IKEA veneer cabinet makeover

If you ever get bored with your furniture and colour scheme, here’s an obvious tip: paint it.

However, did you know that you can very easily paint veneer furniture as well? If you make sure to (lightly) sand and prime the veneer, ánd take enough time for every layer of paint to dry, the paint will last a long time!

Just like any other student, l have bought a lot of my furniture at IKEA when I was a student. Unfortunately most my cabinets were all a slightly different colour and at the moment, I am getting a bit annoyed by the chaos and randomness of it all. So I decided to paint all of them!

This cabinet was one of my first cabinets. I think I moved it with me three times already, just because I don’t want to get rid of it. It has the perfect size to store CDs, DVDs and small books, you know. I think I even used it as a TV stand before…

IKEA cabinet. As it was before the makeover

IKEA cabinet. As it was before the makeover

So, this is what you do (though it may seem obvious to some of you):

1. Take it apart and clean every panel.

It’s always best to take the whole thing apart, if possible of course. First of all, if you take it apart before painting, the screws and hinges etc. won’t get stuck because of the paint inside. Therefore, you can take it apart over and over again later, for another movement ;). Also, it is much easier to paint plain panels and the finish will be a lot smoother.

2. Sand every panel lightly. Not too much, just until the veneer loses its shine a bit.

3. Then, the most important step: prime it! If you don’t, there’s a risk of chipping paint sooner or later…

Leave it to dry, preferably overnight. Then sand it lightly.

4. Finally, paint it in the colour you like. Apply two or three coats of paint to make it more durable (and lightly sand it in between). Leave it to dry at least 24 hours, before putting it back together again.

5. Put it back together 🙂


Paint it! I didn't paint the backboard, since I won't be able to see it anyway.

Paint it! I didn’t paint the backboard, since I won’t be able to see it anyway.


I applied some caps (the black dots) because I will be putting doors in front of the cabinet later.

And that’s it!

At the moment I am making some doors for this cabinet, so there will be an update on this makeover soon :). Obviously I had to write about the cabinet itself before showing you how I made the cabinet doors.

Here is another example of some veneer cabinet makeovers: Remember the organizing baskets from my image transfer tutorial a while ago? These are the cabinets in the entrance hall, without the baskets of course..

Another makeover

Another makeover


I didn’t take any ‘before’ photos of these cabinets. All I have is this terrible photo I took two days after we moved into our current home… But I think you get the idea of the previous colour 😉


Also, I’ve painted some IKEA Benno cabinets before and used them for my DIY multimedia unit.

DIY multimedia unit

DIY multimedia unit

What veneer furniture would you want to paint?

Veerle ondertekening


4 gedachtes over “IKEA veneer cabinet makeover

    • Ja Sandy, die staat ondertussen in de zwarte verf! Ik mis alleen nog iets aan het meubel, ik moet er nog even over tobben maar ik bedenk vast nog wel wat dat precies is. Ik denk een sierplintje 😉 Als het af is komt deel twee van de DIY multimedia unit 🙂

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