DIY Ikea Malm Mid-Century Modern Dresser
May 6, 2013
I’m so excited to finally share this DIY, you guys. If you follow me on Instagram you have have noticed my photo (and my excitement) about buying a Mikata power sander. It’s true, I was stoked to add another power tool to our slowly growing collection, but I was really more excited to use it to hack our 5 year old Ikea malm 6-drawer dresser!
A few weeks ago I shared my favorite Ikea dresser hacks and while searching the web for inspiration, I stumbled upon Overlays. I really wanted to make our bedroom furniture look more mid-century than just modern and the Overlays were a perfect way to do that. They are decorative die-cut PVC panels that are made for customizing Ikea furniture. How perfect, right?
I went with the Olivia pattern and used them on the top two drawers. To give the entire piece a mid-century modern look, I only painted the drawers white and left the rest of the dresser as-is (which is the medium-brown wood veneer).
I searched all across the web for mid-century modern drawer pulls and stumbled up these perfect round cabinet knobs at Home Depot for only $1.38 each! Cheap and mid-century modern. Perfect!
Kevin and I love it so much more now. It feels like we bought a completely new stylish piece of furniture! The next piece to hack will be the Malm tall 6-drawer chest that we keep to the right of the larger one. I’ll be working on that guy this week so check back for an update!
Want to give Overlays a try? They are offering 15% to Sarah Hearts readers. Just use the code HEARTS15 at checkout.
Here’s the best way I found to paint Ikea laminate furniture:
1. Sand the laminate surface so you remove the sheen that is has. This scores the surface and makes the primer and paint stick. You can do this by hand (but it will take a long time) or you can use a power sander. It took me about 45 minutes to sand all 6 drawers. This is an essential step that you can’t skip!
2. Use a cloth to throughly dust of the pieces after you sand them. I used a slightly damp cloth first then went back over it with a dry cloth to ensure all the dust was removed.
3. Apply the first coat of primer. I used Kilz Complete oil-based primer spray. I choose to go with the spray can because I’m lazy and didn’t want to have to use mineral spirits to clean my paint brush.
4. After the first coat dries completely, add a second coat of primer.
5. Since the dresser doesn’t have drawer pulls on it, I had to drill the holes for the new drawer pulls. I used a t-sqaure (with measurements on it) to make sure the placement was exact on each drawer. Make sure your drill bit it slightly smaller than the width of the screw you’re using for your drawer pulls.
6. Spray paint the Overlays in whatever color you want. I used Rustoleum Painter’s Touch 2x coverage in white semi-gloss on both the Overlays and the drawers. It worked well and the coverage was excellent!
7. Apply a coat of spray paint to the drawers. Allow it to dry completely then add a second coat. I found that to be perfect but if you’re using a darker color spray paint, you may need to do a third coat.
8. I used Liquid Nails silicone adhesive to adhere the Overlays to the drawer fronts. I applied a thin bead of glue to the entire back-side of the Overlays then carefully placed it on top of the drawer. The adhesive allows a little bit of wiggle room so you can reposition the Overlay a tiny bit, if needed. I measured and marked the left and right edges of the Overlay on the drawer front before I glued it on. The lasy step is to attach the drawer knobs or pulls then you’re done!
Overlays provided the Olivia overlays to complete this project in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that enable me to share my ideas with you!