This Ikea Malm hack is so simple. By adding O’verlays to the drawer fronts and a wooden top, this nightstand gets a drastic makeover.
Flipping furniture is a great way to save an item from the landfill while breathing new life into a used piece. This Ikea Malm hack is such as easy way to turn a basic piece of furniture into something really custom and unique. Wait until you see how this furniture flip turned out!
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Ikea Malm Hack
Flipping Ikea furniture is popular among DIYers because you can get an inexpensive piece of furniture and turn it into something really nice.
By shopping for used Ikea furniture, I can find pieces that are very affordable or free and can also find all of the information I need about them on the website. Almost all Ikea pieces have a sticker somewhere on the piece of furniture with the name on it. This gives the flipper the opportunity to do a search on the Ikea website to look up the materials used on that specific piece of furniture.
When I search for Malm 2 drawer dresser (their name for the nightstand) I can look under ‘materials and care’ and see that this nightstand is made out of particleboard and clear acrylic lacquer. This tells me that its particle board with a thin layer of veneer and laminate so it can’t be sanded and stained, rather it needs to be primed and painted.
There are a couple of fun hacks for doing both of these that I’ll share with you below.
What you need for the Ikea nightstand hack:
- Ikea Malm 2 drawer dresser
- O’verlays Gracie kit
- Retique it liquid wood
- Dark walnut gel stain
- Zinsser Bin Shellac primer
- white eggshell paint (I used the Upcycle latex paint)
- foam brush
- mini foam roller
- wood glue
- chip brush
- drawer hardware (I used some similar to these)
How to flip the Malm nightstand with this fun Ikea Malm Hack
The Ikea Malm hack I’m referencing here is the use of O’verlays to give these drawers an instant update! The Ikea Malm furniture has a flat front to it’s drawers without any dimension or hardware. It’s the perfect blank slate for a furniture flip.
The O’verlays are decorative fretwork overlay panels that come in several patterns and sizes. They are light weight, paint-able and easily attach to furniture. Plus, you can shop their site by furniture type which makes looking for Ikea flips super easy.
How to paint Ikea furniture
Before adding the O’verlays, prep the piece of furniture. For this flip, I want a white paint and a stained wooded top. There are a couple of steps that are essential here since we know this is made out of laminated particleboard and has a black veneer.
Because this is a dark veneer and made out of laminate, it’s essential to prime first. I like to use Bin primer and a foam brush to apply. You might go through a few foam brushes, but the primer will destroy a regular paintbrush so a foam brush is a cheaper way to go because it will need to be disposable.
When priming the furniture, don’t worry about full coverage as some of the black might show through. Think about the primer as just giving the paint something to stick to since it won’t adhere well to the laminate without primer.
Once primed, use a mini foam roller to add one coat of latex paint to the unit and the drawer fronts (not the top).
Create a wooden top on Ikea furniture
I wanted a wooden look without the laminate look for the top of this. Laminate looks too glossy and less wooden to me so I wanted to turn this top of this nightstand into something that looks like real wood.
Retique It liquid wood is a paintable layer of liquid wood, and it’s so cool! You paint a couple of layers on this liquid wood using a foam brush right on top of the laminate. Once dry, use a chip brush to add gel stain to the layer of wood.
Once dry, this looks like real wood! And gives it an upgrade from the laminate. This will need a coat of polyurethane to seal it once dry.
Add the O’verlays to the Ikea Malm nightstand
Once the unit has a wooden top, and has been primed and painted with one coat, it’s ready for its O’verlay. This Ikea Malm hack is my absolute favorite. Adding trim is always the extra that makes any project look professional in my opinion.
To attach the O’verlay, simply add wood glue to the O’verlay and place it on the drawer front. Once dry, give the unit another coat of paint, painting the O’verlay as well.
Once dry, add your cabinet hardware to the drawer fronts.
This Ikea Malm hack is the best upgrade to the Malm nightstand
I just can’t believe what a difference these couple of small additions to the Ikea Malm nightstand made. An incorrectly assembled Facebook Marketplace find to this finished product is just my favorite kind of flip. It’s such a dramatic end result!
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Disclaimer: I received these O’verlays for free in exchange for the promotion of this product. All opinions expressed are my own.