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Vintage metal cabinet created from simple IKEA chest

I had the desire to create a unique product in steel. My product of choice was the MALM chest of 2 drawers. I wanted to make it look like a vintage metal cabinet, with a hint of old New York style.

Final result of my vintage metal cabinet

Final result of my vintage metal cabinet

The project is not an easy one — the bending and cutting of the iron plates requires some practice. But it can be done in about 5-6 hours, however, spread over several days, as lacquer and glue must harden.

IKEA items used:
  • MALM chest of 2 drawers
malm to vintage metal cabinet

MALM chest of 2 drawers | IKEA.com

Other materials and tools:
  • Steel 1,0 mm sheets
  • Glue

DIY vintage metal cabinet – the process:

First, I assembled the MALM chest of drawers.

metal sheets

Metal sheets in 1mm is cut to measure

Then, I got the metal sheets cut with an angle grinder (or with fibre laser if you have it). I had this done at a workshop.

All the plates were then coated in a special liquid to age it and accelerate the dark oxidisation effect.

metal sheets bent into shape

The metal plates being bent into shape

Next, all plates were curved on a bending machine. This can also be done without a CNC machine if you do not have access to a workshop.

vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack

All corners are welded

After that was done, I welded every corner and glued all the plates to the IKEA MALM chest.

It’s starting to look a lot like a vintage metal cabinet.

vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack

Side plates are glued on with mounting glue

vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack

The cabinet is test assembled before spraying on clear lacquer

Finally, I sprayed all surfaces with 2 to 3 layers of Clearcoat.

vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack

And it’s done!

vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack
vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack vintage metal cabinet IKEA Hack

What to pay special attention to?

The light emitted from welding can cause damage to the eyes. So always wear a welding helmet like those of professional blacksmiths.

My friends love it and the one comment I get is, “Can you make one for me?” 😊

See more of the vintage metal cabinet hack on my blog.

~ by Andreas