Before and After: A Plain IKEA HEMNES Gets a $66 Rustic Apothecary Redo in Just 2 Days

published Dec 8, 2021
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Before: White IKEA Hemnes with basic round pulls

It takes a special eye to see restoration potential in an old or run-down piece of furniture. The pros know all the secrets for sourcing flippable furniture online and acing the paint job — which helps them turn even the most basic of pieces into high-style showstoppers.

Experienced furniture flipper Shayna Alnwick of The Flipped Piece has a business where she searches “secondhand marketplaces and thrift stores and sidewalks daily for pieces to flip and save them from a landfill.” And one of her flips makes even a basic IKEA HEMNES look cool and vintage.

One key thing to know about flipping IKEA pieces, “which are ‘slick’ and not solid wood,” Shayna says, is that you should use an adhesive primer after a good cleaning and scuff sanding. Shayna also sawed off the ledges and pulls of her HEMNES to give it a more square shape and “to create more of an apothecary vibe.”

She chose to take the color fo the cabinet from white to a dusty gray-black. To get the vintage, worn look, she first painted the cabinet beige (Dixie Belle’s Burlap), then painted black (Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky) overtop. Once dry, she sanded the black lightly to let some of the beige paint peek through.

“I then dry brushed some more beige to make it look more rustic and sealed the entire piece in spray wax,” Shayna says. “I added the new hardware and BOOM! New apothecary cabinet!” She went with library-style card catalog drawer pulls, which enhances this piece’s rustic vibe.

In total, the project cost under £50, or about $66, and took two days due to primer and paint dry time. “Just know that ANYTHING can be flipped!” Alnwick says.

She loves the way her new vintage-looking piece looks. “It totally matches the vibe of my house and the aesthetic,” she says. It’s hard to believe that’s an IKEA piece under there!