Saturday Project: IKEA Moppe (or Fira / Mackis) Chest of Drawers Makeover

I think anyone who lives within a fifty mile radius of IKEA has one of these:

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The classic IKEA wee chest of drawers that’s had a few names over the years. I think I bought mine when they were called a Fira, but they were also sold under the guise of a Moppe or Mackis. At any rate, I’m sure you have one banging around your house somewhere, most likely filled with random tatt as mine once were.

I bought these a while back with the intent on staining them and putting some cool hardware on the front, but never got around to it (as most of these things usually go). I even had the stain, oil sealer, and some metal drawer pulls I was going to attach. But this past weekend I realised the reason I hadn’t done anything on them, was that I really didn’t like just staining them and adding some metal bits. It just seemed so… Pinterest mum.

I got the inspiration for a pastel/ gold stripe-y motif from a random e-mail from Temple and Webster of all places, and the idea just stuck. So after a lovely bike ride with the dearest Patrick to Nobbys Beach via Stockton (and a ferry ride!) I set to work on the porch adding some stripe-y bits to some crappy IKEA drawers.

But first a few piccies from a rather lovely ride through Newcastle:

Newcastle, Breakwall, Nobbys beach, sunny, Australia
Stockton Breakwall in Newcastle and some glorious weather
Stockton Bridge, Newcastle, cycling, road bike
Patrick taking the road bike out for a spin underneath the Stockton Bridge
Stockton Bridge, Newcastle, cycling, road bike
Patrick trying not to get his photo taken
cycling, Stockton, Newcastle, Rapha cycling, green bike
Cycling over the Stockton Bridge

I managed to snap some pictures as I went this time, to show the rather basic process:

Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
IKEA Moppe facelift: the before.
Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
Priming the wooden drawers
Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
IKEA Moppe facelift: the before, starting to mark out where the stripe goes.

First I measured out the solid pastel stripe (no rhyme or reason, I just pulled out a section of blue painter tape over at the angle I wanted and marked JUST the drawers (I wasn’t going to paint the actual drawer housing itself, just the face of the drawers). Remove said painters tape and save for later.

I then took out the drawers that were to be painted (one would have no paint and two would be solidly pastel). I then put painters tape against the line I had marked, and proceeded to paint the base coat for wherever the pastel and gold colours would be.

Now, a few things I learned along the way:

1. IKEA stuff is CHEAP. Super cheap. I would have treated it with some wood primer before painting, because the drawers sucked paint nearly as fast as I could put it on. The white primer took about 4x coats before it started to thicken over the wood.

2. I should have just done a light sand and wipe before painting. Although it may have ruined it further, a little sanding would have at least gotten rid of the fuzzy bits and some splinters (I do have the cuts on my hand to prove this). Sand. Yo. Shit. Seriously.

3. I should have spray painted the top coat because the brush stroked from the paint brush were pretty visible.

Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
Painting the IKEA Moppe

I used a white primer from British Paints because it was the only tiny tub of primer you could get. I honestly have no idea why I got this in the first place. To make the pastel purple, I added some acrylic paint until it was the right shade. I didn’t know how much I would use, so I just mixed the whole thing. The primer only room about 30mL and same for the top coat. I still have nearly half of the 100mm tub left!

Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
Painting the IKEA Moppe
Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
Painting the IKEA Moppe

This was after a few coats of purple.

Ikea, Moppe, wood drawers, paint, DIY, gold, lavendar, jewelry chest
Painting the IKEA Moppe

Okay, so the final step was to add the gold stripe. I put on the first coat and was dismayed at how thin the paint was. I kept adding and adding, but it wasn’t getting any more opaque. I forgot the number 1 rule of painting: wait until each layer dries completely before adding more coats!!

Once I came to this realisation, I waiting a good solid 3 hours in between coats. It only took me two more to get the desired effect!

And so the final piece:

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I am in no way a professional IKEA hacker, but I think it looks heaps better than the original!

I also managed to give a good clean to all the crap that was tucked away in the drawers. I’ve been in a culling mood and have spent the past few weeks tidying and cleaning and getting rid of unwanted stuff. Photos of that hot mess later…


4 thoughts on “Saturday Project: IKEA Moppe (or Fira / Mackis) Chest of Drawers Makeover

      1. My first time was so long ago, but I’m guessing it would have since it’s such a raw porous wood. When in doubt, try a coat of primer first. It would seal it so you wouldn’t need so many paint coats. Cheers!

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