19 Ikea Hacks We're Obsessed With

Ikea hacks are all the rage with bloggers turning the Swedish superstore's simple furniture into amazing custom pieces. Check out 19 of our favorites.

Ritva Curtains

Ritva Curtains

designmanifest.com

To dress up a bay window in her bedroom, interior designer Naomi Stein used Ikea’s Ritva curtains. Stein managed to create her own custom window treatments by adding fuchsia Greek key trim to the simple white panels. To create the look, she cut the trim into curtain length sections, making sure to include an extra 2” to fold over the edges before sewing them onto each panel.

For more on how to recreate these curtains, go to Stein’s blog, Design Manifest.

Rast Chest

Rast Chest

forchicsake.com

A huge fan of campaign furniture—those beautiful dressers with brass corners and hinges—blogger Louisa DiLeone decided to make her own with Ikea’s popular Rast chest, a 3-drawer dresser for $34.99. Using high gloss paint in a pinkish plum, campaign style drawer pulls and brass flat corners, DiLeone created a gorgeous knockoff for a fraction of the price of an original.

For more on how to make it, go to DiLeone’s blog, For Chic Sake.

Akurum Cabinets

Akurum Cabinets

almostmakesperfect.com

By mounting two Ikea Akurum kitchen cabinets to an awkward wall in her home, blogger Molly Madfis created what she likes to call a “fauxdenza.” Before attaching the cabinets, Molly set them up on books and boxes to figure out the perfect height. She used a custom walnut slab on top. She suggests mounting the shelves first and then measuring for the wood since Ikea’s measurements can sometimes be off.

For more on how to make it, go to Madfis’ blog, Almost Makes Perfect.

Vika Amon Table

Vika Amon Table

whiteandgolddesign.blogspot.com

Interior designer Marianne Brown doesn’t usually take on DIY projects but tried this Ikea hack while searching for the perfect office desk. She chose Ikea’s Vika Amon table because of its glossy white top and decided to paint the table’s legs using Rust-Oleum's metallic gold spray paint. One of the easier Ikea hacks out there, it didn’t involve much pre-prep aside from making sure the legs were clean. Marianne recommends spraying the legs in even steady sprays and constantly moving the can up and down so you don't spray too heavily in one spot and create drips in the paint. She also suggests at least two coats because the paint scratches off pretty easily with only one. Just remember to let the first one dry completely before putting on the second.

For more on how to make it, go to Brown’s blog, White + Gold.

Vittsjö Shelving Unit

Vittsjö Shelving Unit

janabek.com

To add a dose of glam to Ikea’s Vittsjö shelving unit, interior designer Jana Bek painted it gold. She had to paint hers by hand since she lives in a tiny New York City studio apartment and doesn’t have a yard. But if you have outdoor space, spray painting is the better way to go. Be sure to clean the piece before painting. Since the Vittsjö is metal, Bek did one broad base coast to cover the surface and then a second one to cover the entire piece. For a super luxe look, use an acrylic gold paint for the base coats and this Krylon gold leaf for a textured finish. When spray painting, she likes to use Krylon’s metallic paint in bright gold.

For more on how to make it, go to Bek’s website, Bek Design.

Antilop Highchair

Antilop Highchair

dwellingsbydevore.com

To make her daughter’s Antilop high chair more stylish, blogger Bethany DeVore transformed the legs with a few coats of metallic gold spray paint. For a pop of color, she added a homemade decal to the back of the chair with her daughter’s initials.

For more on how to make it, go to DeVore’s blog, Dwellings by DeVore.

Jokkmokk Table

Jokkmokk Table

acutedesigns.org

In just a few easy steps, blogger Gina Morrison gave Ikea’s traditional Jokkmokk dining room table a major dose of style. To update the table, Morrison removed the legs and trim by taking out a few screws. Next, she used a sander before staining the wood with Rust-Oleum’s wood stain in sunbleached. Her last step was to screw in hairpin legs she bought for $50 on Ebay. The entire project took less than an hour not including drying time in between two coats of stain.

