New Pinterest Projects: Staining Ikea Organizers

This was a quickie project that I put off for quite awhile and finally started in January (and finished this week). First, here are the inspiration pins:

ikea(1) Source I really like the darker stain here because it looks like a card catalog!

Ikea2(2) Source This one was a bit bright but I like the color and how they removed the middle drawer (this is the same style as mine)

Ikea3(3) Source This one too was bright and cheerful, I liked the idea of many fabrics and colors in theory but seriously doubted my ability to make decisions

While I liked the bright versions, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to get enough fabric or paint to make it look good without endlessly priming and prepping. So I chose the stain method!

Unfortunately these aren’t sold at Ikea anymore, I probably bought this back in 2006, if memory serves it was $10. I’ve been using two of these, one in the office, another in the bathroom for 4 years.

The problem is that in the original unfinished wood dust piles up and gets in the grooves and looks really dingy. So I picked up this stain:

 photo MFKIkea4_zpsc80e009c.jpg

The process is super simple, just brush it on with a foam brush and then wipe off. I set this up on a paint tray so catch any drips and used old worn out socks to wipe off the stain.

I only stained the outsides of the drawers, knowing that the interior would be easier to view if lighter.

 photo MFKIkea3_zpsf418472d.jpg

While the first image on this post was ultimately the inspiration for going darker, I didn’t want to add drawer pulls. Instead I picked up these labels from the Martha Stewart line at Staples (which is awesome btw) in the clearance area. If memory serves each packet has 12 labels and was $1.

The gold and silver wasn’t really my thing so I set up a box in the garage and spray painted them with ORB.

 photo MFKIkea1_zps8881f059.jpg

Really easy to peel and stick these on and then add the little paper insert.

One warning is that the stain smells terrible so if it’s January and too cold to stand in the garage, do them inside and whisk them out quickly. Then be prepared to let them off-gas for a week or so in the garage. It might be quicker if you put them outside but if it’s January and raining you may have fewer options. In July it’s much faster 🙂

I brought mine in too soon (I was excited, okay?) and the smell kept me up at night it was so bad. I’m stubborn like that.

But it’s a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive project to do!

Ikea organizer


  • Stain: $5 ish at Walmart
  • Brush: 7 cents ea at Michaels and I used 1
  • Organizers: $10 originally at Ikea
  • Labels: $1 for 12
  • Total: $28 for both

I haven’t finished labeling them yet but that’s on the list!

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