Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A One-Day, $94 Hack Gives a Basic IKEA MALM Dresser a Style Boost

published Nov 17, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image

The great thing about IKEA furniture? Even if you’re not located near enough to an IKEA store for a shopping trip, you’re likely to find a number of pieces secondhand that are ready for a second life. That’s how Chi GB-Dumaka (@thegbresidence) found her IKEA MALM dresser, which she scooped up for a very reasonable £55 on Facebook Marketplace.

While the used dresser was still in solid shape, Chi didn’t feel like the dark black-brown color went with the rest of her home decor. Plus, with its basic flat front drawers, the dresser looked a little plain. “I wanted to add a little more character to it,” Chi says.

“The process was pretty simple!” Chi says of her project, which still yielded impressive results. To start, she lightly sanded the dresser to prep it. Then, she cut half-round wood moulding to size with a hand saw before attaching it to the drawer fronts with Gorilla Glue. Once the glue had dried, Chi painted over the whole dresser with white paint. In total, it cost just £70, or about $94.

While Chi says the glue method was a super easy way to pull this project off, she also notes that any glue that squeezed out on the edges was tough to clean up once dry. “If I was to do this project again, I would be a lot more careful and precise when applying the glue,” she says.

Though the project was easy, the dresser now looks totally different — and much more in line with the lighter tones and colors Chi uses throughout her home. “I love that the dresser looks a little more expensive now,” she says. “I am proud of the fact I sourced and completed this project myself!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.