Published on February 12, 2019

Furniture shopping—love it or hate it— is a necessary evil. Any renter or homeowner knows the price per piece can be pretty intimidating. If you’re going to make the investment in a dresser, you should be in love. And it’s a tall order to find a stunning dresser that is also well-priced. When that dream dresser does not exist, consider it the perfect opportunity to create one—by hacking an old IKEA standby.

Dig out your toolbox and head to the hardware store. Pick your favorite look from these easy IKEA dresser updates, and put aside a weekend to get to work. Most of these projects only require a can of paint and some new knobs—you’ve got this.

Embrace Color

And we’re not talking about a mere splash. No, this one is all about taking it to the next level with a vibrant revamp that will put a color wheel to shame. This playful version comes from Eva Hjortsberg of Örebro, Sweden, who elevated a basic IKEA dresser with an unapologetic upgrade. Color-coded stripes and matching knobs turn a bedroom staple into an uber cool accent.

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Jessica Holm via mama

Think Scandinavian

Sometimes, even the most subtle hint of color can go a long way, especially when combined with an equally alluring wood stain. The creatives behind this clever DIY spotted on DesignSponge, opted to do just that, letting the original structure and tonal qualities of the dresser remain (relatively) as is. The result? A Scandinavian-inspired upgrade that exudes pure elegance.

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design sponge

Go Geometric

IKEA’s Tarva is an undeniable classic but this upgrade is serving the piece up with an ultra-mod refresh. Clad in a geometric color block that exudes contemporary cool, you can easily recreate this DIY, inspired by Swedish artist Olle Baertling, with a few vibrant shades of paint.

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livet hemma
We’re definitely big fans of an upgrade that provides us with multiple elements of functionality—this dresser-turned-changing table being one prime example. The mama-to-be over on The Fresh Exchange took to hers with a saturated pop of color, sleek knobs, and a textured basket for a well-rounded finish. Paired with a set of wall-mounted shelves above, it becomes the ultimate baby-friendly nook.
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The Fresh Exchange

Paint Makes All the Difference

Tarva dresser owners rejoice; we’ve got the perfect DIY for you. A couple cuts to the legs make them feel more refined. New handles and a fresh coat of paint pick the rest of it right up. Select your favorite shade to match the brushed brass bars. For this nursery, a fresh minty tone was selected. However, we know a deep navy would look divine in your master bedroom.

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Courtesy of Sarah Sherman Samuel

Try Leather Pulls

If you like the look of leather, this is the hack for you. This easy update totally transforms any dresser. Start by removing the knobs. Next, paint the piece the color of your choice. Then, add DIY leather straps. This look is totally on trend, with its pastel tone and light leather pulls.

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Courtesy of Live the Emma for IKEA

Add Graphic Elements

This may be one of the more challenging dresser hacks around, but it’s worth it. This complete makeover requires making uniform cuts to the drawer fronts, giving it a geometric diamond pattern. Painted white and outfitted with rose gold pipes, this hack is the epitome of chic.

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Courtesy of Auguste et Claire

Gold Contact Paper Upgrade

You’ll be shocked to learn this is indeed an IKEA hack—and an easy one, too. Head to the store and pick up the Malm dresser. Grab your scissors and cut up some gold contact paper in order to achieve this look. Minimal supplies and maximum style make this the best hack ever.

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Courtesy of Presciously Me

Go for Green and Gold

We are calling it here and now: Green is the new navy. And this hack is an easy way to participate in the emerging trend. An IKEA hack like this is an affordable way to get a cool new tone into your home. Select your favorite shade and a set of new knobs to add instant appeal to any piece.

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Courtesy of Paige Jones

Two-Toned Trick

This look is a bit more masculine than the rest and requires both paint and stain. The bottom portion of this dresser is stained a dark, rich brown tone. The top of the dresser is painted a fresh white. Then, each knob is stained to match the lower portion. This quick DIY makes for a timeless piece you’ll use for years.

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Courtesy of A Cup of Life

Trim Is Always In

Here’s how to give an IKEA Koppang three-drawer chest a completely new look. Add a little trim to instantly transform this piece. Brush on a soft pastel tone to cover the stark white. Next, switch out the hardware, and add a ceramic or metal knob to make this look more luxe.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Leigh Design

Outline Your Dresser

This hack proves that IKEA pieces make the best makeover subjects. The thirty-five-dollar dresser requires just forty dollars of supplies for a total upgrade. This affordable fix can be yours in an instant, with just a little elbow grease.

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Make it Mid-Century

There are plenty of cool, mid-century modern-inspired dressers out there, but this dresser dupe can be yours for just a fraction of the cost. If you are a handy homeowner, we bet this one will be easy for you. Your guests will gasp when you inform them that this piece is indeed from IKEA.

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Courtesy of Kristina Lynne

Combine Knobs and Pulls

Make it classy by adding two sets of brass knobs on the top drawers and pulls on the remaining drawers. This simple fix will make you IKEA dresser look oh so expensive. The best part? The hardware only costs thirty-five dollars.

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Courtesy of Evan and Katelyn


Add Some Edge

It’s easy to swap out knobs on any dresser for an instant upgrade. But adding L-shaped flat brackets to will immediately elevate your DIY to the next level.

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Courtesy of Mr. Kate

This story was originally published on December 20, 2016, it has been updated with new information. 

See more IKEA hacks we love: 

Designers Share Their All-Time Favorite IKEA Hacks
IKEA Side Table Hack: How to DIY a Graphic Bar Cart
7 IKEA Kallax Hacks You’ve Probably Never Seen

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