Tropical IKEA Dresser Hack

3 Materials
2 Hours

IKEA furniture may not be unique as it's mass-produced, but it is so easy to hack and update to make it your own. In the past, I've updated their Moppe Mini Drawers (see here) with maps to turn them into cool pieces of furniture.

This time I decided to tackle something a little larger with an IKEA Hemnes set of drawers. I didn't go with maps though but a more tropical theme.

The IKEA Hemnes dresser was actually a freebie off Whatsapp, my neighbours had put it on our local group for anyone who wanted it.

It just needed a bit of an update to fit in with my decor.

The first thing I did was paint it with an Oxford Blue chalk paint. Chalk paint is great as there is no need to sand or prime the drawers before applying the paint.

Paint the top and carcass of the drawers.

I changed the knobs to plain wooden ones.

I also painted these the with same blue chalk paint.

I decided to decoupage the drawer fronts of the dresser with this tropical wallpaper. This was an affordable wallpaper print I found online. I used less than one roll.

However, one roll won't be wide enough to cover the whole length of a drawer front. So you will need to paste the front of the drawers in 2 or 3 pieces. This is easy enough to do, but just make sure you match the pattern up.

With the IKEA Hemnes chest of drawers, there is a small gap between the edges of the drawer front and the carcass. This means that the wallpaper can wrap over the edge of drawers without it impeding the opening and closing of the drawers.

When measuring the wallpaper pieces for the drawer fronts, allow for enough wallpaper so that it wraps around to the back of the drawer front. I allow for at least 2cm (1″) overlap.

Check the instructions that come with the wallpaper, whether the wallpaper or the furniture needs to be pasted with glue. With this particular wallpaper, we pasted the drawer fronts with a fresh coat of wallpaper paste using a brush.

Then we placed the central wallpaper piece in the centre of the drawers. It is easy to slide the wallpaper around when the paste is wet.

Cut away any excess wallpaper before wrapping it around the drawer front.

Make sure you pattern match the wallpaper pieces, not only on the drawer fronts but across all three drawers. More pictures and detail on the blog link in the bio at end.

With the corners, cut a diagonal slit in the overlapping wallpaper up to the drawer corner. This will make it easier when folding the corners around the back of the drawer front.

Wipe the wallpaper with a damp cloth to remove any excess wallpaper paste and to push out bubbles.

When the wallpaper paste has dried screw the painted knobs back on to finish the drawers.

Wallpaper is an easy and affordable way to upcycle all sorts of furniture items in your home, I've used it on stairs, mirrors, tables and even my Kitchen bin, you can see them all here.

Resources for this project:
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Claire at Pillarboxblue
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Emk22664829 Emk22664829 on Jun 23, 2022

    This is a really creative idea . I have a small stand I would like to try with this same color Was going to ask where you bought this specific wallpaper, then I went to your blog! Found my answer!

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