before and after

before & after: adam’s ikea dresser

by Grace Bonney

ikea hacks always make for some of the best favorite before & afters. when you start with something relatively inexpensive and fairly devoid of character it’s always fun to see how people will put their own style stamp on a piece. this before & after comes from d*s reader adam gershon, who, along with his wife, decided to upgrade his ikea aneboda dresser. after a new paint job, adam wrapped fabric around a piece of cardboard and then glued the fabric panels into the recessed ‘windows’ in the drawers. i think the finished result is so chic- and when i think about how little it cost, it makes me want to reconsider my current self-imposed ban on ikea-shopping. thanks so much to adam and his wife for sharing- great work, guys!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your pictures!]


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  • Wonderful – I have the wardrobe from this line and this post has definitely got me plotting….

  • This is fabulous! What kind of paint was used for this? I’ve heard it’s tricky to paint laminate. I bought this dresser a few years ago and would love love love to give it an update.

  • it’s funny how often this piece from Ikea is featured in the “before & after” on this blog, they should create a special section for it on their website, or a design competition..

  • i also have this dresser! i’ve been concerned with painting over a laminate type surface too…any details on the paint job?

  • Ohhhh…. I had these drawers for a couple of years and eventually threw them out because they were sort of boring. I can’t believe the transformation. I wish I saw this before I threw them out!!!

  • Wow … thanks for all the kind words! I also did the 5-drawer chest. Copy and paste this to see a small pic of it: http://www.adamgershon.com/LP_Pics/Aneboda1_after.jpg

    I used paint from Ace Hardware called “Coffee Clutch”. I chose eggshell, but If I did it over again, I would choose glossy. It’s less shiny in real life than in the pic.

    Before painting, I sanded lightly to rough up the surface. After that I used a spray-on primer. I did two coats of paint. Pretty easy, really.

    Thanks to D*S for posting this!

  • That’s so funny ! – That is the dresser that was dumped at the end of my street by the highway.
    I passed it for a week or so, it was broken, and I thought about snagging it for something.
    I like Ikea stuff, but tends to be flimsy.

  • Of all the redo’s this week.. (and there were some pretty good ones!!!) This is my fav. You took a mass produced piece & made it your own.. Bravo!

  • I love this. Thanks for sharing! I think I might try a similar thing to my IKEA Billy Bookcases. Could really help make them more interesting!

  • I completly love your site. Its awesome how and what you guys do with reinventing pieces of furniture. I have posted a link to your site in my blog with a before and After photo. I hope it is ok with you. Will keep checking back for more inspiration.

  • Firstly,amazing IKEA hacks. Blown away! Can someone help me with ANEBODA wardrobe, want to buy one but is it firm enough and good buy?

  • omg, i have this exact dresser set and i’ve been plotting how to update it! thank you for sharing your creation and the products used…i can now move forward, with confidence, that my attempt to update my bedroom will not be a complete disaster…
    i think i’m going to add velcro to the front panels so i can change the fabric when i change my duvet…

  • How is everyone using these drawers and not having the bottoms fall out? I’m so cross with my two drawers they’ve all had bowed bottoms