Create, Kids, Repurposed Furniture
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How to Paint IKEA Laminate Furniture

This post is sponsored by D. Lawless Hardware for the August Fab Flippin’ Contest, but my opinions are always my own!

I’ve done what I wasn’t sure was possible…I painted IKEA laminate…with SUCCESS!!!  I think I’m still pinching myself over this one.  I’ve wondered for a while if I could in fact paint some of my favorite IKEA purchases to give them a more custom look.  I was skeptical because of the infamous slick surfaces, but after reading several articles online (here’s looking at you, Bob Vila!), I decided to go for it.  It’s definitely do-able, but be sure to read my complete guide below!

This transformed IKEA dresser is my entry into the August edition of The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest.  This month, the theme was “Class it Up” and the contest was sponsored by D. Lawless Hardware.  When I found out the sponsor, I got so incredibly excited.  D. Lawless Hardware is a family-owned company that I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few times in the past.  They offer a huge selection of knobs, pulls, and other project essentials.  I feel like their prices are unbeatable and their customer-service is top-notch!

As soon as I saw the theme, I knew exactly which piece I was going to use.  The Ikea Malm dresser is the most affordable, functional piece of furniture you can buy.  But…she’s a plain Jane.  Despite her infamous “Ikea finish”, I was determined to give her a new, unique look.  I know from previous projects that simply using paint and hardware can completely achieve this! (By the way, if you happen to own any piece from the Ikea Malm line and have small children, please check out the information about a voluntary recall here.  Please request the free wall-anchoring set to keep your little ones safe!)

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

I decided I wanted to give just the fronts of the dresser drawers a new look with paint and hardware.  I started by sanding the drawer faces with my power sander and 100 grit sandpaper.  Although I did see some sawdust flying, I was still very skeptical at this point in the process because the surface still felt very slick.

Here’s where the game-changer took place.  I gave them a coat of my favorite primer, Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3.   I’m convinced this is what made this paint makeover possible.  The tacky texture of the primer immediately gave me the hope I needed to press on with this flip.

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

Feeling much more confident, here came the fun part.  I opted to use DecoArt’s Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in Refreshing.  It’s the prettiest, subtle minty-blue/green shade.  I like that the chalky texture is somewhat forgiving and went over the primer nicely.

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

It took two coats of the chalky paint.  I then used DecoArt’s  Ultra-Matte Varnish to seal the drawers.  This gave the drawers a really great protective coating, but didn’t give them a shiny look.

Once the drawers were nice and dry, we decided where we wanted to place the knobs.  We measured and drilled the holes.

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

I was a little nervous to drill into the IKEA material, but it worked out just fine.  Actually, I let Brandon do the drilling 🙂

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

Finally, it was time for the icing on the cake.  Addy kept asking us when we were going to put the “diamonds” on.  We attached these fabulous little crystal-clear, acrylic knobs. I LOVE the way this dresser turned out.

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

Here’s a close-up of those “diamonds”!

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: A Guide

Quite the difference with a little bit of work, huh?  What do you think? Would you attempt to paint an IKEA piece?

To see all the entries in this month’s contest, and to vote on your favorite, be sure to check out the our host Colleen’s site at 58 Water Street.

For any bloggers who might be interested in participating in future contests, please email for more information!

How to Paint IKEA Furniture


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