How To Update an Ikea Dresser

Tarva MakeoverSince moving into our new (old) home, my husband has been in need of a dresser.  And since I love to paint furniture, I thought it would be easy to find something sleek that I could make look rugged and manly.  However I was having a hard time finding just the right thing until I saw some Ikea dresser make-overs on Pinterest.  I’m always up for a trip to Ikea, and after looking through the catalog that I had on hand, I knew the 6-drawer Tarva would be perfect. So, here is how to update an Ikea dresser (one of a zillion ways, I’m sure).

Now, I won’t lie to you.  While a piece of Ikea furniture is going to save you some cash, assembling it will cost you the better part of a day and a fair amount of your sanity.  There will be moments that you want to scream at the pudgy little Ikea guy on the instructions, who is surely mocking you, and curse the store as a whole for not writing out the instructions.  But persevere, it will be worth it.

Tarva Makeover

Sadly, I didn’t get a bunch of great pictures of the process I used to makeover this dresser, but here’s how I achieved the above look, step by step:

  1. Assembled the piece (Grrr…).
  2. Painted all the drawers white.
  3. Sanded the drawers with a 120 grit, making the wood bare in spots.
  4. Went over the drawers with a natural colored wood stain.
  5. Went over all the drawers again with an ebony wood stain.
  6. When the stain was COMPLETELY dry, I used 150 grit sandpaper to sand them to my desired look.
  7. Stained the top of the dresser with ebony.
  8. Painted the sides and legs with Coco from Annie Sloan (I just purchased a small container).
  9. Sanded the top of the dresser with 150 grit sandpaper.
  10. Put Annie Sloan clear wax over the entire piece.
  11. Lightly sanded over the wax with a 220 grit sandpaper.
  12. Spray painted the wooden knobs with hammered pewter.
  13. Dabbed a bit of Coco chalk paint over the spray paint on the knobs.
  14. Screwed the knobs to the dresser.

Tarva Makeover Tarva Makeover Tarva Makeover

My husband loved the way his new dresser turned out, and the pictures certainly don’t do it justice (bad lighting).

The cool thing about a raw piece of furniture, is that your options are limitless!  So use your imagination and come up with a one-of-a-kind piece of your own.

Peace & Love,


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