Oct 2, 2013

The IKEA Malm Dresser Glam-a-fied

Hey Y'all,

This is my first ever DIY project, if it justifies as one in terms of size of the "project". I've always pondered while reading DIY blogs and pinned and saved projects that I wanted to do myself but it's always been a hard thing to achieve due to me living in Doha and believing I lack the craftsmanship.

The living in Doha part has to do with the fact that there aren't flea markets that sell used furniture that you can puff up, and even if you had something and wanted to work on it, a lot of the items that you need to re-upholster or re-finish a piece aren't necessarily available in Doha, Qatar to the comment customers, as oppose to contractors who buy them from outside of Qatar, and if they happen to be available in Doha the overhead cost just doesn't justify the project and you'r just better off buying a new piece all together which feeds the vicious cycle of high consumer-ship (is that ever a word?!) in Qatar.

Anywhooo, IKEA opened in Qatar, and I previously mentioned- I believe- how much I wanted to go there and check it out and buy things from IKEA because I LOVED it from other countries where I've visited it and couldn't wait for it to finally open and when it did the timing couldn't have been more perfect because I was getting married!

Getting married to me meant leaving my parents' home, my one and only home, and move out to a new flat that I rented with my husband in Doha. We shopped all around for our furniture and furnishings and as our living/ dining happen to be highly eclectic, our bedroom is very much "modern glam" if I may call it that.

I got my bed from Bombay at The Mall in Doha, an amazing tufted winged purple headboard+mattress&box for a great price- I will show case it properly in a later post I promise-, custom closets, custom curtains, parquet flooring, a venetian mirror from Life Style at City Center- it was on sale! :D- and the rest was all IKEA (MALM Dressers, MALM Dressing Table, MALM Night Stands, and IKEA Pendant light and table lamps).

I had sketched out a general layout of how I wanted my bedroom furniture to be distributed and then began a furniture hunt.

Before I began furniture hunting I looked at colors and finishes and decided to go with this color palette for the bedroom, I knew I wanted to add white to it though and brushed brass for accents and hardware




So I saw this piece


The Malm dresser at Ikea, and it was a good height (the AC would be right on top of it) but it was too narrow and lets face it, I wanted more drawers than just that so I bought two and pushed them together opposite to my bed. It was too bleh though and I wanted to add a spark to it. I thought adding handles would make it look busy and redundant so instead I decided to go with an alternative solution.

I decided to paint the gap lines between the drawers a matt brushed gold color to accentuate it's geometric design, for those who know me, you know how much I like straight lines in design. 


These are the items and tools I used (bought in Doha);

- tin disposable plates. (from the super market.)
- masking tape. (from Jarir but available elsewhere)
- 1/4" paint brush. (from Jarir but you can find it at an array of shops.)
- small paint roller. (I bought mine from Jarir but you can find it at other places.)
- sanding paper (from Jarir but you can buy it from carrefour and a lot of other places too.)
- Folk Art acrylic paint bottles suitable for all purposes in Gold, it didn't need a primer nor a finishing layer from any other products. (from Jarir bookstore)
- foam sheets for protection (I used the ones which came in the packaging from IKEA, you can use newspapers or anything else that you have handy)


So, first thing to do was for me to remove all of the drawers (If I'm you I'd choose to do this in a place where you haven't just installed parquet flooring and had other furniture around, choose an empty place and do it there.



second thing to do was to decide which areas I wanted to paint I was initially thinking of painting all the way to the edge of the dressers but then figured out the outer frame protrudes beyond the dresser and it would have made it look weird so I stuck to the gaps between the drawers.



then I dusted the dressers, they were straight out of the box so really they were clean, if it's an old piece that you have I'd do more cleaning.


and then I started sanding, yeap sanding, the paint off. 


taking into consideration that I wanted to paint a white dresser a darker tone I didn't have to get rid of the underneath color completely I just wanted to roughen the surface enough for the paint to adhere to it and get rid of any dirt (if you are painting over old paint or a dark color you do need to sand it completely off)
keep in mind that sanding produces a lot of dust, thats why you need to do it in a well ventilated preferably exterior area.

once done with the sanding you need to wipe the entire dresser clean again and make sure there aren't any little pieces or chips of the sanded paint sticking out.

then you start taping everything and anything that is close to what you are painting but will not be painted with masking tape making sure to have straight clean edges for the area that you are going to paint.


then, you should really do this step first, my mind was all scrambled when I was working on this project, I had workers in the flat assembling things and delivering things and it was Ramadan so doing this between (wedding planning- home furnishing- fasting-iftar-and a full time job) is a huge accomplishment, do I hear a woot woot?


ps: put down as much protective coverage as you can not as you think you need because believe me, the paint will get to the weirdest of areas.

ok so this is what you should have before you start painting+ extra floor protective coverage



1 problem I faced and will soon undo- I should have known better!- is, paint peeling off of the kick plate.
The Kick Plate - Before Painting
Never ever try to paint any piece of furniture or part of a piece that is covered with laminate. Ikea are perfect when it comes to this they tell you exactly what parts are painted and what parts are fiber board with a laminate cover on such as the kick plate.
Acrylic paint doesn't normally stick to laminates, it needs special preparation for it to do that and it's highly unrecommended but I insisted and tried and the result was that the golden paint pealed off like a sticker at the corners of the kick-plate.



so now comes the cool and messy part The Painting. I poured a good amount to cover the bottom of the disposable plate, not too much. I used two so that if I had excess paint on the roller I can roll it off in the other one.

























and then I started painting, the color was perfect for me when I saw it in Jarir, it's got a golden leaf kind of feel, antique-ish brushed brass sort of.


I have a few don'ts for you here;Do not put too much paint on the rollerDo not expect the first coat to be perfectDo not press too hard on the roller or paint will ooze out and you will have runs
just keep on painting until you have covered all the areas you wanted and use the 1/4" paint brush to get paint into the little corners.



adjust the protection lay down as you go

After the first coat you should get something that looks like this.


paint will not be even in the first coat, I did about 3 coats until I was happy and as paint dries it will dry unevenly and you will see some areas darker than the others. leave the dresser alone and check on it again in a day once it's all dried out and then you can put your second coat and so on.

ps: see how the masking tape is protecting the edges of each dresser? aren't you happy you took the time and taped all that off.
Send us pictures of DIY paint projects that you've worked on and we will share them on our page, show us what you've learned and what you've used and give us any tips that you've learned in the process.




one thing that you must do between coats and at the end is clean your brush and roller otherwise once the paint dries in it's going to be a hard task to get it all off.

once the paint dried out 1 day after I've painted my last coat I removed the masking tape and sled the drawers back into place and ta da.


It wasn't a huge transformation but for me it was just what I needed to customize the dressers and make them mine rather than "Ikea's"
I painted an IKEA dresser because it was cheap and if I had any problems with it, in other words completely trashed it for some reason, I can buy a new one. Please do not try to personally paint a Baker dresser unless you are a trained professional confident craftsman who have done this kind of work for years. 

Thanks for tuning in! I will show you what other little changes I applied to create a difference in my apartment and I promise I will do a house tour of my place once I'm finally settled down from the Wedding/Honeymoon/Back to reality Marathon.

If you ever do and photograph a DIY project that you did, send it to me and I will share it here and on my facebook page

See you in another DIY post! 


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