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How To Paint Ikea Furniture – best tips

Can you paint Ikea furniture? Thats a question many readers ask, and the question is yes!

IKEA furniture pieces are budget-friendly, chic, and sturdy, adding a personal touch to your space. They usually come in fixed colors such as white, black, and brown, which may be boring for some. Fortunately, with some know-how, you can easily paint your IKEA furniture and transform it into something unique.

READ MORE: 12 best Ikea sofa designs ever

This step-by-step guide will help you discover how to paint Ikea furniture and the tips to create a stand-out piece with a high-end finish.

What you need to paint Ikea furniture

Before you start painting, ensure you have the below things handy. These include:
● Your piece of Ikea furniture
● Your choice of high-quality paint (Chalk paint or Mineral paint)
● Painting essentials (a paintbrush, paint sprayer, paint roller, tarp/drop cloth, etc.).
● Newspaper, plastic sheets, and dust sheets to protect floors
● A medium coarse and fine grit sandpaper
● Decorators tape (or masking tape)
● A damp cloth
● Primer, preferably Shellac-based primer
● Polyurethane or Polyacrylic finish
● Water-based poly-sealantPaint IKEA Furniture

Paint Ikea furniture – step by step

1. Select A Piece Of Furniture Compatible With The Paint

Choosing the right paint for your IKEA furniture is essential. as some paints do not stick onto
some laminated IKEA furniture, therefore you need to make sure the paint you choose can
be correctly applied to your IKEA furniture piece.

Choosing the correct color is also crucial for easier painting in the long run and to achieve
the best results. Painting over white is relatively more straightforward than painting over
darker colors, and this may require more layers of paint. Also, consider the rest of the room
decor so the paint color you choose complements it well.

2. Disassemble Your Furniture

You can paint your Ikea furniture assembled, but painting becomes easier before
assembling. Remove all hinges, knobs, bolts, or other hardware so it doesn’t obstruct you
while painting.

3. Protect Your Surroundings

You must protect the floor and the surroundings regardless of where you paint your furniture.
Set your furniture piece on a tarp in a well-ventilated room so it remains flat and becomes
easier to do sanding, priming, and painting.

Also, cover your floor with newspaper, a drop cloth, or a few dust sheets to stay protected
from dust and paint.

If you paint assembled furniture, cover up all the hardware units, including drawer pulls,
hinges, etc., with the tape, and you also need to cover and protect glass panes.

4. Sand The Furniture Piece

Sanding is a vital part of prepping routine as it helps to scrape and dull the furniture surface
and gives the primer paint something to cling to. Sanding helps roughen the base and
enables the primer to grab onto it.

You only need to rub 120 grit sandpaper into each surface you want to paint on your
furniture. This rough surface will, in turn, help the paint stick to the furniture.

5. Clean Your Furniture Piece

Use a damp cloth or a water-soaked sponge to wipe down the surface you have just sanded
to eliminate grease, dust, or dirt that may interfere with paint/primer adhesion to the surface.

6. Apply A Primer Undercoat

Sturdy adhesion can be challenging, but a primer, specifically a shellac-based primer, is
highly recommended as it acts as an adequate base for the paint to cling to the surface
better, regardless of the surface type. It gives your Ikea furniture a richer color and a better
finish and makes the paint less likely to flake off.

Use the correct primer based on the paint and surface type. Reading the product labels will
help you. Go for a water-based primer, a latex primer for latex/ acrylic paint, and an oil-based
one for oil paint.

7. Apply The Paint

Paint the IKEA furniture with your choice of color and type of paint that works best. Some
good options are chalk, latex, and even spray paint. Use a good quality paint brush to apply
at least two coats of your chosen color in long and smooth strokes while catching any drips.

8. Seal Your Furniture Piece

Conclude the painting process by adding a primer-sealer to seal your piece. Though it is an
optional step but can help bring your piece together with a shiny finish. You can also coat a
clear polyurethane varnish or a clear wax to protect the paint for years. Finally, assemble the
furniture piece and enjoy its new and improved look.

11 Valuable Tips To Paint Your IKEA Furniture

Laminated pieces can be complicated to transform; however, the painting process can
become easier with the following simple tips and tricks.

1. Never skip sanding and prime your furniture before painting for the best results.
2. Use eggshell or gloss paint instead of regular emulsion for a better finish.
3. Check how humidity and temperature may affect the drying time of primer or paint.
4. Applying even one paint stroke on assembled furniture is hard. To avoid that, try
dissembling your furniture before painting it.
5. Avoid oil-based paints as they don’t stick to the surface properly.
6. Prefer thin and even coats over thick coats as the latter can cause drips and destroy the
final look and texture.
7. Let the surface dries properly,or it can result in a less-than-desirable finish.
8. A small, dense foam roller will give a professional finish when painting large, flat
surfaces. While in the smaller and hard-to-access areas, a superior quality paint brush
will help you get into each nook and cranny.
9. Take time to assemble the furniture to avoid injuries or accidental damage to the
10. For water-based paints, a synthetic bristled brush is beneficial over a natural bristled
brush as it avoids soaking much of the paint and leaving a stripy look.
11. Follow the instructions mentioned on the paint label diligently. Make sure everything dries
properly before you apply additional coats or sealer. Usually, the drying process requires
a few days to a few weeks, based on the climate conditions.

Painting Ikea furniture FAQs

Can you paint directly onto Ikea furniture?

Whether it is untreated wood or laminate furniture, it is worth sanding the surface and
applying one coat of primer before you paint it. Doing this helps the paint adhere well to the
surface and gives a better, richer, and smoother finish to your Ikea furniture.

Can you paint your Ikea furniture without sanding it?

If you prepare your furniture correctly at the beginning, you will get an elegant and
professional piece in the end.

Sanding can be time-consuming but it is essential in painting laminated Ikea furniture. It will
provide a proper base for the primer to grab onto. Use a sanding sponge, fine sandpaper, or
an electric sander to roughen the base so the paint clings to the surface properly.

What is the ideal paint to paint Ikea furniture?

There are limitless possibilities for the paint to choose from. However, the right paint
depends on the surface you want to paint.

Acrylic and latex paints work great for IKEA furniture. They come in several finishes, such as
satin, matte, and high gloss.

Chalk paint is ideal for painting several surfaces and may even allow skipping the sanding
and priming steps. However, you may need to apply wax or varnish to give a finish to your
furniture and protect it from scratches and knocks.

How to make your IKEA paint last for years?

Besides proper care and maintenance, following the below steps ensures your painted IKEA
furniture stays fresh for years.
● Apply a primer-sealer to add durability and longevity to the paint.
● Use placemats, coasters, and other shielding measures and tables to avoid scratches on
the surface.
● Avoid harsh chemicals and use gentle cleaning products to clean your furniture and keep
the finish intact.


Painting IKEA furniture will convert your uninteresting and average furniture piece into a
unique creation that adds a classy touch to any space. Though the process requires proper
prep work and patience, as you have to prime before painting, the outcome will surely
impress you.

We hope the above guide has given you the confidence to paint your IKEA piece in any color
and get stunning results that last!

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    Maria Ljungström

    Maria Ljungström is the founder and writer at Inredningsvis.se. She is an expert in interior design and has worked as a home stylist with a solid background in interior decorating. Maria likes to offer tips on how to make your home beautiful and luxurious affordably. With Inredningsvis, she has participated in several well-known media outlets such as Expressen, DN, and has written for GP Bostad.

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