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13 Fab IKEA Hacks to Make Your HEMNES Dresser Look Like a Designer Find

updated Dec 20, 2022
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Credit: IKEA

There are a few pieces of IKEA furniture that are so universal, just about anyone could pick them out of a lineup—the BILLY bookcase, the LACK tables, the POÄNG chair, and, yes, the HEMNES dresser

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These models are popular for good reason: They’re affordable, basic enough to work in just about any space, and—because they’re made of solid wood—they’re easily hackable so you can add your own personal touch. 

In fact, sometimes all it takes to make these simple pieces feel high-end is a little bit of reconfiguration, new hardware, or a coat of paint. Skeptical? Check out these mind-blowing IKEA dresser hacks for the HEMNES dresser and its cousins, the HEMNES three-drawer and six-drawer chests.

Credit: @ryan87lx

1. Two cabinets and a chest of drawers.

This clever DIYer (@Ryan87lx) revamped an entire wall of his kitchen using two HEMNES glass cabinets separated by a three-drawer chest from the same line. Featuring ample storage and a sleek coat of black paint, this IKEA dresser hack is a suitable upgrade for this modern, red-and-black kitchen.

Credit: @akasle

2. A quick and quirky upgrade.

Deciding that the 8-drawer HEMNES dresser was largely good enough as is, @akasle simply switched out the drawer pulls for mismatched but coordinating pulls that add the perfect touch of whimsy to this pretty piece. It’s an IKEA dresser hack that’s a great idea for a kids room, or any space that needs just a touch of fun. 

3. Subdued hued.

Another simple IKEA HEMNES hack by @annlindamaria features the line’s iconic glass cabinet. Rather than leaving it white, she gave it a lovely upgrade with a coat of matte paint in a tranquil green hue. It’s understated yet completely elegant in the corner of her kitchen. 

Credit: Eva López

4. Bring out the blow torch.

This hack may seem a little daunting, but with the proper safety precautions, it’s doable. To play up that rustic, high-contrast wood grain, the HEMNES’ drawers were sanded, then blasted with a blowtorch. Another sanding and hardware swap later, and the dresser was ready to go.

5. Lattice method, a fresh paint job, and new hardware.

Give your home a little dose of boho chic with this HEMNES drawer hack. The lattice method involves a little bit of patience and time, but the finished look is a real showstopper.

Credit: Ruth

6. Satin-y paint, a stained top, and new hardware.

Three low-cost upgrades make this dresser appear much more custom. First, a fresh coat of French blue paint and a stained top distinguishes the piece from the traditional all-white, -brown, or -natural options IKEA offers. Then, affordable hardware (less than $10 for the set!) pulls the look together.

7. Cane webbing with sleek pulls.

Though this clever hack requires a bit more DIY know-how, it renders the HEMNES almost unrecognizable as an IKEA piece. The finished product is perfectly suited for a sophisticated bedroom or a beachside bungalow.

8. A colorful ombre paint job.

Gradient shades of pretty pink paint turn a basic dresser into a sweet and ultra-feminine focal point that looks just as at home in a nursery as it would in a living room. The look can easily adapt to different paint shades, too.

9. Matte chalk paint with cool modern legs.

Charcoal chalk paint and new pulls give the HEMNES an ultra-sleek and modern look made even more sophisticated by a pair of custom legs.

Credit: IKEA Hackers

10. Paint, stain, and mid-century style knobs.

After sanding and a fresh coat of stain and white paint, this two-toned dresser has a mid-century modern vibe that’s reminiscent of a much more expensive piece you’d find at a mid-century-style store.

11. Patterned contact paper.

If you can cut contact paper to size, you can pull off this sleek DIY project in less than an hour. And because contact paper comes in such a wide-range of options, from patterned to wood, it’s easy to adapt it to your own aesthetic.

12. Nailhead trim and textured wallpaper.

The HEMNES is nearly unrecognizable, thanks to textured wallpaper and decorative nailhead trim. Though it does require a bit of patience, this project is relatively simple and very affordable.

13. Clever DIY custom legs (and a standout paint color).

A little bit of woodworking know-how made it possible for this couple to transform a simple dresser into the colorful and ultra-cool focal point of their child’s nursery.