replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa

after falling in love with these pretty pegs, i was a little heartbroken. at that price, there was no way i could afford a set of 12 (twelve!) new legs. i wanted to revamp the look of our ikea karlstad though, so i was determined to find a solution. with just a little paint, elbow grease and diy spirit i was able to change all 12 legs on our sofa for under $70 (that sounded much better than $360!). yay!

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (5)

upon a quick visit to lowes, i quickly found these  mid-century modern style tapered sofa legs. i jumped for joy! priced at only $3.98 a piece i thought, 'oh, i can do this'. after a small amount of research, this is what i figured out i needed:

- 12 tapered sofa legs
- 12 table leg plates (use the angled plates if you'd rather the angled look!)
- my favorite gold spray paint (already had some leftover from this project)
- painter's tape
- electric screwdriver
- sample sized regular paint in your preferred color (i used valspar)

i already had the last four above supplies in our diy stash, but if you don't they'll only add a minimal cost.

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (8)

sidenote #1: i think bear approved of the update! sidenote #2: you can see the 'old' legs in this picture behind bear!

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (15)

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (6)

first, paint the wooden part of each leg in your desired color. they were easy to paint by holding on to the metal ends and just working in a circle. i then punched 12 holes in the bottom of a cardboard box and stuck the end of each leg into the box in order to let them dry standing up.

after the legs are dry, grab some scrap paper and painters tape. cover the freshly painted surface and line the painters tape up exactly with the line of the metal ends.

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (14)

next, spray paint the bottoms gold! because of the taper, i could easily just set these down to let them dry without scuffing up the new gold paint.

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (12)

next, you'll have to use a little elbow grease. first things first, flip your sofa upside down (ha!). then, unscrew and remove each leg, then remove the black plastic plate underneath the leg. (i forgot to photograph this piece, but you'll see it, i promise! you can see a faded outline of it on the picture above). this was the hardest part of the entire diy, but i did it all by myself in a single afternoon. just in time to surprise the hubby when he got home! (he was so impressed.)

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (11)

next, install the table leg plates. i tried my best to line up the hole in the center with the original sofa leg hole, and it ended up working out really well. attach these using the four screws included in the package. using an electric screwdriver here is a must!

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (10)

next comes the fun part- simply screw in the brand new legs! yay!

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (7)

flip your sofa back over (ha again!) and marvel at your new beautiful legs. *note: be careful as you flip your sofa over! i was so determined to do this solo, that the weight of the sofa flipping over bent one of the leg plates and i had to replace it. next time, i'll just wait for david to get home!

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (9)

replacing the legs on our ikea karlstad sofa (3)

i'm so happy with the way they turned out, and i think they really give ol' karlstad a more modern look. they've been installed for about 6 weeks now and are holding up nice and strong. yay for a successful diy! also, hi toaster!

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  • Looking gooooooooood!!

    Hello Toaster!
    Bear’s eyes are just amaaaazingly blue.
    Love all the plants, there is always a new one being added to the family.
    It seems like everything you make is just beautiful.

    • hey rachael! thank you! it was a custom color i had mixed at lowes (i matched it to an old notebook), so i’m not sure exactly what color it is. :( i’m so sorry!

  • Looks great!! I’m wondering how you are liking the sofa? I’ve been thinking about getting one for our house, but I’d like something that is going to hold up to baby and dog over time…. we are sofa people spending lots of time in the evenings hanging out in our living room.

  • It’s amazing what a difference this makes. They’d make me smile every time I noticed them. This goes into the memory bank for an easy refresh when I move!

  • Wow! What a difference a little change makes…love it! And seriously cracking up at Toaster looking at them as if saying “Woa! What happened to the couch?!”

  • Great job! Is the sofa stable and sturdy? I’ve read reviews of some who used Lowe’s legs that were unhappy with the stability. Thanks!

    • hey LG! we have had two of the metal leg plates break, but mostly from the weight of flipping the couch back over. other than that, i’m happy with the legs! :)

  • I want to do this to my sofa too! Does the table feel stable when all the seats are taken? I.e. can 5-6 full sized adults sit on it without you feeling worried about the legs buckling? This seems like a much cheaper way to go than unclebobsworksop.com. Thanks!

  • Hi!

    I just ordered this sectional (with the chaise) and will be replacing the legs also. Hoping to get them ordered and ready before the sofa arrives. I wanted to ask, what is the purpose for removing the old plates and replacing them with new leg plates?

    Thanks!!

  • Hi Bonnie. Your DIY looks great! It amazing how just replacing the legs made the Karlstad look much more expensive.

    How long have you had your sectional? My husband and I have been wanting to buy the Karlstad sectional for a while, but we’re unsure of how well it would hold up. Please let me know your experience with it!

    Thanks!! :)

  • hi! I absolutely love that side table. Where is it from? I found your blog doing a search for ideas for legs for this sofa and was so happy to see that cute little table! I have a small space and it would be great to find something that doesn’t take up so much visual space.

  • Hi!
    I’m actually curious about your coffee table in this pic. We have the same one (in black) and as some IKEA products do, it’s falling apart/very worn in on the top and the legs. Looks like you tied a table cloth over yours and to its legs. Looks so nice! Any tips?

    Alena

    • hi alena! actually, we tied a blanket around ours to prevent our 1 year old from running into the corners. haha! ours has held up pretty well, but i’m sure it won’t last forever. i don’t have any good advice, other than to replace them from time to time (i believe mine was only $15?). best of luck!

  • Hey there! Just found your site and wanted to know how the legs have held up long-term. Any regrets or things you’d do differently?

    Thanks!

  • That is a beautiful sofa! I just inherited the Karlstad chair, and I don’t have the tool to remove the legs. Any advise on how to get them off with something from my own toolbox? Thanks!

    • Hey Kim! I had to do some looking, but turns out we had the right tool in our toolbox all along! I believe it’s pretty standard, so you could take a photo and measurement to your local hardware store to find the right match. :)

  • Hi there!
    I just came across your post and love the legs! Now that you have used them for a good chunk of time, are you still happy with them, would you change anything, recomend for others?
    Thanks!!