Ikea DOCKSTA Table Hack!

Ohhhh man, this is a fun one! So, since we’ve been in our Nashville house for over three years now, I’ve started to get that itch to do some room refreshes and our dining room was on that list since it was one of the first rooms we did when we moved in.

We’ve had our DIY dining table for six years now, so I thought it might be fun to do a different shape to change the feel of the space. I had been drooling over some oval tulip-base dining tables that were big enough to fit six people, but I couldn’t find one within our price range. So I tried to think of how I could DIY it on a budget instead.

I noticed pretty quickly that vintage tulip table bases (just the bottom part) can also be pretty pricy, but then I remembered that Ikea sells a DOCKSTA tulip table and that we could use the base for this DIY if I modified the top of my existing table to be an oval shape!

Since this was going to be a larger tabletop than what the Ikea base currently comes with, I checked out the sizes of a few other tulip dining tables with similar top sizes just to make sure the base would be the right size for safety reasons. And I found several with a similar base size which supported a larger tabletop like ours.

I used a piece of cardboard that was cut to fit half of the original table shape as a template for my oval shape. I centered a large round tray at the end of the table to trace the tip of my oval and then curved a line to the middle point of the table at the end of my cardboard.

I wanted to have a definite oval shape but not be so skinny that you wouldn’t have room for a place setting at the ends of the table, so I played around with the curve a bit until it looked right. Then, we cut one side of my oval template to that curve and folded the cardboard in half so we could trace the other side of my oval.

Once we traced the oval on one end, we just flipped it around to trace the other side so we knew all the angles would match.

Then we removed the existing legs of the table, flipped the table over, and traced the template again on the bottom so we could see where the cuts would be to remove any screws in the way from the existing board braces that were keeping the table planks together.

I also wanted the table to look twice as thick as it actually is to give it a more solid appearance and hide the brace boards.

So, using the traced lines on bottom as a guide, we cut and added scrap pieces of wood that cover that line around the table.

You can see what the extra boards look like in the photo above and see how they cover the whole curve path of the oval. When we cut through the oval, it looks twice as thick from the sides—neat trick, huh?

Once the pieces on the bottom were secure, we flipped the table over and used a jigsaw to cut the oval shape we had traced on the top. We used various degrees of sandpaper (going from very rough to very smooth) to smooth out the sides as best as we could.

Then we mounted the table onto the Ikea table base and did a coat of primer and a few coats of eco-friendly, non-toxic lacquer on our tabletop. I like to use lacquer for tables since it dries harder and glossier than regular paint, so you’ll get more wear out of your table before needing a touch up coat.

Once the tabletop was fully dry (I usually let lacquer set for at least a few days before putting anything on top), it was ready to use! I love the fun new shape of the table and the extra ’60s/’70s vibes that it adds to the room as well.

So as not to waste any parts, we switched out the tabletop from the Ikea table with this table, so we had a bit of a larger table in that breakfast nook space (and with lower legs added it would make a great kid’s art/play table too!).

Hope you enjoyed seeing the transformation—it was fun for us to watch it all come together too! xo. Laura

P.S. Like this? Check out all our favorite furniture hacks and this Ivar Cabinet Hack!!

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Project Assistant: Collin Dupree. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Hi!! The ikea links don’t seem to work & I’m 3 years late to this blog. But I’m finally doing it, I just want to find the correct base if you could update the links for me. Also, I see a lot of questions about tipping- how should I prevent that? I would like to also re use the top and create a coffee table, so I’m gonna attempt that if all goes well with this. I’m just nervous about what my oval is gonna look like lol

  • Hi! What are the dimensions (length and width) of the table top? And what did you do to prevent toppling/wobbling?

  • We did this same thing. While I love it, ours is quite wobbly. Do you have any tips on how you stabilized it?

    • Mine was wobbly too, then I re-did it and saw the step I missed. Step 6 if you consult the directions (they’re online). The 2
      Holes need to line up with the 2 raised pieces. Hope this comment isn’t too late.

      • John, ours is a bit wobbly, too. Can you explain what you mean by your comment about lining holes up with the raised pieces? Thanks so much!

        • https://www.ikea.com/us/en/assembly_instructions/docksta-underframe__AA-2168035-9_pub.pdf

  • LOVE this idea! Such a great hack. Where, oh where, is your rug from? I’ve been searching all over for one just like that! Thx!

  • Well the shape is really unique and amazing. The good part is that it will also suit my living space.

  • I’ve been toying with the idea of doing this! We have a round table but an oval shape would really suit our family and space better!! Was the original table an IKEA table as well? I’m worried my oval creating skills wouldn’t go as well as yours!

  • Love the idea! I have this same table and wanted to put an oval different top on it.
    What are the measurements of the oval?
    Does it tip?

  • Hello I love the the oval table redo. What table did you original gave that was cut into an oval? I have a table that I’m going to buy with a tulip pedestal but not sure what table to use for the top.

  • I’m wondering about the tipping over thing, too– I’d like to modify the base to accommodate a wider round top to use in my classroom, and I’m wondering just how wide I can go without risk of toppling. Ideally 60″ – 72″ though I’m not sure that 72″ is realistic. Thank you!

    • Sadie, there’s no real modifying of those tulip table bases. They’re enamel paint over cast iron. Which is a good thing and a bad thing because while you cannot make any real changes to their structure, they’re heavy enough to hold some massive tables. They’re intended to hold up tops made of stone, so they can withstand a much larger wooden top without toppling.

  • Do you have any problem with the table tipping at the ends? It looks like with that small of base for that length of table there could be a problem with that. I want to do this project for my daughter in law that has the same tulip table. My husband is concerned on what length and weight of the oval top we could use. Solid wood seems to heavy? I see yours is a veneered core top. Any wisdom you could give would be helpful. Thank you!!

    • I’m also wondering about the tip over at the ends. Especially should one excited diner press down on the table.

  • This is a really clever hack! I had been searching for a marble 6 seater but alas quite tricky and expensive to find in Australia. Might be the go x

  • Amazing what you can do with a simple Ikea table. I love the shape, it’s really extraordinary!

  • I love this!! I too have been on the hunt for one of these tables at a reasonable price. Such a great idea!

  • Did you apply a gloss paint to the base as well? I know the Ikea one has a matte finish that seems like it might scuff easily. Looks really pretty!

    • I left the base as is but you could paint it as well! It looks like a magic eraser would get most scuffs out of it as is, but glossy is always easier to clean 🙂


  • Wow, looks great! What a good idea for a revamp, and definitely gives the space a different feel!

  • Man I’m so impressed by this! What creative problem solving! I love that you used all the parts of the new Ikea table and reused your existing table top.

  • You’ve completed transformed the table, wow! Amazing job! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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