Ikea Hack: Malm Dresser + O’verlays

Most of us have heard of Ikea, but have you heard of Ikea Hackers?  Yep, a site devoted to making ordinary Ikea furniture into something fabulous. 
Thanks to Pinterest, once I got the final word we were headed to Chicago, I started to look for design and style inspiration for our Chicago apartment. I even put together a little board. One thing that really jumped out at me were O’verlays. These little decorative adhesives are seriously chic. I got the idea in my head and I couldn’t shake it. We WOULD be having O’verlays in our apartment. I didn’t know where or how (we didn’t even have an apartment at this time), but I knew I was going to make it happen. 
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when we arrived in Chicago and secured our apartment. I did a simple layout for the bedroom and decided we would use the Malm 3-drawer chest of drawers for our nightstands. 

We bought them and my husband (God bless that man) put them together.

They were fine, but I had a little plan in my head to make them amazing with the help of paint and O’verlays.

Who doesn’t love a little before and after?

Here’s how it happened: I looked on Pinterest and the Google for how to paint laminate furniture from Ikea. I don’t know why Ikea can’t make the Malm in black, but apparently they want to make my life difficult. 
I found this article that raved about BIN primer by Zinsser. I bought it at Home Depot and covered all the exposed parts of the dresser with a small roller. 
I let the primer dry overnight and then began the painting process. I wanted a little bit of gloss, so I went with a semi gloss paint, which I also purchased at Home Depot. I also bought a smooth finish small roller which worked really nicely and gave a beautiful finish. No complaints. 

I looked at a couple blog posts that mentioned using a protective finish. This DIY expert really advocated it, so I went out and got the one she recommended. 

This part was a bit tricky. I brushed it on, but it was really hard to get an even coat without brush lines.

I attempted to use a roller brush to apply the poly, but that ended in disaster. There were bubbles everywhere and I ended up having to sand down the entire drawer and start from scratch. NO FUN. 

Finally, I have everything painted and protected and ready to go. I gave the dresser a complete wipe down and go ready to apply the O’verlays.

The decorative accents were shipped with instructions and recommended using Liquid Nails as the adhesive. 

I applied dots of the adhesive about 1 inch apart all along the backside of the O’verlay and centered in on the drawers. I also lined them up to ensure they were even. Luckily, the adhesive allows you about 10 minutes to be able to move stuff around without it drying solid 

After a couple hours, I put the drawers back into the dresser and admired the transformation. 

I am still considering putting some ring pulls in the center. Maybe something like THIS:
Thoughts? Ring Pull or leave it plain?

That is my little DIY victory that I wanted to share. Pinterest gets me all excited to take on projects…

HERE is another great post about painting laminate furniture in case you are interested.

 What was your last DIY project? 

  • http://looplooks.wordpress.com/ Erin @ Loop Looks

    Where were these instructions years ago when I was attempting to paint laminated furniture??? Yours turned out amazing. I think drawer pulls would look really nice on them.

  • http://www.eatwatchrun.com/ Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run

    I have a super old dresser (well, it’s as old as me) that has a ring pull on the top drawer and knobs on all the other ones. I kinda like the way that looks for some reason. So there’s another idea for you. Though, with black and white, I’d probably go with silver instead of gold unless you already have gold accents in your bedroom.
    The DIY project turned out really nice! I looooove reading about DIY projects. :-)

  • http://findingblissforme.wordpress.com/ findingblissforme

    Love it!!! I HATE putting furniture together! I have a nightstand that is white and needs a paint job. Wanna come over and play? And by play I mean paint it for me : )

  • http://peanutbutterrunner.com/ Jen

    oh i’m so impressed! unfortunately, i don’t have the patience to DIY or put together ikea furniture! ;)

  • Anonymous

    I love it just the way it is, but the gold pulls would make it GORGEOUS!

  • http://liverunlaughyoga.wordpress.com/ liverunlaughyoga

    love the new nightstand drawers! so nice meeting you yesterday!

  • http://thefitspirit.com/ Jess

    Really pretty! Definitely add the ring pulls!

  • http://wearing-pearls.com/ Dana

    I love it- so chic! I think the ring pulls would finish it off really well.

  • Anonymous

    Add the ring pulls!! It needs a litle gold. Looks great!

  • Meika

    What did you end up putting the poly on with? I want to redo my tv stand. This is stunning by the way, looks expensive!

    • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

      a fine “smooth finish” roller brush….don’t cheap out on that.

      Thanks!

  • Meika

    What did you end up putting the poly on with? I want to redo my tv stand. This is stunning by the way, looks expensive!

  • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    a fine “smooth finish” roller brush….don’t cheap out on that.

    Thanks!

  • kerry

    Love itttttt

  • Chandra

    Can you give me details about the striped shower curtain?

    • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

      Hi Chandra, I wrote a post about the guest bathroom here: http://www.poshmeetspavement.com/2013/02/another-apartment-update.html

      I got the shower curtain at Target in their “RE” Room Essentials line…I think it was like 15 bucks, major steal. They had it in red and yellow as well. I purchased it in August of 2012, so try checking ebay. I know West Elm also has some rugby stripe shower curtains too.

      • Chandra

        Thank you! I found one on West Elm and another on Amazon. I’ll look on eBay for the Target version!

  • Chandra

    Can you give me details about the striped shower curtain?

  • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    Hi Chandra, I wrote a post about the guest bathroom here: http://www.poshmeetspavement.com/2013/02/another-apartment-update.html

    I got the shower curtain at Target in their “RE” Room Essentials line…I think it was like 15 bucks, major steal. They had it in red and yellow as well. I purchased it in August of 2012, so try checking ebay. I know West Elm also has some rugby stripe shower curtains too.

