Talk about a refresh   

A collage of IKEA hacks: painted plates, a tiled LACK table, a faux-retro chest of drawers, and a painted metal shelf.

Talk about a refresh   

These days we’re all more conscious of living eco-friendly. We’re less likely to buy, buy, buy like we used to, and much more likely to make the most of things we already have at home. Here’s our take on breathing new life into IKEA products (you can also try with similar pieces you might have at home).

An overhead view on of white IKEA FÄRGRIK plates that have been painted with different designs in shades of blue.

Upgrade your plates

Add a totally unique touch to plain white plates with a bit of ceramic paint. We used three different methods. Keep in mind that using a water-based paint makes it really easy to just wipe it off if you’re not happy with the outcome!

  1. First we tried a dip-dye effect, by painting the edge of the plate and dipping it in a bowl of water, letting the paint run a bit.
  2. Next, we simply painted the plate with a brush.
  3. Lastly, we used a brush for a splatter effect.
  4. Once you’ve got the look you like, follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions to allow the design to set in (ours required baking the plates in the oven).
White IKEA FÄRGRIK plates are stacked on a table, ready to be painted.
A GIF of a white IKEA FÄRGRIK plate being splatter-painted.
The newly-painted edge of an IKEA FÄRGRIK plate is being dipped into a bowl of water.
A white IKEA HYLLIS shelving unit is decorated with books, plants, and glass vases.

Upgrade your shelves

We love the industrial feel of HYLLIS, but saw potential for a bit of a lighter look. Here’s how we did it:

  1. We found this metal mesh backing at a hardware store and had it cut to fit the measurements of the unit.
  2. Then we screwed it into the existing holes in the frame.
  3. Lastly, we spray painted the whole thing white. Done!
A large mesh metal sheet leans against an unpainted IKEA HYLLIS shelving unit.
A close-up of a mesh metal sheet being screwed to the back of a IKEA HYLLIS shelving unit.
A close-up of an IKEA HYLLIS shelving unit being spray painted white.
An IKEA LACK table has been hacked to have a Moroccan-inspired look. It’s now gold and has tiles on the top.

Upgrade your table

Make your LACK luxe. It’s possible.

  1. First add brackets with a decorative feel (you’ll need 8).
  2. Spray paint the entire table and let it dry.
  3. Then measure the tabletop and arrange your decorative tiles in the order you like best. When you’ve got your design set, use a hot glue gun to fasten them to the top.
  4. We added a finishing touch with floor strips painted in the same colour as the table, but it’s totally optional. It will look great without them, too!
Two white IKEA LACK tables are ready to be hacked, while tiles are arranged on the floor next to them.
An IKEA LACK table is being spray-painted gold.
The top of a gold IKEA LACK table is being decorated with a variety of patterned tiles.
Two IKEA RAST chests stand against a white brick wall. They’ve been hacked to look like vintage filing cabinets.

Upgrade your drawers

Ready to be blown away? Here’s an easy way to make your basic drawers look like a vintage filing cabinet.

  1. First remove the knobs.
  2. To create a visual effect of having double the amount of drawers, you’ll need to place two new pieces on top of the existing drawer fronts. Measure the front of the original drawers and cut two new fronts for each (6 total) from new pieces of wood. 
  3. Working one drawer at a time, leave a bit of space between the two pieces to fake the look of two drawers. Glue them to the original drawer front and let them dry completely while clamped on.
  4. Repeat on the next two drawers. Once everything has dried, paint the whole unit with a stain; two layers will create a rich shade.
  5. Drill holes for the new knobs, attach them, and add some label plates for the full effect.
An interior designer clamps the top drawer front of an IKEA RAST 3 drawer chest that she’s hacking for an upcycle.
An interior designer wears black latex gloves while staining an IKEA RAST 3 drawer chest in dark brown.
New metal knobs and label plates on an IKEA RAST 3 wooden drawer chest in stained dark brown.

Made by
Photographer: Sandra Werud & Oskar Falck
Interior designer: Nathalie Kamkum
Digital designer: Annie Svensson
Copywriter: Vanessa Algotsson