Before and After: A Beat-Up IKEA HEMNES Gets a Colorful, Botanical Upgrade for $40

published Aug 12, 2021
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About this before & after
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Before: Basic dark wooden IKEA HEMNES with missing drawer pull

Name: Claire Armstrong (@pillarboxblue)
Redo: Furniture
Type: DIY

From stair risers to kitchen cabinets to media consoles, there are tons of places to apply peel-and-stick wallpaper that aren’t, well, walls.

Peel-and-stick coverings offer an easy, temporary way to add bold color, pattern, and even faux texture to a surface without having to get out a stencil or become a muralist. (Although there are plenty of cool DIY stencil and mural options out there, too.)

DIYer Claire Armstrong’s dresser facelift is one to add to your peel-and-stick inspiration board. What started as a plain IKEA HEMNES became a colorful, botanical beauty in an afternoon.

“A neighbor was throwing out this tired-looking IKEA HEMNES,” Claire says. “I decided to rescue it.”

First, she gave the whole piece a good clean. Then, she added a coat of dark blue chalk paint (Annie Sloan’s Oxford Navy). “With quick-drying chalk paint, the project only took a couple of hours in total,” Claire says.

After the paint dried, Claire removed the drawers from the frame and covered the faces in a vibrant tropical wallpaper. “This was a very affordable upcycle,” she says. “The wallpaper only cost $20 from Amazon, and I have plenty left over for more projects.”

Plus, Claire adds, if you use leftover paint to cover the frame, you can keep costs down even more.

One of the more challenging parts of her project was making sure the patterns on the wallpaper print matched all three drawers — but Claire’s particularly proud of the way the drawers came out. “The tropical print just makes it so interesting to look at,” she says.

The last step was adding the knobs, painted the same color as the frame. Claire’s final product is both personal and practical — the perfect pedestal for displaying indoor plants.

“Don’t be afraid to give it a go,” she says. “Wallpaper is so forgiving and a roll goes a long way.”