I decided one of my four black 2 x 6 expedits need a makeover. A facelift. A refresh. A cheap coating of “makeup” that will go better with my seaside meets modern meets turquoise explosion in my living room. Expedits are wonderful and very versatile furniture from IKEA. You can pretty much do anything with them, but they have a very specific look and can look very cluttered if you use all the compartments.
I have been wracking my brain for some time trying to figure out what to do with a very modest budget and this. I have, like, a gazillion pins. I have an entire pin board dedicated to what to do with bookcases. It is really important in our household. We live in 1000 square feet and have a lot of crap. I also have an aversion to clutter, but I like stuff. Go figure. Thus starts the great furniture redo.
I am going to start by apologizing. I didn’t catch the very beginning of this project like I wish I had on film. I found on IKEA Hackers dimensions for creating doors for an expedit. Door Link The plywood called for 39cm X 79.5cm. Which works out to roughly 15.35 x 31.29. I winged it and had a sheet of plywood that was faced with pine cut to 15.5″ x 31.25″. It worked out just fine size wise. Because this is a project with a strict budget and I am a picky person in terms of design, I wanted a modern feel but not modern pricing. I found a box of cedar shims at Home Depot for 4.99 and loved the shape and different wood patterns. I decided to place them horizontally using wood glue and clamps. Shims are at a 45 degree angle, so it gave the doors a really interesting texture.
Once all the shims were glued into place, I used snippers to cut the ends so that they were flush with the edge of the board. I then hit them with a sander and some natural stain to bring out all the imperfections and wood differences.
The doors are finally taking shape. Now to attack the Expedit itself.
I love teal. It is kinda an obsession. I have a lot of teal crap in my house because of it. I thought, “Let’s paint it teal. It will be easy!” Right. Here are my tried and true steps for painting IKEA furniture.
- Buy half a dozen cans of spray paint that is meant to be sprayed on plastic. Price = 25.00$
- Get a bottle of wine. Price = 6.00$
- Drink half the bottle of wine. Price = Half my liver.
- Proceed to sanding the ever living shit out of every surface you intend to paint. Price = offended my neighbors with the cursing.
- Sand some more. price = more neighbors pissed. Dog is looking at me weird.
- Drink more wine. Price = Other half of liver.
- Wipe down excess residue from the sanding. I like windex for this. Don’t ask me why.
- Apply safety equipment. Get a ventilator because these fumes make you stupid. Price = 15.00
- Spray spray spray.
- I tend to like light coats. They stick better.
- Do not spray during super humid weather. See how there are chunks missing from the paint. That is because it was too humid and did not stick.
- For this unit I went through 6 cans of paint over the course of 2 weeks. With some light sanding in between due to weather problems.
- Go to home depot and purchase a heavy duty water based shellac. This is important, as it helps keep things from chipping. Price = 12.99 Worth every penny.
- Apply copious coats of shellac.
- Let Dry.
I used spray paint in this project, but a good paint with a built in primer works also. Just remember to shellac the hell out of it and you will be fine.
Here are the doors stained and attached with hinges and magnetic clasps. I would write more about how to do that, but it took me 3 hours and I am sure I did it incorrectly. I was just happy that the doors opened and closed effectively. The feet were purchased at home depot for 4.50 apiece. I attached them over a seam. Be gentle with the legs. IKEA furniture is hollow on the outside so not incredibly strong for drilling and such. Also, the hinges need to be attached to the inside instead of the outside. This due to once again the outside being hollow.
If you are up for a challenge, IKEA furniture is a real pain in the ass, but it looks nice afterwards.