  • Chandra

    Thank you! I found one on West Elm and another on Amazon. I’ll look on eBay for the Target version!

  • Toni D.

    Ring pulls! Fantastic job and the gold will really be the perfect finishing touch!

  • Toni D.

    Ring pulls! Fantastic job and the gold will really be the perfect finishing touch!

  • Meagan

    What size Overlay’s did you use?

  • Meagan

    What size Overlay’s did you use?

  • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    Hi Meagan, I used the 6×29 for the Malm nightstands, but I used the 7×30 for my dresser (shown here: http://www.poshmeetspavement.com/2012/09/more-overlays-white-on-white.html)

    Both look fantastic.

  • Nicole

    def use the pull rings… love the black and white with the gold….love your project u made me think to paint my side tables with inserts now im def gonna do this love love love it!!

  • Nicole

    def use the pull rings… love the black and white with the gold….love your project u made me think to paint my side tables with inserts now im def gonna do this love love love it!!

  • Barbara

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your Malm 3 drawers. I’m in Chicago too and am buying the 3 drawer Malms next week to go next to the Room and Board Portica Canopy bed in stainless steel. I plan to leave the Malm’s white and paint the O’verlays the light gray color of my walls (Ben Moore Marilyn’s dress). Are the O’verlays easy to paint given what they are made of? Also, for your Malm 3 drawers, did you leave the O’verlays in the original white they came in or did you paint them white to make them smoother or shinier?
    Thanks so much.
    P.S. Ring Pulls might make your Malm’s even richer looking.

  • Barbara

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your Malm 3 drawers. I’m in Chicago too and am buying the 3 drawer Malms next week to go next to the Room and Board Portica Canopy bed in stainless steel. I plan to leave the Malm’s white and paint the O’verlays the light gray color of my walls (Ben Moore Marilyn’s dress). Are the O’verlays easy to paint given what they are made of? Also, for your Malm 3 drawers, did you leave the O’verlays in the original white they came in or did you paint them white to make them smoother or shinier?
    Thanks so much.
    P.S. Ring Pulls might make your Malm’s even richer looking.

  • Xochitl

    Definitely ring pulls, but I think silver would look really nice

  • Xochitl

    Definitely ring pulls, but I think silver would look really nice

  • Kerrie

    What was the size overlay that you used? There are so many different options!! Help!

  • Kerrie

    What was the size overlay that you used? There are so many different options!! Help!

  • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    Hey Kerrie, I used the 6×29 for the Malm nightstands, but I used the 7×30 for my dresser (shown here: http://www.poshmeetspavement.com/2012/09/more-overlays-white-on-white.html)

    Both look fantastic.

  • Laura

    So I’m wondering, it’s been over a year that you painted this dresser, can I ask how it has stood up to everyday life? I’m looking to use ikea bookshelves for some built ins and want to know if its worth the effort? Thanks!! Laura

    • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

      One of the overlays came off a little in the middle of the long portion, but other than that, it is great. It was a quick fix with the liquid nails.

  • Laura

    So I’m wondering, it’s been over a year that you painted this dresser, can I ask how it has stood up to everyday life? I’m looking to use ikea bookshelves for some built ins and want to know if its worth the effort? Thanks!! Laura

  • Pooja

    My entire bedroom furniture is from ikea (black-brown Malm). When I bought it, I liked it but now I want everything to be white, but can I still use your step to paint it white??
    Thank you

    • Zig

      haha sounds exactly like me.. and maybe everyone else!

    • Pvp

      I m thinking the same i have entire bedroom furniture but with cherry color i really dont like it and want to do white color. Is it adviseble to do white??? Or only black finish would be nice??? Plzzzz reply

  • Pooja

    My entire bedroom furniture is from ikea (black-brown Malm). When I bought it, I liked it but now I want everything to be white, but can I still use your step to paint it white??
    Thank you

  • Ebonee

    Where did u get the white accents from?

  • Ebonee

    Where did u get the white accents from?

  • LaBon

    next time add extendor to the paint and you won’t have issues with brushstrokes showing.

  • LaBon

    next time add extendor to the paint and you won’t have issues with brushstrokes showing.

  • Zig

    haha sounds exactly like me.. and maybe everyone else!

  • Jorden Talson

    That is really amazing. The furniture looks great. I never saw such amazing furniture on internet. You have great collection of furniture. Oak furniture are generally used for decorating the room, Because it has great durability and easy to handle and care.

  • Jorden Talson

    That is really amazing. The furniture looks great. I never saw such amazing furniture on internet. You have great collection of furniture. Oak furniture
    are generally used for decorating the room, Because it has great durability and easy to handle and care.

  • Johnna

    Did you sand it first?

    • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

      nope- no sanding!

  • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

    nope- no sanding!

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  • Ramona

    How were you able to finally finish u without the brush strokes or bubles?

    • http://poshpavement.blogspot.com/ Sierra

      I bought a good high quality roller brush- it made ALL the difference. Don’t skip on quality.

  • Ramona

    How were you able to finally finish u without the brush strokes or bubles?

  • Ramona

    Sorry, long nails, fast typing equals extra letters and sounding illiterate.

  • Ramona

    Sorry, long nails, fast typing equals extra letters and sounding illiterate.

  • Pvp

    I m thinking the same i have entire bedroom furniture but with cherry color i really dont like it and want to do white color. Is it adviseble to do white??? Or only black finish would be nice??? Plzzzz reply