Bedroom IMG_3602+copy

Published on March 27th, 2009 | by Jules Yap


Malm bed goes glam

Robin transforms the birch Malm bed into glossy glam bed.

“This is our Ikea hack of a Malm bed, formerly in birch effect finish, and now a glossy black custom-looking addition to a swank bedroom in Hollywood Regency style.

That Malm bed took us many days to complete. We primed it first using a special high-cling primer followed by several coats of black semi-gloss oil-based enamel in a custom thinned-out formula.

Trial and error proved the best way around this challenge. As soon as we found the exact amount of turpentine thinning we needed, we enjoyed a smooth-as-silk brush-on experience, and the rest of the paint went on “like buttah.”

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

23 Responses to Malm bed goes glam

  1. Anonymous says:

    would it be better to paint ikea furniture before or after you put it together

  2. Kalani says:

    OMG..ok please help me out!! I have an Aneboda bed frame that I want to paint black..where do I start??! BTW I love love love this!

  3. Robin D. says:

    The primer is Zinsser Cover Stain Primer and Sealer. We applied two coats and sanded in between with 250- and 400-grit paper.

    The top coat is Rustoleum glossy black oil-based enamel. We did about four coats, wet sanding between the first two with 300- and 400-grit wet sand paper while we worked out how thin the mix should be. The last two coats were really thinned out with no sanding in between.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have to disagree respectfully with The Wag. As mentioned before, painting that weird foil finish is not a straightforward operation. It sounds like a lot of manipulating the paint was necessary just to get it to stick, never mind the finish.

    Also, I don’t believe an IKEA hack needs to involve fooling around with parts. To me, IKEA hacking is all about two things: 1. Taking inexpensive furniture with extremely humble origins and making it seem like much more than it really is. 2. Using the furniture or parts as raw materials to make something completely different.

    In this case it was more the former than the latter but look how sumptuous the room turned out. There’s no way someone looks at that bed and thinks, “Oh, it’s a cheap old Malm bed.” In reality, that cheap old Malm bed is the focal point of the room so this person is pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes in a good way.

    No matter how you slice it, a good IKEA hack makes much more out of (relatively) nothing, whether it’s hiding this bed’s humble origins or building a car out of Magiker hardware.

  5. The Wag says:

    I would rather agree that this is not the most creative hack. Sure, I appreciate the really hard work that goes into painting a huge bed. I’ve painted IKEA “wood” myself and it is a time-intensive undertaking.

    However, I’m disappointed when I see things on this blog that aren’t really “Ikea” hacks. They’re things that could be done to any furniture purchased from anywhere. Like the many decoupage or painting projects that pop up on this blog. A lot of these projects could be consolidated into one blog post.

    I mean, I think it’s great that people take time to paint ikea furniture, but it’s not like you couldn’t do the same to furniture purchased from anywhere else. At least post the directions instead of just posting pictures. And honestly, the pictures of this bed show off the great look of the room more than they show off the work that was done on the bed (it’s hard to see the “shiny lacquer” look that you’re talking about.)

    Why not focus more in this blog on hacks that are specific to ikea products, especially those that re-combine ikea parts in a new and unusual way?

  6. SuzMoore says:

    What is the name of the primer you used?

  7. Robin D. says:

    Hi, and thanks for the comments. Even though the Malm comes in a black-brown, it lacks the black glossy lacquer impact we going for in the Hollywood Regency style. Plus, why buy a new Malm when you can paint one you already own? Our goal was to transform the room on a tight budget.

    The bedspread is Regency by Dwell Studio at Target. The nightstands are vintage and as soon as we saw them we knew they just had to go into this room. The large art is a 1960s original oil painting that we found at an estate sale for $13 and framed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m with Prue and Liz. Down with snarky comments!

    Robin, I think your room looks fantastic, from the painted bed to the window treatment to the new bedside tables. Love that art to the right too. Really well done. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Liz says:

    @ Prue

    I am with you in anti-nagging solidarity!

    I have liked this blog a lot less since the comments got taken over by an army of curmudgeons. Someone will submit a beautiful hack and all of the comments are “your floor is dirty” and “please close the bathroom door” and “this isn’t a hack” and “that is the ugliest thing I have ever seen!”


    If you guys are so great, why not submit hacks of your own? I always appreciate seeing what people are doing with ikea stuff because it helps me think of ideas. You’re going to scare people away from submitting stuff to this blog if you keep on being so nasty. The comments really didn’t used to be so negative.

    And yeah, people are always asking about how to paint ikea furniture. It’s not easy, so this was a good hack. It looks very well done and the change in the room is dramatic. It’s kind of a small dark room but you’ve made it look very nice.

  10. Isabelle says:

    It looks amazing! I like very much your bedroom’s style. Where did you get these side tables?

  11. buywowgold says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Robj98168 says:

    Very nice job! Painting IKea furniture is difficult enough- certainly hack worthy

  13. nannie98038 says:

    Turned out beautifully! The illusion of a larger window added to the effect dramatically. Job well done!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Certainly much nicer than the nasty Ikea “black-brown.” Looks a little snug for two, though. ;-)

  15. melissa says:

    Looks wonderful. You really finished it off with great accessories.

  16. Anonymous says:

    yeah, painting cardboard isn’t easy!
    it looks great!
    I love how you lowered the shade to give the appearance of a taller window.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Love it – your new room looks great.

  18. SandyQuilts says:

    Hey nice job.

    BUT but where did the bedspread come from … we LOVE it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    erm, that would be well PUT together and complete.


  20. g8trtim says:

    where did the window come from?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Also-repainting might seem trivial, but not considering what needs to actually be done to paint this stuff, it’s not wood! (Personally, I have a black billy I would love if I could paint it white, but don’t know if that’s feasible.)

    I LOVE your bedroom! It’s so well out together and complete!


  22. prue says:

    @ g8trtim : the window is there in the first picture, if you have a close look (i needed several).

    @ anon: on MY ikeahacker-site it says: “wanted: your ikea hacks. whatever they may be – …. “. as i suppose the site shows the same on your computer…. don’t nag :)

    seeing things repainted might seem trivial, but if you are unsure about what the final product might look like it can be very helpful to see hacks like this one. (and yes, i know there’s a dark version of this bed available anyway. still.)

    fellow hackers, join the anti-nagging movement ;)

  23. Anonymous says:

    i`m the only one who can`t see the big hack steps?

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