This project is featured in a roundup of my 10 best painted furniture projects.
We have two very spoiled kitties named Henry and Blanche. Henry is almost 2 years old and Blanche just turned 1 a few months ago. They’re both rescues and are very active. They love to run around and chase each other, and they are not de-clawed, so we need to make sure they have plenty of entertainment and scratching posts. We have two cat trees with scratching posts and lounging spots, but both trees are pretty ugly and falling apart. Unfortunately cat trees can also be pretty expensive, so I’ve been researching ideas for an aesthetically pleasing DIY cat tree. This idea really sparked my interest, especially since I already had one of the tables I’d need, paint, and a staple gun.
Here are the supplies:
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- Ikea LACK Coffee Table
- Ikea LACK Side Table
- Sisal rope
- Hand-held staple gun
- Gorilla Glue
- Faux fur fabric (browse here)
- Small hook eye (browse here, but better to just pick a little packet of them up at Home Depot)
- Various toys (Update: sad mouse is being replaced with this bird, which Henry loses his mind over)
And here’s how I made a homemade cat condo!
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding and working with wood, and wear an appropriate mask while working with paints, stains, and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand. Do not use any tools without proper training, precautions, and supervision. Read my full disclaimer here.)
Step 1: I worked with the tables first; to get started, I made sure both were disassembled. I had eight legs, two tops (square and rectangle), and the coffee table’s bottom shelf.
I laid the coffee table’s bottom shelf on the fabric. Then I cut a piece that was just big enough to wrap around the entire shelf. Using the staple gun, I stapled the fabric over the entire shelf like I was upholstering a chair cushion. Then I did the same thing for the top of the side table and set both aside.
Step 2: Using the sisal, I created the scratching posts. I decided to wrap only two and a half of the side table’s legs. I bought two 50-foot rolls of 3/8-inch sisal and used it all.
To wrap the sisal around each leg, I stapled the end of the sisal to the bottom of the leg using my staple gun. I began wrapping the sisal tightly around the leg; every few inches, I stapled the sisal to keep it in place. (Note: I only stapled on one side of the leg to ensure the stapled side faced the wall when I attached the legs to the table. I didn’t want to hurt my kitties.) Then I set the two scratching post legs aside.
Step 3: At this point, I had seven pieces that I hadn’t touched: six table legs and the coffee table’s top. I decided to paint these pieces using some leftover paint I had in the closet. I mixed a few colors from the DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish line and ended up with a purple, which was great because I knew I wanted a bright color. This paint sticks to anything, meaning it sticks just fine to the slick Ikea furniture finish. I used a matte finish because I wanted the piece to look polished, but I didn’t want it to look shiny.
Step 4: When the paint was dry, I assembled the pieces. First I assembled the coffee table by screwing all four legs on and setting the furry shelf in. Then, I assembled the side table.
Step 5: Before I attached the two tables to one another, I needed to decide how I wanted the finished piece to look. I wanted the higher side of the piece to back into the corner of our living room wall, so I positioned the side table so that the scratching post legs were not against the wall.
When I was happy with the arrangement, I dabbed some glue onto the bottom of each of the four side table’s legs. Then I carefully put the side table on top of the coffee table and placed a few heavy books on top of the side table to ensure the glue got a firm bond.
Step 6: I stuck a small hook eye into the bottom of the side table so that I could hang one of their toys from. I also glued one of those door knob scratchers (that they never used) onto the top of the coffee table.
And that’s it! This is very easily customizable, and I’m so pleased with how it looks. The cats love it!
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If you like this cat condo, you’ll love these projects: