iKea Hemnes Dresser Makeover – Knotty Pine to Espresso

7 Apr

We bought a lot of second hand furniture when we moved to Los Angeles since we wern’t sure if the move was permanent.  Most of the second hand furniture we bought was from iKea and needed some improvement.  One of these items was a dresser that had previously been utilized in our bedroom. Since storage space is limited in our house, we now use the dresser in nook in the dining area to hold extra household items like serving platters.

This dresser started out with plain pine wood.  Pine wood with lots of dark colored knots.  I really can’t really stomach pine wood on too many things. Pine wood just doesn’t seem to go with much.

Here was what it looked like before.


I adore dark wood, specifically the shade expresso so I chose Varathane Wood Stain (Espresso) to spruce up this dresser.

My choice was really convenient because the contractor that refinished our wood floors left plenty of leftover Varathane espresso wood stain in our garage.

The entire dresser the quickest one minute sanding and piece of sandpaper has ever seen.

I was in a rush and just wanted a light abrasion to help the stain penetrate.

The staining process was very easy.  I sloshed on the stain with a foam brush and here is the end result.


The whole sanding and staining process took less than an hour.  The knots in the pine wood aren’t visible anymore however they did leave an interesting effect with the stain.  Some of the areas and knots really absorbed the stain well and others not quite so much.  The result is a blotchy but unique effect.

I have some pieces of furniture in my house that have taken me weeks to restore yet somehow this dresser always gets the most compliments.  People always want to know where I got it and what type of wood it is.

Since the dresser does not receive a lot of traffic, like a table top might, I didn’t bother sealing it.

$20 purchase on Craigslist

+ $0 leftover stain

= $20 Total Cost!

Since the project was so cheap, I might upgrade the hardware in the future! :)



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2 Responses to “iKea Hemnes Dresser Makeover – Knotty Pine to Espresso”

  1. sharla April 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    love it- I have the same Hemnes line in my house- lots of pieces- but your black dresser looks way better than the one I have -which is black from IKEA. Also – love your price tag. The whole thing is beautiful!

  2. adventuresindinner June 23, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Fantastic! I have an IKEA dresser in our bedroom too but it is that nasty laminate. I’ll look for a wood one to redo now. Thanks :)

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