Make Beautiful Things Out Of Cheap Unfinished Furniture

Ikea is a good source for dirt-cheap ugly unfinished furniture—but who says it has to stay ugly? Ikea Hacker has a few hacks from Angelique, one of their readers. She adds creative finishes to basic IKEA children’s furniture and picture frames. Her techniques look easy enough for a novice to replicate, and sort of fun, too. We love the ferns. We love cheap furniture. —MEGHANN MARCO

angelique’s pretty storage chests [IKEA Hacker]
Aoneko’s (Angelique) Blog
(Photo: Aoneko)


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  1. RaslDasl says:

    In the 70s my mother bought a piece of unfinished wood furniture and applied a faux wood finish to it. I just saw it the other day in her basement, it’s a monument to do-it-yourself gone wrong.

  2. kamikasee says:

    I find that with Ikea furniture, you really get what you pay for. their nice furniture is of good quality, but their cheap furniture is very cheap. I would say of no better quality than the stuff you buy at Walmart. My Ikea bookcases have held up okay, but they cost almost $100 each. My coffee table probably won’t survive another move. I’ve helped many others move Ikea furniture that was clearly on its last leg, although it couldn’t have been more than a year or two old.

    So it’s great if you like dressing up or redoing furniture, but garage sales are probably a better source of victims for your hobby.

  3. ironchef says:

    ikea’s generally really nice IMHO.

  4. bedofnails says:


    This is DIY for IKEA’s real wood furniture, not the recycled particle board disasters.

    Such as the following:

    With some nice stain, and urethane – you just saved yourself about 50 beans.

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..We used to have an “Unpainted Furniture” store where I live. It was the home of $4000 dressers and the like, and then you had to take the damned thing home and inhale nasty chemicals for hours and hours.

    ……They did beat Big Lots furniture, which has cardboard drawers. We’ve found our local La-Z-Boy to have pretty good deals on quality furniture…

  6. robertseaton says:

    I have been reading her site for weeks…glad you found it too!

  7. esquilax says:

    I bought an unfinished baby changing table from Ikea’s website with the intention of finishing it myself, although probably not as nicely as the example pictured in this post. Anyway, they slapped huge multi-language warning stickers all over the wood! I have pics in my blog post here:

    The stickers don’t say anything other than “don’t leave your baby unattended.” Did they really need to ruin my furniture for this?

    I’ve managed to get them off with some wet sanding, but I haven’t gotten around to putting finish on yet (100% pure tung oil from Lee Valley Tools). I’m hoping the glue from the sticker hasn’t seeped into the wood enough to show once I finish it.

  8. TinaB says:

    Would you shop at a store called Unpainted Huffheins?

  9. AcidReign says:

    …..@TinaB: I’d damned sure look! Paying good money for sports movies, though, is a lot less certain.

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