Trestle Table – Restoration Hardware Style at IKEA Prices

IKEA Table Project

This is how we got our Restoration Hardware Style Trestle Table for under $200 using IKEA Components.

We wanted to find a nice big worktable for our project (sewing, crafts, scrapbooking, and more) room. We found a table system we liked at IKEA, but the two colors available (white or beech) did not match our decor.

So, what did we do? We bought the beech trestles and aged the color of the wood. We topped them off with a stainless steel table top.

What we bought:

(2) IKEA Finnvard Trestle with Shelf in Beech at $30 each
(1) IKEA Sanfrid Stainless Steel Table Top at $129 ($99 – $129 depending on size)

IKEA Finnvard Beech Trestle

The Beech trestles are ideal for aging because they are solid wood and are not sealed so they will absorb the aging solution without any sanding or surface preparation.

How we aged and finished the wood:

We used a tea, vinegar, and steel wool recipe for staining the wood.

Vinegar Steel Wool Tea Wood Aging Recipe

The vinegar/steel wool solution reacts with tannins (in the wood and from the tea) to create the look of aged and weathered wood in a relatively short amount of time. The recipe works with many types of wood, but the color outcome varies depending on the amount of natural tannins in the wood.

Then, we sealed the aged/stained wood with Danish oil to get our desired finish.

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • White Vinegar
  • Steel Wool (1 pad of grade 0000)
  • Glass jar for vinegar/steel wool solution
  • Black Tea
  • Boiling Water
  • Container for tea
  • 2 Foam Brushes (1 for tea, 1 for vinegar solution)
  • Danish oil

Step 1. To prepare the vinegar/steel wool solution, we put the steel wool pad into a glass container and completely covered it with the vinegar (about 2 cups). Then we let it soak for 24 hours in a covered jar. Make sure you wait at least the 24 hours, as the steel wool needs time to dissolve into the vinegar.

Tips: 1) We used a lid and opened it every now and then to mix the solution, but it is safer to cover the jar with some aluminum foil since it may explode if it is covered tightly with a lid for too long. 2) Make sure you let it soak at least 24 hours. It is okay for it to soak longer. The longer you soak it, the stronger the solution. Eventually, the steel wool will completely dissolve, but you can keep the solution indefinitel2. 3) Make sure you make enough for the project, because different batches make different strengths which can affect the color.

Step 2. In the meantime, we made up a batch of hot black tea. We used a foam brush to fully coat the wood with the black tea solution. This process adds tannin to the surface of the wood. Then we let it dry.

Notes: 1) We used 2 cups of boiling water and 6 tea bags, but you can adjust the quantity of water and amount of tea bags depending on your project. 2) Make sure you make enough for the project, because different batches make different strengths which can affect the color. 3) The tea can be applied when hot or after it cools.

Step 3. After the wood dried from the tea solution and our vinegar/steel wool solution had set for 24 hours, we coated the wood with the vinegar/steel wool solution using a foam brush.

Tip: Use a new or fully washed foam brush for each step, so as not to mix solutions.

Step 4. Once fully dried, we applied a coat of Danish oil for the final finish.

IKEA Table ProjectIKEA Table Project

IKEA Table Project

13 thoughts on “Trestle Table – Restoration Hardware Style at IKEA Prices

  1. Hi
    This combination has been exactly my plan too. I was wondering if you find this particular setup stable when tilted? Is it too cumbersome to manage the tilting with only one person? I’m an artist that plans on using it as a desk for painting. Thanks so much!

    1. I’m sure you could get the mechanism needed to create a tilt- like in other drafting tables- it’s actually not to complicated. You might need to add a support in between to add the drafting mechanism- but I think you could make it work!

  2. This particular Ikea desk is made to adjust in vertical height, not tilted like a drafting table. I’ve found it easier to adjust by first removing the top (which isn’t attached, but held in place by a couple of pins). The top isn’t that heavy and I can lift it off by myself.

  3. I cannot find the stainless steel table top for the trestle table on the IKEA website. Great idea! I’m trying to recreate.
    You have ideas I really like.

  4. I don’t see the Sanfrid Stainless Steel Table Top on the Ikea website. Perhaps they are out of stock or it has been discontinued.

  5. Hi there, this looks great! I had the same issue—I like the look of the trestles, but not the beech or white finish.

    Did you assemble the trestles before staining the wood, or did you apply it all to the individual pieces before assembling?

    1. You don’t have to completely disassemble the parts, you just have to make sure you coat everything you want to age.

    1. The stool was made by CG Sparks – Iron Swivel Stool Color: Burnt Wax – but we distressed the finish by using steel wool on the edges and then clear coating it with a matte finish.

    1. I would put in one pad and leave it for at least 24 hours. It won’t fully dissolve in this amount of time. The longer you leave it in, the stronger the solution so remove the pad to keep a consistent strength so you’ll have an even finish. If it isn’t strong enough to give you the look you want, simply replace the pad and leave it in for a longer amount of time.

    1. If the paint is completely removed, it should work. When water can penetrate the wood, you are good to go.

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