Personalizing My Ikea Alex Drawers

Personalizing My Ikea Alex Drawers

After moving around some furniture in my bedroom last month I realized that I actually had a bit more space than I thought so the idea to get a set of Alex drawers spawned in my mind. In the 5 or so years I’ve been living in my flat my makeup has lived in my en-suite bathroom in a range of states of storage and this worked for me for a long time but it isn’t right for me now. Firstly I live with a boy and it’s not fair on him to have to battle through all my products and makeup every single time he wants to go into the en-suite, but also despite all the cool storage it still doesn’t look nice.

I have the smaller 5 drawer Alex units on either side of my desk and I love them both for their depth/ how much you can fit in them but also for their look, but sadly there’s less choice of colours with the 9 drawer versions, in fact just the one glossy white which you see in so many blogger/ vloggers makeup collections. The white glossy look just isn’t really me and doesn’t really fit with the look of my room so I thought about how best to customize them and after some searching around online I decided to paint it and add new handles to drawers.

alex drawers - finished product 7

Firstly the easy bit which was the handles. The alex drawers have cut outs at the top so you can open them but as the accents of my bedroom are gold I decided to order some drawer knobs to make the unit stand out. I ended up buying a few different varieties from Not On The High Street which I absolutely love. I bought six of one style and three of another to alternate between them in stand out colours and I love the affect that it creates on the unit.

Next up was the colouring although obviously I did this before drilling in holes for the handles. I decided that I was going to paint the unit completely on both sides and then have a striped affect on the front which I lined out in Frog Tape. Frog Tape is great as there’s very minimal bleeds you’ll see with the paint lines and it all comes out very crisp. I bought a basic grey emulsion tester point to try out at the beginning but even when dry you could just scrap it off and when we tried a paint sealer over the top this just peeled it all off so we needed another idea.

alex drawers - prep

We then chose an eggshell paint which has the benefit of being good for use on woodwork as well as the standard places you’d use emulsion as it’s harder wearing than standard paint. I bought a medium can of Farrow and Ball paint and despite doing three coats over the sides, top and front I only used half of the can which I was really impressed with. The first coat naturally came out quite streaky with paint lines but the second evened this out a lot. I did a third coat completely on the top and front as they’re going to be the bits on show the most and then I did a third layer on the areas of both sides where it appeared most streaky.

I still have a tiny bit of neatening up to do on the tops of the drawers and a tiny bit on the lines but overall I am so happy with how my unit looks now and it fits so much better with my space. Keep your eyes peeled for a post where I talk about the storage I use inside my unit to keep my makeup in.

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Personalizing My Ikea Alex Drawers



  1. Arra Odeza
    March 22, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    I need this in my life! LOL! I have been wanting to organize my personal pieces of stuff and ‘ll probably look for this kind of drawers at Ikea too. The stripe paints look cool. I love the black and white

  2. Daisy
    March 22, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    Aww I absolutely love how super cute this project turned out!!! I’m totally going to use this adorable idea for my house! Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. March 22, 2018 / 9:56 pm

    Wow you did this so neat! We’ve changed the handles of most furniture in our house too. Such a cost effective way to update things

  4. March 22, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    Oh I love this! What an amazing idea! You are so talented, I’ m useless with upcycling or renovating! Love the monochrome though.

  5. March 23, 2018 / 6:46 am

    Very clever! It’s always better to have things with a personal touch. I love your design!

  6. March 23, 2018 / 10:31 am

    i would be so scared to do mine i love mine but they do become groggy after a while so i can see the reason for it , i wish i could do it myself to x

  7. March 23, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    What a fab creative idea and something I would have never thought of x

  8. March 23, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    Oh my god how good do they look! I would totally be worried about doing something like this I would 100% mess it up!

  9. March 24, 2018 / 6:15 am

    I do a lot of renovations in my home . I usually buy things which I feel good at that moment but then I get bored with it , so I tend to personalize it . I loved the stripe design .

  10. Style & Life by Susana
    March 24, 2018 / 7:09 am

    The idea to include to leave a personal touch oh so important! I love your suggestions and the tips have given me some inspiration to what I need to do in my spare bedroom (also known as the junk room lol). You are so talented. Thank you for sharing! xx

  11. March 24, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    I love how you’ve customised the drawers, you’ve made them look so expensive and unique xxx

  12. March 24, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Such a clever idea to mix up the handles! Love it!

  13. Tamala
    March 25, 2018 / 6:03 am

    You are so good at this!!! I love these and the colors! The stripe design is awesome!! Makes me feel good just looking at it.

  14. March 25, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    I love how you’ve personalised these drawers, they look gorgeous. I need to replace mine as one drawer broke so need a replacement.

  15. Jennifer Prince
    March 25, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    Oh gosh!! What a CUTE project. I adore the knobs you picked. It just says fun all around and would add so much to a space. <3

  16. March 25, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    this is such a neat idea! I used to love to upcycling furniture! x

  17. March 25, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Love what you’ve done with it, my dad did similar to my Ikea draws, bought nice new handles that are great and suit my room perfectly.
    Such a quirky look, but really stands out.

  18. March 25, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    Oh I love a good ikea hack! The handles on these are super pretty too.

  19. March 25, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Oh it looks lovely! I love upcycling furniture, and it really adds a personal touch. Love the drawer knobs too!

  20. March 25, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    I love it, its so beautiful and you have turned a normal looking ikea furniture into something so beautiful and stylish

  21. March 25, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    I love them, you must have had loads of patience taping all those lines our straight! Mich x

  22. Jem
    March 26, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    I’ve seen so many people customize their Ikea furniture. It’s amazing what you can do with it!

  23. March 27, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    Omg! This is the post I needed. We are moving into our first home shortly and wanting to upcycle so this is total inspo. Plus hello uh – mazing makeup storage – my bf battles through mine in the bathroom too. This is fab!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN x

  24. March 28, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    Omg this is so cool! This has inspired me to decorate my ikea bookshelves in a similar way. I’m very impressed Rhian!

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