Updated: Sep 18, 2021
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We all know this dresser well right? Decent price, lots of space, great size, the Ikea Hemnes dresser is pretty popular.
We have had this dresser for a very long time, and as you can expect, it now proudly presents its' many scratches, dents, and damage! Time was unkind to this dresser however, it was nowhere near damaged enough for the dump!
I hated the idea of throwing away a dresser that still worked great and was in decent shape, she just looked pretty tired and haggard. Time for a make-over;)
I once fell for the beauty of dark wood. I loved the idea of dark floors and dark kitchen cabinets until you finally own them. Luckily, we didn't have an option for a light or dark color scheme when we purchased our first townhome and ended up with light. So I purchased the dark black-brown Hemnes dresser from Ikea and found out why dark wood is a pain in the ass.
It literally shows everything! Dust, dirt, grime, and pet hair. It really is a terrible color in the home and I highly advise against it. This dresser never looked clean, it needed to be dusted multiple times a day and it really made our room feel dark. We made it work for years but finally during the slow down period through Covid, it was time our dresser received some DIY TLC.
Frustratingly, I jumped into this project full-on and never took any photos! Luckily, it is a very straightforward project, you don't need a step-by-step tutorial for this. We began by giving the dresser the best sanding we could, touched up the deeper scratches and dents with polyfill, sanded that down, and gave it a really good clean. I had read a lot about chalk paint for furniture restoration so I decided to give it a try. Apparently, you do not need to use primer as chalk paint already has primer in it however, chalk paint is expensive.
Tip ** Always prime. Primer is always a great choice, it helps to seal the wood, creates a perfect bonding layer for paint, and will save you money in the long run with paint.
I opted to prime the dresser and drawers first to save on my chalk paint and it was the right decision. The dark dresser needed that extra coat of primer. The white chalk paint wouldn't have been enough.
Once the primer had dried, we applied a white chalk paint in "linen". It was a beautiful color! What a difference!
One feature of the Hemnes dresser that I have always disliked was the pull knobs. They are so dated now, so we opted to look at kitchen cabinet pulls instead for a more modern, clean esthetic. We ordered them through Home Depot.
I like what we chose however, in hindsight, I think I would have preferred to keep all of the pulls the same size and go with 12 of the same pulls using the small size used for the smaller drawers. I would have used 2 pulls on the larger drawers lined up with the small pulls above. I think it may have looked better, but I'm still far happier with this than our old dresser.