How to paint Ikea’s furniture and don’t lose a friend


Some sun andvitamin sea

Most of us have at least one piece of Ikea’s furniture in the house. And everyone has their own reason for that. Some people buy them because they’re affordable, some people buy them because everything is flat packed and easy to take home without hefty delivery charges and some of us just love this simple Scandinavian style (how not to love it if it’s so easy to live with?). And there is nothing wrong with that. Except one thing… We all end up with houses full of the same wardrobes, the same chest of drawers, the same tables, the same beds… etc. My house is full of Ikea’s furniture… but it doesn’t look like one of their own room settings. There are two reasons for that. Firstly my house is also a home to car boot and charity shop finds (and lots of them!) and secondly, I just love painting furniture! With a quick lick of paint you can easily transform an old and shabby piece into a chic beauty all your guests will be talking about! Or that ordinary Ikea’s cabinet into something more unique.

And in this post I will show you how to do just that. How to paint Ikea’s furniture and make it looking less Ikea-like.

I was asked by a friend to paint some furniture for her. And because she asked nicely – I agreed! (sometimes I’m just that good!) So the first one to go under my paint brush was this lovely but rather boring Ikea’s bedside table. Looking familiar anyone?


And here’s how I did it – your step by step guide:

1. First step is the most important one and you mustn’t skip it! BUY GOOD QUALITY CHALK PAINT! You might think that good quality paints are expensive but it’s actually not true. I’m gonna take it even further and say that they are in fact cheaper!  It’s quickly noticeable that extra couple of pounds you pay goes a very long way and with one tin of good quality paint you can paint twice as much as if you bought the cheaper paint.

I personally like to use Anne Sloan Chalk Paint, but there are other good brands like: Rust-Olem or Grand Illusions that I’ve also used in the past. I’ve introduced so many of my friends to Anne Sloan Paints that I think I should become the brand ambassador (I definitely act like one, but without being paid). So when I say that these paints work magic it’s not because I was paid to do so but because they really and truly are great paints. FULL STOP.

2. So now you’ve got the paint (and the brush and the sanding paper and some old cloths), the fun part begins. And that is – the painting. Yes, with Anne Sloan Paints (or any good chalk paints for that matter) there is no need for any time consuming preparations, like sanding down or priming. Because to be honest, who’s got time for all that? And I know you may think it’s OK with real wood furniture but surely not the mdf ones? Well, you’d be wrong! And that’s why these paints have become ever so popular in the last few years (although they’ve been around for decades!)

The first coat of paint doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs to be evenly distributed all over your whatever you’re painting. I used Anne Sloan Pure White for my first coat and it looked like this


A bit messy and with strokes in all directions, but that’s OK! Now just wait for it to dry. And here’s a good news – it dries in minuets! So you may only have a time to make yourself a cup of tea and come back to your project (or have a night’s sleep if like me you like to start things at 10 pm).

3. So your next step is to give your piece another coat of paint. This time try to be more accurate. If you’ve followed step one and got yourself a good paint you’ll see, that it is noting difficult and you don’t have to be an artist to paint a cupboard (or whatever you’re painting). ANYONE CAN PAINT FURNITURE!

Click here to check out how I painted my dining table

4. Depending on the finish you want to achieve you may want to give it a little rub with a fine sanding paper (just to give it a smooth finish) or with a medium sanding paper if you want that shabby chic look. As my friend did not precisely say what she wanted I decided to go with the flow and added another colour (of course I knew what colours she likes and more importantly, dislikes –  she’s my friend after all and I didn’t want to change that!). And so I added Paris Grey … Yes, I know, safe choice, but hey, a friendship was on the line!



5. If you’re after that more rustic look now it’s the time to bring that sanding paper to action. Start slowly with very gentle strokes until you’ve got the feel of the sanding paper. Then you can continue with fine paper sanding down here and there. Remember that if you want your piece of furniture to look old (not messed up) start with the edges as those are the places that naturally lose paint with age.







6. When you’re happy with the look all you have to do is protect the paint with a coat or two of clear wax. It gives the same protection as a varnish but completely different matt effect. You can use a brush to apply a wax but I tend to use a cloth and just rub it in. It’s a bit like with polishing your shoes. But instead you’re polishing your brand new table!



You can choose not to use wax if you’re afraid of intensifying your colour, but I would strongly advise against that unless the piece of furniture is purely for display purposes and you don’t have any little people with little sticky fingers running around your house.    

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That’s it. The job is done. I’m really happy with the effect. I hope you’ll be happy with yours too!

Click here to find out how to style your newly painted bedside table…



P.S. I just wanted to share with you that the friendship survived my safe choice of colours, so maybe I can be a bit more adventurous with my next project (which I will share with you soon).

How to paint ikea furniture







  1. Anonymous
    March 20, 2017

    Thank you, happy to help! And yes, with chalk paint there is no sanding down, no priming, nothing – just the fun part – painting!!! Good luck with your project and if you get stuck with anything, just ask, I’ll be happy to help!

  2. Alisa
    March 20, 2017

    I have always veered away from trying to paint MDF furniture. I didn’t know that chalk paint can handle the MDF which makes this blogpost a revelation for me! I have used freecycle furniture and painted it with Farrow & Ball. But there was a lot of prep involved in rubbing down which frankly, made me lose the will to live. So I may be looking at a new project now that I know WHY chalk paint is so good! Thanks. Great post. And love the colours you used! 🙂

  3. primehomefurniture
    March 14, 2017

    I could read such things forever. Really nice afternoon reading. Thanks very much!

    • Anonymous
      March 14, 2017

      Thank you, it’s very nice to hear some people actually enjoy reading it.

      • primehomefurniture
        March 14, 2017



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