Ikea Hack - Making Ikea look less Ikea-ish

It's no secret, I love vintage furniture.  I have several Ikea pieces purchased long ago and I've been changing up the look of those pieces with trim and paint.  During my bedroom redecorating project, I began a makeover of my Ikea Leksvik dresser. I like the look of the dresser but I was ready for a change.  And I changed it 7 times!  Take a look at all the different looks this dresser went through before I decided what to keep.

When I first made over this cabinet 3 years ago, I had found a mirror to go with the dresser and I  painted the fronts of the drawers to match the mirror.  The dresser already had a bit of a vintage look with the guard piece around the top so I added vintage wood knobs to make it look like the old dressers from the 1920s and 30s.  That makeover looked like this:

When I did my Cottage Bedroom Makeover I changed the mirror and gave the drawers an ombre look that turned out like this:

Then I found an old and huge dresser mirror at the dump, took the frame off it and tore it apart.  No photos...  sorry!

This trim piece from the top of the mirror frame fit across the base of the dresser as though they were made to go together:

I had to cut down the trim piece along the top edge to get the height right, but all it took to install it was a few brad finish nails through the sides of the dresser into the trim piece.

and then I sanded as much of the paint off the drawers as I could.

I thought I would like the mega distressed look  (ignore the mess on the bed!  lol)

but I didn't.

Next up was the all Simply White look:

Um NOPE.  Looks too much like a baby's room change table/dresser to me...

So let's try painting the drawers again in two tone this time:

Yes, I like this but that only lasted a couple of days.   Welcome to my life...

This is with all the drawers painted in CIL's Manuscript (my new fave wall colour).  I love the beachy feel of it and I really like the solid look the extra trim gave the piece.  I tried different knobs on it but each time I put something different on it felt wrong.

Then I changed my mind again...

Why do I ever try to do anything without aqua in it?  I  always go back to the blues.  With the extra trim piece, the wooden knobs and the paint, this little dresser now has a vintage look that works great in my 1930s home.

May your creative journeys be a little more direct than mine seems to be!  lol

Have a great week!

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!


  1. I'm so glad someone else does things like repainting several times. LOL I painted my cabinet over the stool so many times I was beginning to worry about all the paint making it fall off the wall. LOL


  2. I say yes...the last one is fabulous.

  3. They are all cute, but I really like the last two, because they are so beachy. Great job, Anne. xoxo

  4. I love the two tone look.

    I have a piece that needs painting, but I just can't decide how to paint it or what color.

  5. They all are great!
    This last one goes the best with the rest of your room!

  6. Ha Ha thanks for joining the re painting club. I am so glad others go through this too. Sometimes it takes a few tries before you get it right!!! Heck it is only paint right?!!!! I love how it looks now. So pretty. Great job.

  7. I like them all except the all white. I just love your blog title today! LOL

  8. This post cracked me up! When I started reading I thought maybe one or two makeovers. 5th times a charm.

  9. love the "END" result! (we both know it's not really the end!)

  10. See, this is one of the reasons I love to read your blog, Anne. You keep it real. I like the additions you made to the dresser to make it look less "Ikea-ish". ;-) Hugs, Nancy

  11. Baby's dresser?? Haha, though it didn't look like one, you did have me laughing. Aqua solves everything and your fifth and final (yeah, right!), looks fabulous!!

  12. Ha ha Anne welcome to the repaint things a few times club!!!! I am glad to see someone else besides me re paints things until it feels right!!! This looks great in the Aqua. So pretty. Yeah glad you love it!!! Have a great week.

  13. Wonderful Anne! I have a waterfall dresser that I have painted 3 times already and I know soon will be #4!

  14. oh I have the very same dresser in our guest room, so since you are such a pro now, you should come and show me how it done???

  15. Of course, I think it look best with a little aqua in it. What doesn't? I think the moulding you added at the bottom really gives it personality.

  16. Well that's what makes it a decorating "adventure" right?! lol! I love many of the looks but the final one you chose seems to go best in your room. What a great idea to take the mirror piece and add it to the dresser too!

    I am always changing my mind too when it comes to decorating!


  17. Been there-Done that-Wearing the t-shirt Anne! At least it's just a piece of furniture - much more labour intensive and costly when it's repainting walls (something I tend to be VERY indecisive about). I really liked the dresser two toned but it's quite pretty painted blue in your space.

  18. hahaha I do like all the looks... but LOVE the latest look.
    That dresser has been through a lot! You change up things a LOT more than I do...which is n.e.v.e.r. I did my bedroom in 09 (I think) and haven't done anything to it since.

    great job Anne!


  19. Hi Anne! :)
    You are funny! :) I like the two tone, but I agree with the others, love the last one because it fits in with the room so well. It's amazing how well some of the IKEA furniture holds up, and how versatile it is! I love how you changed it by adding the frame molding at the bottom, it looks like a vintage dresser now! Beautiful!
    I love that little shutter that you are using for jewelry! So pretty!

  20. Oh the last look is my fav...and yes, you can't get away from your signature color!...Beautiful job....Have a great week Anne!

  21. WOW! Who would've thought one little dresser could have so many personalities? I think you've hit the head on the nail with this one! Way to bring it up a few notches! Love this look now! Hope you are having a great week! I would love it if you would share any of your pieces past or present over at my Making Broken Beautiful party. It runs each Thursday to Sunday. http://thecuratorscollection.wordpress.com
    Hope you are having a great week!


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