An Easy IKEA Malm Nightstand Hack to Create a Unique Bedroom Piece

IKEA malm bedside table
An upcycled IKEA nightstand

Our IKEA bedside tables have always let our bedroom down. I would paint the walls, put up wallpaper, and decorate the bedroom with art, patterned bedding, and rugs and our bedside tables would stand out like a sore thumb.

I love upcycling furniture so in this blog post I will explain how I did an IKEA Malm nightstand hack!

dark blue walls with peony pictures, wooden door, white feather light shade and pink and blue bedding
This a very early Instagram shot of my old bedroom with Malm bedside table. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t think it suits my style!

We moved into our previous house straight out of military married quarters so didn’t own any furniture, apart from our washing machine and fridge/freezer! With everything to buy, we did a bulk order from IKEA and purchased several Malm bedroom items, including the Malm bedside tables.

They were just what we needed, a simple bedside table with drawers and I was quite happy with them for a few years. They suited our bedroom to begin with as it was decorated grey, blue, and white. This was before I joined Instagram and gradually, I added colour and pattern to my house.

I would either have to buy a new bedside table with drawers or do a little Malm bedside table hack.

green velvet bed, pink bedding, persian style rug with pink and green, wooden floorboards, pink panelling and lots of plants in the bedroom
Our current bedroom. These Gabin bedside tables from La Redoute were “borrowed” from my son’s bedroom for a brand photo shoot.

IKEA Malm Nightstand Hack

I love to upcycle furniture so I decided to keep the bedside tables as there was nothing wrong with them. They were sturdy, and a good size and it would have been a waste of money to try and resell them and buy new ones.

I also love being creative and coming up with new bespoke designs for furniture. One of my favorites to date has to be the upcycle of this welsh dresser

an old welsh dresser painted blue in the kitchen with wallpaper background
One of my previous upcycles, a charity shop purchase Welsh Dresser.

Why Are IKEA Hacks So Popular?

Ikea hacks are extremely popular for several reasons – 

  1. Affordability: By hacking or customizing an Ikea product, you can create a unique and personalized piece of furniture without breaking the bank.
  2. Creativity: Ikea hacks allow people to express their creativity and individuality by customizing their furniture. It’s an opportunity to add your own personal touch to your home decor.
  3. Sustainability: Repurposing, upcycling, and painting Ikea furniture is an environmentally friendly way to reduce waste and extend the life of products.
  4. Accessibility: Ikea is a global brand with stores in many countries. This means that people all over the world have access to Ikea products, making it easy for them to find inspiration for hacks and share their creations with others.
  5. Community: Ikea hacks have become a popular topic on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, where people share their ideas and creations.

Bedside Table With Drawer Ideas

an Ikea malm bedside table hack with wooden slats and a plant
I loved this idea by @anotherfknflat

I started pinning lots of bedside tables that I liked the look of and checked out my favorite online homeware stores to see what caught my eye. I knew I wanted to paint them green to bring out the colors in our rug and wardrobes, but I also wanted to add detail and pattern.

Wood IKEA malm bedside table with a black pattern stuck to the front in the bedroom
Image credit: Bear and Rose

The beauty of a Malm bedside table hack is that the nature of the design means you can create anything. I also found lots of ideas by creating your own plywood designs and attaching them to the front of the drawers. 

I found this image below online and my IKEA nightstand hack started to take shape!

Dunelm bedside table
Priya side table – Dunelm

I loved the wood pattern on the drawers so decided to do something similar, painting the rest of the bedside tables green and using gold handles to add a bit of luxury detailing.

Can You Paint Ikea Furniture? 

Yes, you can paint Ikea furniture!

Many Ikea products are made from materials that can be painted, such as wood, metal, and plastic. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the material of the furniture will affect the type of paint and preparation needed for the best results.

If you’re planning to paint an Ikea piece, it’s important to first clean it thoroughly and then sand it lightly to help the paint adhere better. It’s also a good idea to use a primer before painting to ensure a smooth and even finish.

You can use a variety of paints for Ikea furniture, including spray paint, chalk paint, or latex paint. Just make sure to choose a paint that is appropriate for the material you’re painting and the look you want to achieve.

ikea malm bedside table, sandpaper, no more nails glue, paint, paint roller, paint tray and wood dowels all ready for an Ikea hack
Painting the IKEA bedside tables

Keep in mind that painting Ikea furniture may void any warranties, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before starting your project. Also, make sure to follow all safety instructions when using paint and other materials.

What You Will Need For an Ikea Malm Nightstand Hack

How to Do an Ikea Malm Nightstand Hack

First of all, I took the drawers out and lightly sanded the table and drawers to give them a smooth finish. I then cleaned the table with sugar soap and applied a wood primer.

Applying a primer isn’t always necessary, but as the tables were a gloss finish, they needed a primer to give the paint more to stick to. They needed 2 coats, with an hour of drying time in between.

sanding down the malm drawer fronts
Lightly sand and clean the drawers

Once the primer was dry, I then painted the tables and drawers. Initially, I went with Valspar Blue Jade as we had some of this paint left over and I thought the dark teal color would be perfect for our bedroom.

However, I realized it was too similar a color to our bed so decided to go for a lighter green, Dulux Midnight Garden, to help the bedside tables stand out more.

painting ikea furniture dark green
Using a small roller brush, I initially painted the drawers dark green…

Once the paint had dried, I decided to add feet to elevate the tables. To begin with, I wasn’t going to do this, but I felt the bedside table with drawers still looked like a cheap box without the addition of some legs!

I went with gold triangle furniture legs as they look more luxurious and go together well with the handles.

gold legs from amazon
Gold legs from Amazon
gold legs from amazon

They were easy to attach, I just drilled some holes in the bottom of the bedside tables and screwed them in.

screwing the gold legs onto the underside of the Ikea malm upcycle
Easily screwed into the bottom of the tables.
painting the malm drawers green
Standing pretty

Bedside Table with Drawers

Now for the creative and fun part! Using a tape measure, pencil, and saw, I cut 7 half dowels to match the length of the drawers and sandpapered the edges.

I then measured out the remaining space and starting from the bottom, cut the length of half dowels with a 45-degree edge and then measured from top to bottom to cut the corresponding half dowel. I did this until it covered the whole drawer.

using small wood dowels to glue to the drawers
I measured the height of the drawers and cut 7 half dowels for each drawer
sticking the wood dowels onto the ikea drawers
Making sure they fit!
sticking the wood dowels onto the ikea malm drawers
Creating the pattern
finished drawers with the wood dowels
Happy with the results!

This took a bit of trial and error (note to self, buy a miter box! ), but once I was happy with how the pattern looked, I then glued the dowels onto the drawer using No More Nails.

putting no more nails glue onto the wood dowels
A little bit of glue to hold the dowels in place

I left the dowels and glue to dry for about half an hour and then drilled some holes in the middle to attach the gold handles. Handles are the perfect finishing touches to my Ikea Malm nightstand hack

screwing the gold handles onto the Ikea malm drawers
Dowels glued on and handle screwed in
the drawers going into the ikea malm bedside tables
Checking the drawer! Looking good 🙂

Finally, I wanted the wood half dowels to be a bit darker and more of an oak color. I bought some Ronseal Satin Dark Oak varnish and gave the drawers a few coats.

ronseal interior varnish in dark oak
Ronseal Dark Oak
varnish going on the half dowels on the ikea malm drawers
You can see the difference immediately
varnishing the drawers
First coat on
half the ikea malm drawers done
First coat, you can see the difference between the 2 drawers

And that’s it!

It took me a day to complete and I absolutely love the results. It’s completely transformed the IKEA Malm bedside tables and is one of my favorite IKEA hacks to date. I’ve just got to find time to do the other one now!

Ikea malm nightstand hack with half wooden dowels varnished, green paint, la redoute bedside table lamp, pink panelling, green velvet headboard in the bedroom
Ikea malm nightstand hack with half wooden dowels varnished, green paint, la redoute bedside table lamp, pink panelling, green velvet headboard in the bedroom
My malm bedside table hack goes perfectly with my La Redoute lamp
Ikea malm nightstand hack with half wooden dowels varnished, green paint, la redoute bedside table lamp, pink panelling, green velvet headboard in the bedroom

What do you think? By hacking IKEA furniture, we can create something new and unique without contributing to the overconsumption of resources. 

ikea hack how to upcycle a malm bedside table pinterest pin

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