For more on how to make it, go to Morrison’s blog, Acute Designs.

Lack Coffee Table

Lack Coffee Table

seewhatiseadesigns.com

While living in Cyprus as an expat, blogger Bekka Fulton knew whatever furniture she accumulated would have to be sold or taken with her when she and her husband left the island. When she started searching for a coffee table, nothing seemed to fit her design aesthetic, budget or need for mobility. That’s when she decided to try a gorgeous hack on Ikea’s Lack side table—an unbelievable bargain at $7.99—using rope.

For more on how to make it, go to Fulton’s blog, See What I Sea Designs.

Malm Nightstand

Malm Nightstand

poshmeetspavement

After blogger Sierra Gullan decided to use Ikea’s Malm chests as nightstands in her new apartment, she painted them black and placed white O’verlays on each drawer. Since the Malm dressers have a laminate finish, they can be tricky to paint.

Sierra’s hack wasn’t easy but with these tips, you can recreate her look:

1. Prime the dressers. They’re made from laminate and priming will ensure they hold the paint.
2. Invest in a “smooth” roller brush. The quality is so important. You’ve already saved money by buying at Ikea, so spend a few extra dollars on a decent brush. It will make all the difference with the finish.
3. Be patient and wait for each coat of paint to dry.
4. Use liquid nails for O’verlays.
5. Add a sealant for an extra-chic high gloss finish.

For more on how to make it, go to Gullan's blog, Posh Meets Pavement.

Rast Chest

Rast Chest

thefamilyroomdesign.blogspot.com

To dress up Ikea’s ubiquitous Rast chest, blogger Sita Montgomery applied two coats of primer with a dense foam roller to ensure the smoothest application for the paint. After the primer dried, she applied three coats of satin paint in coordinating pinks to the box and drawer fronts witha dense foam roller so the wood grain wouldn’t show through. After the paint was dry, she taped off the edges of the drawer fronts and applied Antique Gold Rub 'n Buff to them with a dry cloth. For her final steps, she applied a coat of clear gloss spray paint to give the Rast a protective finish and swapped in shiny gold hardware.

For more on how to make it, go to Montgomery’s blog, The Family Room Design.

Grevbäck Hat Rack

Grevbäck Hat Rack

tenjuneblog.com

When Michelle from Ten June found this Grevbäck Hat Rack at Ikea, she knew its honey oak laminate wouldn’t cut it. Painting laminate can be tricky, but by using Zinsser primer, she didn’t even have to sand the shelf before dressing it up with a coat of white paint. She also switched out the Ikea knobs with some bigger ones to add character and make it easier to hang bags.

For more on how to make it, go to Michelle’s blog, Ten June.

Rast Chest

Rast Chest

wednesdaychef.typepad.com

Food blogger Luisa Weiss saw a bunch of Ikea Rast hacks before trying this one. First, she assembled the outer "body" of the dresser and, using a brush, stained it with two or three coats of a teak-colored wood stain. This gave the wood a warm, reddish-brown color. The next day, she added a coat of varnish and let it dry for 24 hours. The morning after that, she added another coat of varnish and let it dry for 24 hours. She did this all week (during her infant son’s morning nap!) in order to cover the Rast with six layers of varnish. She didn't sand in between each time, because she wasn't aiming for a totally lacquered look.

She also gave the fronts of the unassembled drawers several coats of a creamy white paint over the course of several days, explaining that it took about three or four coats for the wood grain to completely disappear.

Finally, she assembled the drawers and screwed in gorgeous gold knobs before putting the whole thing together. The hardest parts of the whole project were having patience and hammering in the plastic nails that Ikea introduced to their kits some time ago, she said. Rast hacks seem to make people particularly proud and Luisa was pretty amazed with the outcome.

Billy Bookcases

Billy Bookcases

house-pretty.blogspot.com

To create a custom entertainment stand, blogger Amelia Warren attached three Billy bookcases together using screws and painted the back black. Since most paints won't adhere to laminate, she used Zinsser's oil-based, odorless primer. Next, she attached decorative molding with finishing nails—she recommends pre-drilling your holes to avoid splitting—caulked the seams, then finished it with a coat of Martha Stewart's Talc, a near-perfect match to the Ikea white.

