If I can stop just one person who thinks they can refinish the Docksta Table, then I’ve done my job. Consider this is my PSA to all the cult followers of the budget-friendly take on the iconic mid-century inspired tulip table, who’ve looked at their dinged and dented tabletop and wondered, “Can I fix this?“
Don’t Even Try to Refinish the Ikea Docksta Table
Here’s the short answer: no, you cannot. There is no way to refinish the Docksta table as a normal person. I did all the research. I read dozens of DIY blogs. And the overwhelming sentiment was, “I tried this approach requiring an electric sander, 8 layers of paint, and curing the table for months…and it kind of worked.”
I thought that maybe they were wrong. So, I took my sand paper and a can of white glossy spray paint. Well, my friends, after a few hours of elbow grease, the table looked even worse than when I started.
The fact is: you cannot refinish a glossy white particleboard tabletop. So, if your Ikea Docksta table has those dreaded bubbles and scratches. It’s done. It’s time to go in the trash. You cannot save it.
BUT, you can save the table base.
Note: if you’ve bought your table recently, you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. Your Docksta table is likely in great shape! We’ll get to that in a second.
Details on all other dining area items are in this post.
Instead, Buy a $59 Docksta Tabletop
So, if you can’t refinish the table, what can you do? Y’ALL, Ikea sells a $59 tabletop for the Docksta. That’s less than the materials you’d spend trying to refinish it.
And, the best part is: it’s crafted from a new and improved material. I’d heard that Docksta had been reimagined with a far more durable tabletop and it’s even better than I expected. It’s a less glossy finish but still a smooth and clean feel. The tradeoff for less glossy is that the finish doesn’t scratch if so much as a fork touches it and the particleboard doesn’t start bubbling up just because you set down a glass with condensation. Like…it’s a dining table that’s actually meant to stand up to dining! Crazy, right?
One warning: it took me a couple of months to track down the tabletop at an Ikea near me and I missed it the first time because I didn’t reserve it online. So, if you see it, don’t wait on it, just snag it. Their curbside pickup is super easy. Also, no, Ikea does not offer delivery unless the item does happen to be in stock in the store closest to you.
Okay, with this intel out there in the world, I hope I can save someone else from the time, money, and tears that goes into trying to refinish the Docksta table. Buy the tabletop, you’ll never regret it.