Many of you caught our episode of CHCH morning live July 15th, 2013 but for those of you who slept through it, and also for those of you who watched, we never actually showed the completed project!

At one point in your life you’ve probably owned a piece of Ikea furniture, it’s inexpensive, functional, and gets the job done, it’s great! The downside of owning a piece of Ikea furniture is that it’s simple and all looks the same! Follow along as we show you how to take an ordinary Malm 3 drawer dresser and turn it into a fantastic HACK!

We chose the black/brown Ikea Malm 3 drawer dresser, shown here:

malm--drawer-chest__0140533_PE300530_S4We really love the mid-century modern look as well as rustic and this Ikea dresser was just too plain modern. We also happen to be in love with this little beauty from West Elm:


Since the dimensions are nearly identical and the shape is very similar, why not recreate the look for less! If you’re a student, this is a steal at $99 for the dresser. What you’ll need to do this hack is:

Hobby wood (Home depot or building centres) Available in poplar, cedar & oak

Stain (Walnut)

Wood glue

Pneumatic stapler with staples

Air Compressor (for stapler)

Table saw or saw

We went with the poplar version which was not the least expensive but not the most, start the project you’ll need to assemble the Ikea dresser if you haven’t already done so. Next, face the drawers with 1/3″ thick poplar in 3.5″ width’s and cut them to the size of the drawer so they fit perfectly. Be careful when using the saw and use protective eye wear! Once the lengths are cut- you’ll need exactly 3 per drawer so 9 pieces cut total, you can then begin to stain them. Use a rag and apply the stain in one fluid motion, wiping the excess as you go. I stained my pieces in different variations, some were darker, some lighter. Apply glue to the backside of the 3.5″ wide pieces and glue them down, use the staple gun to secure them.

Next: Take the hobby wood purchased in three different thicknesses, 1/3″, 1″ and 1.5″ inch thicknesses and arrange them in a brick pattern on top of the dresser in a way that you find pleasing. Cut them to size of the drawer and stain each piece of wood, secure them using glue and a pneumatic stapler.

The next step is to paint the exterior of the dresser, we chose extra white in Sherwin Williams gloss paint. Here is the end results:


And there you have it! Another great Ikea hack for under $200. We also love the idea of putting two side by side as a buffet in a dining room, or a 6 drawer dresser.

Happy Hacking!

To watch the episode of CHCH morning live click here: