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A few years ago, I bought a wooden outdoor table from their ÄPPLARÖ line. At the time I thought it was real wood that had been treated for outdoor use. But after my wife took a brush and water (she swears) to it, it almost looks as if paint has been brushed off.

I've contacted IKEA, but they are not providing me with a clear answer, tell me they sell paint but do not sell any other wood treatments.

The before and after

I am now wondering what to do. It's a great table and I'd like to continue using it. Does anybody know the series, can confirm if its been painted or not, etc. I'd like to restore the table to ideally the original colors but alternatively to a uniform color at least.

Your comments and help are appreciated!

New photo: both sides in one photo

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    Is the floor still the same color, as the image differences could be giving us a different story. – Solar Mike Aug 22 at 10:01
  • “The Floor”? As in .... actual floor? Thats not made out of wood. – Rob de Jonge Aug 22 at 10:02
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    I'm pointing out that if it is the same surface that your table is standing on in the image, that the color is so different that any conclusions to be drawn are suspect. Were the images taken with two different cameras? times of day? as it is not only the table color that is different. – Solar Mike Aug 22 at 10:04
  • Ah ok, i understand. Different angles. I will try to fix that and report! Thanks :) – Rob de Jonge Aug 22 at 10:05
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    and different lighting, and maybe different camera (settings). Those can also affect the image greatly – ratchet freak Aug 22 at 10:11
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That table was not painted in the sense that you think. You will notice that in both pictures you can see the wood grain. A paint would have provided a complete cover up of the grain. Instead the finish on that table was a transparent wood stain.

That line from IKEA is built with dark acacia hardwood. This wood is very hard and does not take up wood stain nearly as much as a softer or more open grained wood. If the finish was a water based stain then there is a good possibility that the brushing has simply taken off a good share of the stain on the surface of the wood. With a previous water based finish you may want to consider refinishing it with a semitransparent outdoor water based product. A high quality product (also meaning expensive as well) may be able to restore a uniform color to the table. Some stains of this type will have a manufacturer recommendation of one coat coverage but I have used them with two coat coverage (well dried between coats) and had the color hiding more than semitransparent while yet retaining the look and feel of wood.

If the original finish was an oil based stain then it may be possible to renew the surface by applying a coat of a compatible but similar product. Oil based stains do often tend to penetrate deeper into the grain of the wood than do water based products in my experience.

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    The product description on the IKEA website says: Materials: Solid acacia wood, Acrylic stain, and there is a "accessories" link to this stain: VÅRDA Wood Stain. The label indicates you clean your brush with water, so its a type of water based stain. – JPhi1618 Aug 22 at 14:46
  • In the care section they recommend cleaning the surfaces with soapy water and then wipe dry. They also recommend restaining the wood one to two times per year. – Michael Karas Aug 22 at 14:57
  • @JPhi1618 Impressive. I would have assumed the factory coating was an LPU, a 2-part epoxylike coating (not epoxy, it is vulnerable to UV) which is very dangerous to spray but very fit for factory conditions... It would be a miracle coating for many years until it fails, then hard to remove. Looks like Ikea swerved out of their way to supply a maintainable finish. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 22 at 16:32
  • Thanks so much for your response, Michael. Much appreciated! – Rob de Jonge Aug 23 at 11:03
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I have the same table and it is wood. It does turn "white" with ageing, I think the color/light is off in your photo. What I did with mine was to lightly sand it and treat it with boiled linseed oil. It now looks brand new, If the weather permits when I get home tonight I'll take a picture and post it. Then you can decide if you want to go with boiled linseed or some other finish. Ikea also sells a wood finish for this table, there's a youtube video showing a table being refinished with their stain. I've added a picture of the table this was done a few months ago and has lightened slightly since then. This table is over ten years old and before I treated it it looked like your table after the brush. Table treated with boiled linseed oil

  • Keep in mind that boiled linseed oil is incompatible with any sort of synthetic finish, so using it forecloses the possibility of using most other treatments later. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 22 at 16:26
  • Boiled linseed may well still be available long after some of the "fancy" treatments on the market now... – Solar Mike Aug 22 at 19:01
  • Thanks for the recommendation! IKEA here in Thailand says they have no finish, but I'll check next time I'm in the store. Would love to see the photo at some point during the weekend if possible! – Rob de Jonge Aug 23 at 11:03

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