How to paint Ikea furniture – part 2

Couple of months ago I was asked by a friend to paint some furniture for her. As I’m a complete paint and brush fan I agreed without even thinking about it! If you’ve been following for a while, you’ve already seen the Ikea’s bedside cabinet that I painted back in March (if not click here to check it out).

So the next project was a three-door Ikea’s wardrobe that was going to be a home for their little twin girls’ dresses, tutus and all their adorable outfits. (I really miss those days when my daughter was eagerly wearing whatever I chose for her, nowadays I only get that look “are you kidding me?” instead of “mummy, it’s so pretty!”)

As this is a part 2 of “How to paint Ikea furniture” I will not be concentrating on the details as much, as the same can be applied from part 1. So if you’ve missed that, you can go back to that post now, it’s OK, I’ll wait. But if you don’t have time for that I will still try to make sense of all this painting process! So here it is…

Your DIY guide and how to paint Ikea furniture

First things first – the wardrobe before (well, actually some parts of it as the photo was taken after the wardrobe was dismantled and delivered to my house).

As the wardrobe was going to be in girl’s bedroom I felt it needed some colour. Yet I knew that mummy and daddy are big fans of neutral colours and actually asked me to paint it grey. Seems like a safe choice again, right? Well, not if you start with this…

For those of you who didn’t bother to go back to “How to paint Ikea furniture – part 1” here’s a quick note. Use good quality chalk paint! They can be used on almost every surface: wood, mdf, metal, you name it! And they don’t require any time-consuming preparation like sanding.

I mainly use Annie Sloan chalk paints. If you want to know why you will have to go back to that previous post or visit Annie Sloan official website.

For this project I used Provance which is a gorgeous teal colour.

Still remembering that the wardrobe was supposed to be grey, I used Provance only as an undercoat on the panels around each door.

wardrobe makeover

The colour on these photos doesn’t represent the real colour of the paint

Remember to protect the mirror if your wardrobe has it. You don’t want to be scrubbing off the paint!

When that’s done (and dry) you can start painting the wardrobe with the main colour. As I didn’t want the wardrobe to be too dark I have mixed some white paint into the grey one – Paris Grey in that case.

Paint over the already painted areas as well as the rest of the wardrobe. Likely you will need to repeat the process.

The wardrobe knobs were painted Paris Grey first with Provance as a top coat for contrast. And of course they were distressed like the rest of the wardrobe!

How to get that distressed look

Distressed look is when you make your furniture look old, shabby and likeΒ  they’ve been loved by someone else before. It is very easy to do and there are loads techniques. Most of the time I use a good old scrub technique. You could also try to wax the areas where you don’t want the paint to adhere before using your second colour. Then just wipe the paint off with the cloth. I’ve also heard of people using Vaseline instead of the wax but never tried it myself. So there are lots of options for you. But if you want to try rubbing with a sanding paper, make sure you start with a very fine one. Only when you’re confident enough move to a medium or coarse paper. Start with the edges, working your way to the middle. You just have to trust your instinct in here. If you do little, it won’t make any impact. If you do too much it will lose the charm.

This wardrobe was only distressed on the panels around the doors where it was painted teal underneath.

When the doors were finished I moved to painting the other part of the wardrobe (that part that was still in one piece). Some people find it easier to paint furniture when they are dismantled. I prefer where they are still standing! Therefore the next phase of painting was really straightforward.

And of course, don’t forget to apply wax when all that painting is finished. It will protect your furniture in the same way as a polish but with a matt finish rather than gloss.

And that’s it. Now you know how to paint Ikea furniture. And here’s how the wardrobe looks today…

ikea wardrobe makeover

I apologize for the quality of the photo but it was quite tricky to photograph the whole wardrobe from the right angle and with it being by the window as well.

Don’t have time to read it now? Pin it for later

ikea wardrobe makeover






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  • Reply
    May 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Great job! I really like the teal colour you used. I’ve only ever used the rust-oleum chalk paint as they don’t sell Annie Sloan at the Homebase near me. I’ve been pretty happy with is though!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      I used Rust Oleum as well, they’re really similar but I’m just in love with Annie Sloan pains and they last so long. You won’t find them in big stores. Try little independent shops, I’m sure you’ll find one near you : )

  • Reply
    May 8, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Big Annie Sloan fan here too. I’ve just finished my TV cabinet and will be writing a post about it soon. Love the Provence colour too !

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Yes, the colour is gorgeous! I’ve used it around my home too. I can’t wait to see your cabinet!

  • Reply
    Marta Hutt
    May 8, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    snap! I’ve been also painting with chalk paint on weekend! πŸ˜€ my wrists were sore from applying wax afterwards – first time ever I’ve applied wax with brush instead of cloth – auch… if you’ve done it on this size of wardrobe! It’s a lot of elbow grease πŸ˜‰ love the blue paint effect and distressing effect is perfect for kids room so you don’t have to worry about them knocking the paint about

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Oh no! It is so much easier with a cloth as with a brush most of it stays on the brush. I’ve also heard people using a sponge, I will have to try that next time : )

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