Published on September 29th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Revived Lack TV table

Materials: 1/4″ poplar planks and pine lattice, miter box, saw, liquid nails, finishing nails, onyx stain, tung oil finish

Description: My TV dug a huge gouge in my Lack TV table. Rather than throw it away or replace the top slab, I opted to cover it with poplar.

Since I don’t have a huge array of woodworking tools, I had to pick board sizes that required minimal cutting. I went with 2.5″ pine lattice and 6″ poplar planks – both 1/4″ in thickness.

I put the pine on the sides first with liquid nail adhesive. I also put a random nail or two in place to compensate for bends and bows. I mitered the sides, but I’m not sure if this made a noticeable difference in the final look.

Next, I put the poplar on the top, covering the pine lattice, and trimmed to create staggered joints. It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to cut and place the pieces before gluing so I could have a more random pattern. The boards got held down with a healthy bead of glue and tacked in place to smooth out the considerable bowing. I tried to select the flattest pieces of wood, but even small curves become noticeable when butted up against another board.

For joints with huge discrepancies, I used a hand planer to even out. The last board had a huge curve that created a 1/8 gap that I plugged with tiny slivers of left over wood. Once things were relatively smooth, I sanded pretty extensively with 60, 100, 150 and 220 grade sandpaper. I originally used wood putty to fill the nail holes and gaps, but it didn’t match the wood at all so I removed as much as I could and opted for elmers glue which absorbed the saw dust and worked way better.

I did some tests, but poplar isn’t great with stain so I used Tung Oil Finish. The pine was noticeably redder than then poplar, so I sampled some black stain on a corner. The stain only penetrated scratches, defects and other random spots, which when rubbed with a cloth looked kind of cool. So I did all the sides. The pine matched much better and lost its new “wood shop” look. I put two more coats of Tung Finish on and may do another later on.

I feel pretty good. I don’t have to trash the table or the top and I used a pretty tiny amount of wood, (enough to carry home on the bus).

~ Brendan, Astoria, NYC

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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".

9 Responses to Revived Lack TV table

  1. Rachel says:

    this is awesome!!

  2. myhometheaterbuild says:

    Very nice, the top of the LACk TV stand is unreasonably sensitive to dings, this is a great idea.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Check the dimensions. You might be able to use an IKEA butcher block countertop.

  4. Laurel says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    wow, really nice :)

  6. it looks great! but, if down the road the lack portion starts to show its wear and tear, you should consider remaking it in real wood painted black. lack looks nice but it’s really just glorified cardboard.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is an amazing idea! I have been wanting to do something with combining 2 lack tv benches but couldn’t get it in a way that didn’t leave issues with the look. I may take this and extend it even more and cover pretty much the whole thing! Thank you for this idea! If I ever get around to it (whole house to work on first) I will post it.

  8. Berit says:

    This definitely looks great! Love the idea. :D

  9. I think I now know what I’m going to do with the same table down in the basement. Great idea.
    Never even considered doing something like this with it.

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