DIY Painting & Finishing

10 IKEA Favorites Made Better by a DIY Paint Job

The IKEA name has come to represent smart, affordable furniture for homeowners and apartment dwellers of all ages. But with that popularity comes easy recognition; if you've outfitted your room in purchases from IKEA, it can feel like you own the same furniture as everyone on your block. Fortunately, painting it with a can or a bucket of fresh color is all it takes to make the store's best-sellers unrecognizable. IKEA furniture may have modern lines, but it’s been in business since the early 1940’s, when it was founded in Sweden by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad. It remained a mail order business for several years before opening its first store in the late 50‘s, and then spreading to the rest of Scandinavia. It made its way to the United States in 1985, and has been consistently popular with budget and design conscious buyers. So, don’t blame your neighbor for loving and owning the same IKEA desk you just purchased. Instead, differentiate yourself! Painting transforms the standard IKEA furniture into custom looks that are uniquely you. These easy redos don’t require a lot of time or money, which means your affordable furniture still won't break the bank after the cost of additional materials. Click through our inspiration gallery to find ideas for painting your next IKEA furniture upgrade.

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Just Peachy

To create the perfect entryway table, these homeowners transformed IKEA’s three-tiered console table using a saw and paint. Cutting off the bottom shelf freed up more room to stand boots and shoes underneath, and leaving the bottom third unpainted creates a trendy “dipped” look.

Glam Stools

One trademark of IKEA furniture, unfortunately, is that the legs of chairs and tables tend to be pretty standard—even boring. In this simple spray-paint DIY, Brenda took her inexpensive chairs and added a simple touch of sophisticated gold. 

Splashy Kitchens

Most kitchen cabinets come in standard neutral tones, but these IKEA cabinets were retrofitted with custom doors by a local millworker. The splash of bright blue paint provides a unique and cheerful look to inspire a little fun in the kitchen.

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

A simple can of gold spray paint turns the bland metal bottom of this utilitarian IKEA desk into a show-stopping conversation piece. Because the modular product requires assembly, it’s easy to paint the legs before attaching them to the top.

Modern Marble Marvel

This IKEA pedestal table was given a stunning faux marble paint job by a crafty DIYer. The design is actually easier to achieve than it looks, involving layers of a paint-and-glaze mixture in white and grey. Pull out brushes of different sizes to vary the marbled streaks.

Set The Bar High

A desk doesn’t have to be limited to writing utensils and papers: This IKEA laptop table was converted into a chic bar cart with just a few simple touches. A coat of jade spray paint updated the metal frame, and caster wheels plus an acrylic shelf for extra storage were added to its base.

Design Details

Budget DIYs can look like they cost a big chunk of change. This IKEA upgrade used rectangular drawer pulls glued to the inside corners of a glass-topped coffee table to create a luxurious Art Deco look. With a coat of gold paint, it looks like it cost and arm and a leg.

Picture Perfect

You can personalize absolutely any surface in your home, such as this IKEA step stool, with a little color and your own photos. Check out this creative stool: After a coat of bright yellow paint dried, black and white photos were decoupaged to its flat steps—the same can be done with children’s art or prints! 

Built-In Bliss

These homeowners faked built-in shelves using four of IKEA’s ever-popular Billy bookshelves and some crown molding.  A coat of paint along the back wall (like this robin’s egg blue) pops against the crisp, white structure and really highlights the shelves’ contents.

Sweet Dreams

Almost more than any other room in the home, your bedroom should reflect your personality. Express yourself in this space by painting a standard IKEA headboard in your favorite color, then finish it off with polyurethane gloss to add shine and durability.