my home decor.

Here is the full video tutorial

If you do attempt this project, I would love to see your final result so make sure to share your project with me on Instagram @xomyhome.

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2 thoughts on “Best Ikea ÄPPLARÖ Patio Hack – Shabby to Chic

  1. How did you do the wood slat wall treatment & did you stain it? Can you give detail on how did you screwed in the slats to the concrete wall?

    1. I will create a blog post for it soon. In the meantime, you can check my Instagram account @xomyhome. I saved the details in my highlight under Plant Slat Wall.

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