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Monday, May 14, 2012

ikea hack

Not long ago I stumbled across this IKEA hack over at Stephmodo. It blew my mind!  This is so simple.  I could have done this ages ago!  I have had these similar drawers since I was 18.  They have moved across the country with me, been in every college dorm and apartment, moved back to Detroit, Columbus, Florida, and now Cyprus.  And I have never done anything with them. Not even paint them white, which I'm prone to do with everything!  With a new found resolution and a shame in my delay, I went forth to make them look more presentable.

What I used:
IKEA drawers (similar)
heavy and fine grade sand papers
foam paint brush
small container of stain
screw driver
drawer pulls from Zara Home

I took the drawers out and gave every inch of them and the casings a solid sanding until the wood felt as smooth as a well worn linen shirt.  (Tip, follow the grain of the wood when sanding for better results.)  Then I lightly brushed on the stain, again following the grain, using long strokes.  I went around and did one coat on everything and in the process the stain had set on the  pieces I had started with.  This allowed me to jump right into my second and third coats pretty seamlessly.  I stopped at 3 coats, not wanting to go too dark.  This is what they looked like at that point.

I was really pleased with the result but felt like I could dress it up even more.  The cutouts on the front suddenly seemed way more noticeable.

I took the drawers out again, sanded down the backs, found the center by drawing an X across the front, drilled holes, followed the same staining process, and screwed in the knobs.  Most complicated part of this process?  Drilling the holes.  We don't  have a drill, just some screws and screwdrivers.  Luckily the wood was really soft, so I could widen the hole twisting vigorously with the screwdriver.  The first half of The Sound of Music later, I had four holes.  Moral of the story: power tools are awesome.

And this is the finished result!  Aren't they great?  We went from having a college hodge podge entertainment unit to something rather sophisticated.  Watch out world!  We're growing up!  I'm totally inspired now to see what other ways I can make our little home look more elegant without killing our budget.  Let the adventures begin!

So just one more time for good measure, here are the drawers before and after.


  1. So cute :-)
    I love your new enthusiasm for finding ways to dress up what's already there. That's part of my motto: making the most of what you've got.

  2. Fabulous hack! So glad you love it.

    And Cyprus? Really? LUCKY!!