DIY IKEA dresser and chest — This is a super easy IKEA hack for adding character to any ikea dresser, chest, or drawer

Although Ikea furniture is affordable, it’s not the most stylish, nor can you really express your style with the furniture the way it comes out of the box.

Follow along my journey of flipping IKEA furniture, from an old dresser to a new media console!

The completed media console made from two malm furniture pieces found at IKEA

I was browsing Pinterest when I came across this big malm dresser DIY done by IkeaHackers I was immediately inspired to create my own version.

I decided to use existing furniture I already had that wasn’t working for our home.

Next, I got to work on assembling the chest and dresser. I created a mood board to gather my ideas and provide myself with a reference and visually put my thoughts together

A mood board of the colors, hardware and finishes all together providing a vision for the end goal!

Materials For Making The IKEA Malm Media Console

  • Ikea piece of your choice (I used the Malm four drawer dresser and two-drawer chest)
    My project had a few extra steps because I attached two separate units. You can purchase the unit in your preferred size and configuration to simplify this project.
  • Paint — I used Indigo Batik from Sherwin Williams.
  • Drawer Pulls and Knobs — I ordered mine from Amazon.
  • Furniture legs — I liked the shape of these legs, but the color didn’t match the other hardware. It was an easy fix with a coat of spray paint. (Legs are not required. The unit also looks beautiful on the ground)
  • Copper Gold Spray Paint (optional)
  • Sandpaper — coarse and fine grit

Continued Materials List If You’re Attaching Two Units

  • Project board (18″ x 30 1/4″) — I removed a drawer from the unit and created an open shelf for the electronics.
  • Wood Glue
  • 1″ Wood Nails
  • Three 6ft 1″ x 2″ boards — These boards were cut and used to attach the separate pieces and provide support. I didn’t want the unit to crack in half after installing the legs!
  • L-brackets
  • Pocket Hole Jig
  • Power Drill
  • Miter Saw
A view of the top of the media console. Using left over weather reclaimed wood flooring planks I achieved a rustic chic look.

Let’s get started!

If you’re starting with a newly purchased unit, be sure to leave off the drawer fronts and drawer tracks. The separate pieces will make the sanding and painting process a lot easier.

If you’re flipping an old unit like I am. Remove the drawer tracks and remove the drawer fronts.

Sand down all the surfaces you will paint later, it’s crucial to sand down everything! Ikea furniture has a slick finish, and sanding is needed to ensure the paint job will last. The paint I used was a paint and primer. However, if I could go back, I would use an oil-based primer and follow up with my colored paint.

Attach The Units

Once the paint is cured and dry, its time to attach the two furniture units. I wanted the big drawer in the center with the two sets of smaller drawers on the side. Keeping the layout in mind, I lined up the two units, added wood glue, and clamped them together using wood clamps.

I used the clamps to ensure the two units were aligned and not going to move anywhere. I drilled 9 holes along the border and one in the middle of the two furniture pieces. It’s a bit excessive but I wanted to guarantee these two units would not fall apart!

Allow the wood glue to set and you’re half way through with the project.

I wanted the base of the unit to be flush with the drawers. To achieve this look, you’ll need to cut down and attached 1″x2″ boards using wood glue and 1 ยฝ” nails. Then repaint and added another coat to ensure everything was smooth and even.

The original piece is six drawers, but I needed an open shelf to house the media equipment. Instead of reinstalling the top drawer, I had a bit of project board cut down to 18″ x 30 ยผ” using L-brackets to attach the shelf.

Instead of painting the inside of the unit. I took this opportunity to add a moment by applying a patterned peel and stick wallpaper.

Finishing Touches

Before installing the project board that will be used as an open shelf I stained it using a weathered grey. The original pine color was gorgeous but didn’t match the style I was trying to achieve.

Initially, I painted the top of the dresser the same blue but later decided to use leftover “reclaimed wood” to add character and hide the seam where the two units attached. There was no real method to how the pieces were placed. I set them out and moved boards around until I was happy.

Using the miter saw I cut the boards down to size and nailed down the boards giving a more raw look.

Laying out the reclaimed floorboards to get a good visual of how the top would look before cutting each piece down to the proper size.

Add a Touch of Gold

Attach the legs to the base, install the shelf, and reinstall the slides and drawers. Using a cabinet hardware jig, using a template, or manually measure the center points of the drawer. Use a drill bit slightly larger than the screw for the hardware and drill a hole into each drawer.

Using the hardware of your choice, attach the hardware to the drawer fronts.

You can use a custom handle or pull, the possibilities are endless and entirely up to you! Now all you have to do is style your dresser or console and you’re all set!

The finished dresser to media console transformation fully decorated for fall!
Closing Signature Collectively Sophisticated(ish)