Ten years after I first discovered IKEA (and two apartments and two houses later), there are a few key pieces that I’ve held onto, mostly because they would be expensive to replace. Though I’m still not willing to fork over money to replace my Ikea Kallax media center in particular, those nine purple-ish plastic drawers I originally purchased needed a major facelift.
Replacing the drawers with higher-end options from Ikea would be either around $120 on the low end for plain white plastic drawers, identical in everything but color to what I have now, all the way up to $225 for the matching inserts with doors. Both options were beyond what I wanted to spend, so I hacked my way to a higher-end look.
To transform this piece, I opted to front the drawers with grey-stained wood and add drawer pulls to them. The total cost of this project turned out to be just $40, and that’s because I had to buy everything from the wood to stain and glue. If you have these around the house, you can do it for even less!
For more on the specific materials I used, visit my blog, Just Might DIY.
Wood (something thin, and enough to cover the number of drawers you have)
Sandpaper (120 grit should do)
Drill with bits
13” x 13” paper for guide
Glue that bonds plastic to wood (check labels)
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Step 1: Cut Wood Into 13” X 13” Squares
If you don’t have a table saw (I don’t), you can get Home Depot to cut them for you. Sometimes they charge after a certain number of cuts, but they’ve never once charged me for multiple cuts.
Step 2: Create a Paper Guide to Mark the Middle of Each Square
Outline one wood square on paper or poster board (I used a paper grocery bag). Use scissors to cut out guide.
Fold paper in half, and then in half again.
Cut small piece of the inner corner to make a hole in the middle.
Step 3: Mark the Center of Each Wood Square
Place guide on each square and mark the middle with a pencil.
Step 4: Drill Hole for Drawer Pulls
With the right size drill bit for your drawer pulls, drill a single hole on each marking for all boards.
Step 5: Sand Wood
Sand the fronts, backs, sides and freshly drilled holes, if needed. Be sure to wipe off any excess saw dust.
Step 6: Apply Stain
Follow the directions on your particular stain. I used a brush to apply stain and a rag to wipe off any excess.
Step 7: Glue Wood Fronts to Drawers
Apply glue liberally to the front side of the IKEA drawers and place the wood piece on top, following setting and dry times for the glue you use. (I put heavy objects on top of mine to help with adhesion.)
Step 8: Insert Drawer Pulls
Use large washers on the inside of the drawer to make up for the large square holes in the Ikea drawers
Step 9: Enjoy!
For more great DIY inspiration, visit my blog, Just Might DIY.
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