This IKEA hack transformation may be my favorite one yet! I decided to give our current IKEA Hemnes dresser an update when I was putting together the design plans for our master bedroom makeover. The IKEA Hemnes dresser is one of our favorites because of the durability, price, and clean design. When I couldn’t find the dresser I envisioned at the price point I wanted, I decided to try out this new DIY. I first saw this IKEA hack on the Vintage Revivals Instagram account and it turned out incredible.
I am excited to share my process for adding this simple trim detail to our dresser and and everything I learned along the way. My hope is that you read this tutorial and can avoid some of the mistakes I made trying this DIY out for the first time. Let’s get started!
How to Apply Trim to an IKEA Dresser
I wanted to add some interest to the dresser by adding trim around each drawer and painting it a light gray.
Whenever I try out a new DIY, I make a ton of mistakes. I try to give myself grace with my first time DIY’s to accept that the final outcome probably won’t be 100% how I envisioned it. This mentality has helped me to take risks with DIY and to push through challenges when a project isn’t going as planned. This project was no different!
To determine how many pieces of trim you will need, measure each side of the drawers and add together. Remember, you will have some waste with each strip because we don’t want to patch together multiple pieces on one side of a drawer. I ended up purchasing 13 pieces of trim to complete this project.
Measure the Trim
The first challenge I had with this project was getting an exact measurement for each strip of wood. I tried to use the measuring tape, but it was not as accurate as I wanted. I did a little research and discovered a way to get a more exact measurement. The trick was to line up the trim on the drawer and make an indentation with a blade to mark the cut. The top of the trim piece would be longer than the bottom because I was cutting a 45-degree angle inward. I placed the trim on the top and lined the first angle directly to the edge. I took the blade and marked the other corner of the trim directly on the edge where I would be cutting the angle.
Cut the Trim
I made lots of mistakes while trimming out my first drawer but got better as I went along. The second challenge I ran into was with cutting the trim pieces. My plan was to use our table saw, but I immediately ran into an issue. The table saw was too powerful for the small trim and I couldn’t get a clean cut! The wood kept splitting and breaking off at the angle. In an effort to prevent the splitting, I lined up the tape on the mark and taped the side where I would be cutting the angle. It helped! I made peace with the small imperfections and used wood filler to fix them before painting. After more research, I now know that there is an incredible tool called a miter cutter that can be used for this project in the future.
Attach Trim to IKEA drawer
Once the four sides were cut, I had to figure out how to attach them to the drawers. When I watched Mandi’s stories on Instagram, they used a nail gun to tack the trim in place in addition to the wood glue. While I did have the nail gun ready to go, my nails were too long! I already had it in my mind that I was doing this project, so I improvised without the nails. I first tried using clamps but the grooves on the trim made it difficult. Next, I tried FrogTape and it worked perfectly! I applied the wood glue to the trim piece and then taped the trim to the drawer front. The tape prevented the trim from moving when I attached the remaining trim to the drawer.
Fill Cracks with Wood Filler
After the wood glue dried, I filled any cracks in the trim with wood filler and let it dry. I used a sanding block to remove any excess wood filler.
This small trim detail completely elevates the look of our IKEA Hemnes dresser.
Next I planned to change the color of the dresser to a light gray.
Paint the IKEA Dresser
One of my favorite DIY products to use is the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Kit to transform our furniture. The product is super easy to use and does not require any sanding or stripping before applying the paint. I purchased the light tint base and tinted it to the Winter Fog color option.
With solid wood furniture, the deglosser is an important step before you begin to paint. I started to degloss our dresser, but because the Hemnes dresser is not solid wood it wasn’t really changing anything. I stopped deglossing and went straight to the paint. The bond coat is the tinted color and is applied first. I applied two coats of the bond coat and then applied a single coat of the protective topcoat. This cabinet kit comes with a glaze that you can use to give the furniture a more decorative look, but I skipped that step.
Our white IKEA dresser now looks like a custom piece of furniture that was designed specifically for our bedroom.
I have always known the power of paint and now I am learning the power of trim! It is amazing how much a small piece of trim can impact a piece of furniture. What do you think?
The various shades of gray against the moody blue walls looks so good!
I cut a few branches from a tree in our yard to give the dresser a fun pop of color.
Our new master bedroom is the perfect retreat after a long day.
Want to save this IKEA dresser hack to reference later? Don’t forget to pin the image below to easily find your way back!