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Upcycle Ikea Furniture

Everyone is familiar with the IKEA brand. Many have shopped there, or browsed their huge selection of furniture and home decor online. They are notorious for their modern and sleek designs, with clean lines and above all, affordability. Thanks to IKEA, stylish decor is now accessible to everyone. This is a great thing, but it does come at a price. And the price is uniformity.

How to Upcycle Ikea Furniture to Make it Your Own

How many times have you walked into someone’s home and noticed that they have the exact same Billy bookcase or Malm dresser? I have at least three friends who sleep in a Leirvik bed and cover themselves with an Alvine Kvist duvet, me among them. Despite all of that, I would never turn my back on IKEA. Their products can find a place in every home. And with a bit of imagination, you can turn the familiar look into a personal statement.

Many are of the opinion that newly fabricated furniture can not be customized. This is where they are wrong. By searching online I came across a company ( that specializes in creating special overlays that fit mass-produced dressers and cabinet drawers to make them one of a kind. Still, the most cost effective way is using paint. I transformed my clients’ Hemnes 8 drawer dresser using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

ikea dresser painted in annie sloan chalk paint

What I love about this Annie Sloan product is that it can be applied to a large number of surfaces and it requires very little surface prep. The paint goes on smoothly; and a little bit goes a long, long way.

I sanded the piece lightly, washed the surface with warm water and a touch of dish washing soap, and applied 3 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Scandinavian Pink. For the pulls I chose to go with red, orange and pale pink in the same paint formula. I chose this playful pallet as it will go in a little girl’s room and the idea was to offer her a feminine but not overly girly piece.


In the end, even though the lines still suggest the origins of the piece, this customization offered a very personal and different take on it.

Find IKEA Furniture Second Hand

We all know IKEA furniture is renowned for it’s affordable prices. However, if you are looking to save some cash, why not seek some out second hand! There are loads of second hand IKEA furniture for sale on the Preloved site. What could you transform into a unique, personalised masterpiece?

Share yours with us on Twitter @Preloved, or send them in to us at!

Jelena Pticek

Jelena Pticek

Writer and expert

Jelena is a Canadian artist who specialises in upcycling furniture, and the Preloved Upcycling Ambassador. She was recently selected to be Annie Sloan’s Painter in Residence, and is always on the hunt for inspiration for her latest pieces.