Published on September 5th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


BJÖRKUDDEN Modern Harvest Table

Materials: BJÖRKUDDEN Dining table, STEFAN chair, orbital sander, table saw, wood stain, lint-free rag, white paint, paint brush, clear varnish, fine-grit sand paper

Description: A little bit of elbow grease and around $40 is all you need to turn an old birch table into a modern harvest table. Here’s how:


We used an orbital sander on the table top to get rid of the original varnish and stains that had accumulated over the years. This took a little while but was necessary since you need a good porous surface to take on the stain. Since we were going to paint the base we just scuffed the table legs and frame.


I used the Birch Varathane wood stain for the table top. I applied the stain liberally with a brush and let sit for about 30 minutes until it became tacky before rubbing off the excess with a lint-free rag. Only two coats were needed to get the nice golden colour with red undertones that matched our floors. Very precise hand sanding in-between a few coats of water based Varathane made a crystal clear finish.


A template was made of only a slight taper (approx. only 1/2″) and used to cut each of the table legs down. The legs taper on both inside sides of the legs.


We used white paint for the frame and legs of the table. It took two coats and dried pretty quick. We made the mistake of using a very flat paint that scratched very easily so we had to do a thin coat of clear Varathane over top. The paint worked really well for the chairs though since the flat paint stuck well to slick black finish of our Ikea chairs.

See more of the modern harvest table.

~ We Are Jules, Vancouver, Canada

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

3 Responses to BJÖRKUDDEN Modern Harvest Table

  1. Jules says:

    I’m trying my hardest to reuse / repurpose as many old pieces of furniture as I can. The table was the first project and the second was a redo of a 30+ year Rast night stand. Check it out

  2. chicca says:

    I think that it’s perfect in your home! white and wood give a sense of order and in the same time warm up the environment!

  3. Laurel says:

    You did a great job on this — I love the rich wood tone with the white, clean and warm.

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