For more on how to make it, go to Amelia's blog, House Pretty.

Nyttja Frames

Nyttja Frames

Poshmeetspavement.com

Inspired by the blog A Thoughtful Place, blogger Sierra Gullan decided to dress up some of Ikea’s black Nyttja frames using painters tape.

Here are some of Gullan’s must-read tips before trying this hack:

1. Be generous with the spray paint on the painters tape because the blue needs more than you think.
2. Use narrow tip scissors to get a close snip and clean corners.
3. Wipe down frames with a degreaser before working to ensure the tape adheres properly.
4. Use pencil marks to measure and mark your corners before working.

For more on how to make it, go to A Thoughtful Place.

Klubbo Coffee Table

Klubbo Coffee Table

bijouandboheme.blogspot.com

Blogger Christine Dovey says this hack on Ikea’s Klubbo coffee table was so simple since all she needed was gold leaf, some gilding size and two brushes. First, she sanded the base lightly and applied the sizing medium. After waiting a few minutes, she applied the gold leaf piece by piece, using a dry brush to help it adhere. Once all the leaf was on, she used the dry brush to buff everything up to a shine.

Malm Dresser

Malm Dresser

bijouandboheme.blogspot.com

To liven up an Ikea Malm dresser for her son’s bedroom, Dovey took it to her favorite painter and had him apply a blue paint in a lacquer finish. The painter also added thin detail molding on each drawer before painting them gold. As a finishing touch, Dovey added antique brass handles from Restoration Hardware (link here), making the Malm look more like a high-end piece than a generic dresser.

For more on how to make it, go to Dovey’s blog, Bijou and Boheme.

Besta Shelf Unit

Besta Shelf Unit

ariannabelle.com

Blogger Arianna Belle and her husband needed a media unit that could house their Blue-ray player, Xbox, Xbox gadgets, movies and DVDs. Ikea’s Besta shelf unit was inexpensive and just the right size for their small space. They went with the white unit and customized it by adding legs and painting the back—a paintable cardboard material—Stunning Sapphire by Olympic. The Blue-ray player and Xboxgo in the upper shelves, the middle shelves are left open for books and decorative objects and two white bottom drawers will hide games and gadgets.

For more on how to make it, go to Belle’s blog, Arianna Belle.

Sundvik Bed

Sundvik Bed

rageagainsttheminivan.com

When looking for a toddler bed for her daughter, blogger Kristen Howerton didn’t want to spend almost $1,000 on a piece of furniture that would only be used for a few years. After spotting a bright yellow bed on Pinterest, she picked up one of Ikea’s simple white Sundvik beds for just $124. She bought a bright yellow paint at Home Depot, slapped on a few coats and created a colorful bed that her daughter loves.

For more on how to make it, go to Howerton’s blog, Rage Against the Minivan.

Patrik Swivel Chair

Patrik Swivel Chair

hitherandthither.net

Blogger Ashley Muir Bruhn swore she wasn’t going to buy an Ikea office chair. She planned to scour the web in search of a vintage Eames or something similar, but before long she was drawn to the Patrik Swivel Chair’s modern simplicity and unbeatable price ($199). With a few coats of Rustoleum’s metallic spray paint in brass, she instantly made the Patrik more chic. Ashley says to work in a well-ventilated area, apply at least two coats, keep your spray moving, and prepare for overspray. In fact, she worked inside of a large cardboard box, taking the top and one side down. Then she sprayed, waited for the base to dry and assembled her new chair. 

For more on how to make it, go to Bruhn’s blog, Hither & Thither.

Like these hacks? Find more Ikea ideas here:
-- Ikea Hacks: Vittsjo Shelves and Tables
-- Ikea Hacks: Expedit Shelves
-- Ikea Hacks: Billy Bookcase
-- Designers and Experts Reveal Their Favorite Ikea Picks

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