These Ikea Malm Dresser Hack ideas are so terrific, you’ll want to try one right away…
Ikea is known for its affordable and functional furniture. In fact, their furniture offers the perfect “starter” pieces because the styles can go with any decor.
So, what do you do when you get tired of your Ikea pieces? Well…you hack them, of course! Ikea has several different lines of furniture styles, and they all have one major thing in common: they are simply styled, making them absolutely perfect guinea pigs for personalization.
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Today I want to talk about one of the most fun pieces to upgrade in my opinion…the Ikea Malm dresser hack. In fact, the entire Malm line from Ikea is a very modern, sleek line of products that look somewhat plain and are basically begging for hacking personalization.
In short…when your Ikea Malm furniture needs a refresh, don’t toss it. Do the eco-friendly, crafty thing and hack it instead!
Can You Paint Ikea Malm Products?
First, let me answer the question you may be thinking. Can you paint the Malm? Yes, you definitely can. However, the Malm product line can be difficult to paint. The pieces are made of laminated veneer chipboard. This is a nice, fancy way of saying it’s almost impossible to get paint to stick to the smooth melamine surface without some major prep work!
In order to successfully do an Ikea malm dresser hack with paint, it’s crucial to take the time to properly prepare it first so the paint will stick to the surface. Here’s how:
- Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need to sand the laminate surface in order to roughen it up…IF you use the right primer, and that part is KEY.
- Apply primer to the surface to keep your paint from chipping. The primer gives your paint an even surface to grip and adhere to. Then let it dry. (In my experience, THIS primer works the best!) Do NOT use a water-based product. Trust me, I’ve tried and the results ain’t pretty.
- Once the primer is dry, apply 2 coats of paint of your choice. Latex paint, milk paint or chalk paint will all work.
Important Tip: Paintbrushes can leave unsightly streaks in the finish of your paint – especially on ultra-smooth surfaces like Malm products. Instead of using paintbrushes, I highly recommend using either a paint roller or a paint sprayer to get the smoothest possible finish.
And if you just want to add a little bit of paint to repair those annoying scratches and dings that Ikea furniture can get…I’ve got the most amazing product for you to check out!
By the way, if you LOVE IKEA, then grab this list of 25 IKEA must-have items for a stylish home on a budget! These are my favorite IKEA products as many of them can be used in amazing, outside-the-box ways, too.
The top 25 IKEA products list is free, just click here, or on the picture below to begin⤵️:
Now that you know how to paint the Malm, let’s get to some ideas for making your oh-so-basic Ikea dresser anything but!
Looking For Other Ikea Hack Ideas? We’ve got you covered!
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Ikea Malm Dresser Hack Ideas For Every Home
Here are 29 Ikea Malm Hacks to inspire you if you are looking to glam up your furniture.
Marble Top | Ikea Hackers
A little contact paper goes a long way. Wrap the top panel of your Malm dresser with faux marble contact paper and add long handlebar handles to each drawer for a very sophisticated, chic look.
Go Dark With Vintage Pulls | The Penny Drawer
If your Malm dresser is needing a facelift, you can paint it and add fun drawer knobs to it for some personality. I love the character of these vintage knobs.
Mid-Century Modern | Sarah Hearts
Go two-tone by painting only the drawers white and adding overlays to create this interlocking circle pattern. Complete this look with simple drawer knobs from Home Depot.
Ombre Ikea Malm Dresser Hack | Ikea Hackers
Utilizing a graduated paint color scheme is a fun way to hack your Malm dresser and give it a cheery makeover.
Art Deco Hack | HomeTalk
Save yourself the work of painting by covering the boards in between the drawers with black contact paper, which adds contrast to the white laminate dresser. Add 4-inch black drawer pull bars to create a custom, modern look.
And make sure you grab this list of 25 awesome IKEA products to help you create a stylish home on a budget! Click here or enter your email on that form right below⤵️
Floral Decals | StickersColoray
Here’s another Ikea Malm dresser hack that keeps the workload manageable thanks to using decals. If you haven’t used decals before, just think of them as large, colorful stickers—they’re the best! This Etsy shop has several design options available.
Three Color Drawers | Shake
By painting the front drawer panels different colors (and leaving one or two the original laminate color), you can update your piece while tying it together with your décor at the same time.
Create a Long Single Unit | Ikea Hackers
One Malm to rule them all! Combine multiple dresser units to create one extra-long one. It’s simply a matter of painting the units the same color, attaching a wood wrap all around the top and sides, and adding matching handles to make the units look like one single piece of furniture.
Turn a Dresser Into a Worktable | Gray House Studio
This Ikea Malm dresser hack is genius and turns a 6 drawer dresser into a worktable by adding wheels to the bottom and a raised top to bar stool height. Make the piece completely unique by adding weathered wood to the back while the front drawers stay hidden for easy storage.
