Before and After: This $40 IKEA HEMNES Dresser Flip Brightened up a Whole Bedroom

published Jan 18, 2022
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About this before & after
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Before: IKEA HEMNES 8-drawer dresser in white
Credit: IKEA

Pivoting to remote work during the pandemic has changed many households: During 2020 and 2021, many people carved out distinct work-from-home spots and created outdoor oases — perhaps to escape the aforementioned WFH spot — to name a couple of examples. But the pandemic certainly changed homes in small ways, too.

Perhaps you now have a dedicated hook for masks in a drop station by the door, maybe you upgraded your dishwasher after washing dishes after every meal at home for months, or, perhaps, like homeowner and furniture flipper Arwah Hamza (@saltandhoney_reclaimed), you no longer need your dresser to store a bunch of work clothes.

Previously in her bedroom, Arwah had a tallboy dresser, an eight-drawer IKEA HEMNES in the brown-black finish shown above, and two nightstands in addition to her bed. Wanting to pare down, she got rid of the tallboy and decided to make the HEMNES a little more stylish.

Credit: Arwah Hamza

“New furniture was not in our budget, and our current furniture was still very functional and in great shape,” Arwah says of the dark IKEA furniture set. “I fell in love with the color Goddess Ashwaganda from Fusion Mineral Paint and knew it would be perfect for our bedroom furniture.”

To paint the dresser, she started by sanding the top four drawer fronts with an orbital sander to restore a more raw look. Even after sanding the top drawers “they were still a little too pinky/orangey,” Arwah says, so she whitewashed them with watered down off-white paint (Fusion Mineral’s Raw Silk).

Arwah scuff sanded the rest of the dresser, “just enough to rough it up for the paint to adhere,” she says. After sanding and cleaning, she painted four coats of the mineral gray shade, sealed the top with three coats of a non-yellowing top coat and replaced all the knobs.

Credit: Arwah Hamzah

“I love how the lighter color has really helped open up my room, and that the bare top drawers help make it not look like a generic IKEA dresser,” Arwah says.

The best part? She completed the whole project in her bedroom without dripping paint anywhere, and her newly crafted look only cost $40. It’s a win-win-win for Arwah and another win for affordable IKEA flips.