I fell in love with the Ikea Norden Gateleg Table and thought it would be great for my small apartment. The thing I did not love was it’s appearance, as all of the wood in my home is darker colors. I started out by sanding off all of the polyurethane that comes on the table out of the box with an electric palm sander. I first used 80 grit sandpaper and then finished off with 220. It took a lot of sanding to remove the original poly! You must sand all parts, even the drawers because the poly is literally on everything! After the sanding was finished I applied Minwax Dark Walnut stain on the table top and drawer fronts.
I put on two coats of the stain. After that I applied two coats of polyurethane to seal it. I painted the table legs and drawer sides with two coats of black latex paint. After everything dried I assembled the table. I’m happy with the darker wood look to it and it matches much better than the lighter birch!