Ikea Hack - Malm Chest of Drawers

I have no idea how many Malm chest of drawers have been sold globally by Ikea, but I do know that it is a lot!
This one lives in my bedroom and is one of those pieces of furniture which sinks into the background unnoticed, it is really functional but a bit bland.
I have a big love of stencils and pattern, and so I decided to stencil each of the drawers with a different design. By using only white paint the finished effect is very unified and not too crazy, in spite of the fact that I used five different stencil designs.
The drawers are perfect for stenciling as the the surface is completely flat. There aren't any tricky corners to manoeuvre around and so it took very little time to complete.
The stencils were given a light coating of a spray adhesive on the back and then smoothed into position on the drawers.

The main trick when using a stencil brush is to make sure that there is very little paint on the brush so that it doesn't bleed beneath the stencil.

I used an acrylic water based paint which is waterproof, very fast drying and hard wearing. Have a damp cloth or wipe to hand so that if you make a mistake you can quickly wipe the paint off and stencil again.
I worked out the order of the designs gradually trying to place a busy one next to a calmer one, or one with a lot of coverage next to one with less coverage.
I love my Malm drawers now and they no longer sink quietly into the background anymore but have become a main feature of the room.

For more inspiration check out my blog Decorate Decorate at


and to visit my website where I sell these stencils look at

Nicolette tabram designs
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  3 questions
  • June Cordivari Gregory June Cordivari Gregory on Mar 03, 2016
    How did you keep them straight?

  • Lyn Lyn on Nov 30, 2016
    This looks fab! Did you have to prep the surface before painting? Sand down or something? I'm looking to do a mini version of this on an Ikea gateleg table on the drawer faces to experiment first. Thanks! Lyn

  • Laura Ula Skrznsk Laura Ula Skrznsk on May 12, 2017
    Please, tell me where did you bought those stencils? 😍

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  • Nico Nico on Mar 02, 2016
    Over kill for me .. Sorry that sounded rude .. I'm sorry ... It's pretty and gave me ideas :) thanks on stencil but good idea if maybe a few corners

  • Caryl Sexton Caryl Sexton on Mar 04, 2016
    I love this-- And plan to do the same on a plain and boring Chester Draws/ thank you.!! I Just have to find where the stencils are purchased.

    • Nicolette tabram designs Nicolette tabram designs on Mar 04, 2016
      @Caryl Sexton Hi Caryl, you are very welcome! The stencils I used are from my own range. If you want to take a look the link is here www.nicolettetabram.co.uk