How to paint Ikea furniture: The easy and durable way!

Ikea furniture is amazing to use as a base for furniture flipping because the design of it is almost always very basic and simple; you have nothing ornate to deal with. However, you want to make sure to paint it properly so that the paint adheres well and you don’t find peeling paint a few months later. Below are the easy steps showing how to paint Ikea furniture.

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Tools & Materials

Time to Complete

This project took me 2 days to complete, given dry time in between coats of paint. Active work time was about 5 hours.

How to Paint Ikea Furniture Tutorial

I started with this plain black chest of drawers that I purchased for $20 off Facebook Marketplace. It’s an Ikea Malm Dresser but I’m frugal so I love to try to find Ikea pieces second-hand rather than buying them directly from Ikea.

Ikea dresser ready to be flipped

STEP 1: Sand and clean the chest of drawers

Quickly scuff sand the chest of drawers with 220 grit sandpaper. This shouldn’t take long. It should just rough up the surface a bit. Then clean off any dust and dirt with a tack cloth, followed by wiping it down with TSP cleaner.

STEP 2: Prime the chest of drawers

To get a smooth finish on furniture, you will want to use a soft bristle brush like the Purdy Nylox Glide paint brush. This brush can get into any crevices on the dresser. This is my go-to brush for painting furniture.

Best paint brush and roller for painting furniture

For the flat larger areas of the chest of drawers, use a Purdy Revolution Jumbo Mini Roller Frame with a Purdy White Dove 1/4″ Nap Mini Roller Cover. Low nap roller covers are perfect for leaving a smooth finish on your furniture. 1/4″ nap roller covers are perfect!

Best roller for painting furniture

Use the handy Purdy Paint Pail to hold your mini roller and paint brush, along with your paint. This pail makes painting really easy and saves time.

This chest of drawers didn’t have any major stains on it so I used a latex primer on it: Sherwin-Williams Multi-Purpose Latex Primer. This is my go-to primer since it’s easy to clean up with soap and water and isn’t too runny like other primers can be.

I applied two coats of primer since I’m switching the dresser color from black to white. I wanted to make sure I had ample coverage.

STEP 3: Paint the chest of drawers

To paint the chest of drawers, I used the same paint brush, roller and pail that I had used for the primer. I simply swapped out the pail liner.

Best paint brush for painting furniture

When I paint furniture, I want a smooth and durable paint finish. Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex is perfect for furniture painting since it leaves a nice smooth finish and is really durable. It’s also easy to work with and clean up.

I applied two coats of paint, waiting the noted dry time in between coats.

STEP 4: Add the fluted pole wrap to the drawer fronts

To give this chest of drawers a fluted look, I bought pole wrap and cut it to the size of the front of the drawers using a miter saw.

My son and I glued it on each drawer front.

Gluing fluting on front of dresser drawers

STEP 5: Add drawer pulls and furniture legs

Carefully measure out where your draw pulls should go and then drill holes for them.

Attaching drawer pulls to dresser

Add furniture legs to the bottom of the chest of drawers. Make sure to look at product details for furniture legs to see what weight they can hold. You might need to add scrap wood to the bottom of your dresser to create a firm surface to attach your legs to.

The Finished Modern Fluted Chest of Drawers

What do you think of this chest of drawers? It might be one of my favorite furniture flips I’ve ever done! It doesn’t look anything like the chest of drawers I bought off Facebook Marketplace.

Ikea dresser hack modern dresser

I love how it’s modern and unique. It is similar to many high-end chest of drawers I’ve seen for sale online. This one was much more budget-friendly!

Fluted DIY Dresser

Have Questions or Want to See More Amazing Home DIY Projects?

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