Who doesn’t love shopping at Ikea? It’s pretty affordable but there’s a problem, the style isn’t always up my alley. That’s the case with these Ikea Alex drawer units, perfect for the space I want them in, but the drawer fronts need some upgrading. Queue in another Ikea Hack, I just did a pendant light Ikea hack a few months ago! These drawers turned out so good! Here’s a step by step guide on how I made this Ikea Alex Drawer hack to better fit my style.
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What you’ll need:
- Wood glue
- Square (optional)
- Measuring Tape
- Miter saw or Miter shears
- 120 & 220 grit sand paper or orbital sander
- Wood filler
- Paint (paint brush and roller)
Step 1: Measure the drawer fronts
The Ikea Drawer unit I purchased comes with a file storage on the bottom. So the bottom drawer is a different size than the rest of the drawers. Be sure to measure each individual drawer first and mark down the height and width of each drawer front.
*Tip: To easily remove the drawers without removing the metal glides, use a Philips screw driver and unscrew and remove the two screws that are located on the inside of the drawers. You’ll find them on the sides about a foot away from the drawer face. You can then easily slide out the drawer while the metal glide stays in place.
Step 2: Purchase and cut your trim
I purchased 1/4 inch by 1 1/8 inch primed pine lattice moulding from Home Depot.
The trim is 1/4 inch thick so it will stand out a little around the face but not by much.
This trim worked well to cover the opening on the drawer fronts.
I marked my measurement on the trim and using a square made a 45 degree angle line with a pencil.
You don’t need to use a square but I found it helpful for making my cuts and guiding me in what direction I was cutting at a 45 degree angle.
I cut all of my corners at a 45 degree angle. I used a miter saw to cut my trim.
If you don’t have a miter saw this miter shear can cut soft wood and its adjustable. You can cut 45 to 135 degrees. I used it for a different project and it works really well.
Step 3: Glue your trim
I used Titebond wood glue to glue my trim pieces onto the drawer fronts.
I was thinking about also nailing the trim down but found that the trim adhered really well with the glue (I’ll keep you posted if anything changes).
Step 4: Fill gaps and sand smooth
Once the trim is in place and the glue is dried. Fill in any gaps or nail holes (if you decide to nail it in).
I’ve used lots of different wood fillers but I gotta say this one is my all time favorite so far. For a small project this Dap wood filler is perfect.
The wood filler didn’t seem messy and was super smooth after sanding. I used my Surfprep sander to smooth out the wood filler after it was dried.
You can also use a sanding sponge since it’s not a big sanding job.
In the picture below the top two drawers are sanded and the bottom two are not.
Step 5: Prime and paint
Because Ikea furniture is not made of real wood its important to lightly sand all the surfaces to roughen it up and to prime. Sanding the surface will ensure better adhesion of the primer and paint.
After one coat of primer, I allowed the primer to dry and it was finally time for paint. I would recommend two coats of primer for bigger Ikea furniture.
For the small spaces I brushed on the paint, then used a paint roller to apply the paint to the rest of the drawers.
I used Sherwin Williams Riverway in a semi-gloss finish.
I added these cabinet pulls I purchased on Amazon to complete the look.
Let me know if you try this hack or a different hack on the Ikea Alex drawers, I would love to see it!