Mirrored Overlays | HomeArtStickers
This Etsy shop creates mirrored overlays specifically for Ikea Malm dressers that also have lattice pieces on them. These overlays make an easy hack that create a very distinctive – and expensive – look while actually being very wallet-friendly. Definitely a win in my (budget) book!
White and Gold Ikea Malm Dresser Hack | Preciously Me
Are you starting to notice a trend with the contact paper? 😉 Since painting the laminate finish on Malm furniture is fairly labor-intensive, using contact paper to create the look you want is a terrific time-saving option.
Stickers Upgrade | Inspirachiok
Similar to decals, stickers of different colors and shape patterns can instantly transform the Malm dresser and make it feel fresh and fun.
Rustic | The Inspired Hive
Some wood grain adhesive vinyl is all you need to remodel your simple Malm dresser into a rustic piece that will turn this basic piece into a rustic-chic showstopper.
Raindrop Decals | Sliik
Here’s an Ikea Malm dresser hack that is super simple yet completely transformational. Attach black raindrop decals in a random pattern onto a white dresser. Boom. Donezo!
Crackled Paint | Ikea Hackers
A crackled paint technique layers white glue with paint to create this incredible textured look and a truly stunning final product.
Glam it up | Homey Oh My
Take a black Ikea Malm dresser and paint the drawers white. Then, attach brass corners and drawer pulls for a campaign-style makeover. Lastly, admire your hard work and show it off like crazy…I sure would!
Don’t forget to grab your top 25 IKEA products list! click here or enter your email by clicking the picture below. I’ll send your guide right away!
Add Leather Pulls | Sugar and Cloth
It’s amazing to me how much one simple hack can change the entire feel of a piece. This is a great example – adding leather pulls gives this piece a terrific rustic chic look that I’m just itching to use myself.
Monochrome Wood Facade | Rock Paper Scissor Graphics
Here the wood facade creates a very 3-dimensional look even though the entire unit is white. Creative and visually appealing all in one!
Overlays and Fancy Knobs | Maggie Overby Studios
Create an instant two-tone look by adding white overlays to a black piece in this Ikea dresser hack. Finish the look by installing fancy mid-century style knobs.
Nautical Upgrade | All That Brings Joy
Can’t you just see this in a little boy’s room? By painting the entire dresser blue and adding intricate wood-looking knobs, this dresser is transformed from something drab into something adorable.
Closet Island | Ikea Hackers
For those who have a closet large enough to build an island inside (GOALS!), this hack is beautiful. Transform two Malm dressers into a beautiful island full of storage space.
Industrial Hack | Kaleidoscope Living
Love the industrial rustic look? Then this Ikea Malm dresser hack is for you! Get the full tutorial as well as a cost breakdown. You’ll see just how affordable it is to hack a basic piece into something you truly love.
Gold Pulls | Jill Greaux
Turn your simple Malm dresser into an attractive piece that looks much more expensive than it really is with the humble gold ring pull.
Knob Outline | Apartment Therapy
Wooden ball knobs are the texture piece in this Ikea Malm dresser hack. Gluing each knob in the right place and painting the unit is time-consuming but yields a high-end product.
Changing Table Hack | Fox and Hammer
Here’s a clever way to make your dresser do double duty. Add some molding, slap on some paint and attach fun knob pulls to create a great dresser for any child’s room. Take it one step further by adding the changing table piece and making it removable for once the baby doesn’t need it anymore. Sniff..they grow up so fast!
Mirrored Overlays Ikea Malm Dresser Hack | Etsy
Etsy has several Malm dresser kits available in many different styles. I love this mirrored overlay style which really gives this dresser a fun retro look.
Window Seat Hack | If It’s Not Baroque
What a fun hack! Not only is the ombre paint scheme always a good idea, but adding a cushion to the top and making the unit a window seat for dogs to use is very unique.
Animal Sketch Hack | Ikea Blog
What child doesn’t love animals? This animal sketch Malm dresser hack is too cute. Just make sure your kids understand not to color on it (unless you’re into that kind of thing).
Textured Paste Hack | Prosel Pin Blog
Woah – this hack is ah-mazing. If you want a truly unique and expensive custom look, go with this Malm hack and paint your favorite color.
Go On..Pick an Ikea Malm Dresser Hack to Try!
No matter what style home or décor you have, you can upgrade your Ikea Malm dresser into something truly interesting that you will love to look at (and show off) with these Ikea Malm hack ideas. Let your imagination soar and have fun transforming your Malm!
Pin this Ikea Malm Dresser Hack post for later! And if you make one, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this project, too!
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