Spring One Room Challenge Week 3: Simple Ikea Hemnes Dresser Hack for the Nursery

Hello Friends!

It’s week 3 of the Spring 2021 One Room Challenge! And it has already been a challenge! Even though our project list is much shorter this time, we’re busy preparing the rest of our house/lives for baby, so finding time to accomplish our ORC projects has been a bit of a struggle!

See previous ORC Posts: | Week 1 | Week 2 |

This week we focused on the last bigger furniture item we needed for the nursery, which is the dresser/change table. We were able to get this solid wood Ikea Hemnes 3 drawer dresser off of Facebook Marketplace before the lockdown started, but it needed quite a lot of fixing up!

Dresser Thrift Flip/Ikea Hack

We got a good deal on it, but it had a bunch of scratches, dents, and fading paint, so the main goal was to fix it up, and repaint it. The room has a lot of other wood and rattan tones, so my initial idea was to paint it white again, and add some simple drawer pulls – but then after seeing Peony and Honey’s wood bead crafts, I also decided that I wanted to add some floral accents to the dresser to tie it in with the overall theme of the nursery!

Supplies we used:

  • Thrifted Ikea Hemnes solid wood 3 drawer dresser
  • DAP wood filler in Natural
  • Sanding block – 80 grit
  • Valspar Semi-Gloss Paint in Ultra-White
  • Paint roller/tray/brushes
  • Brass drawer knobs
  • Half-round beads
  • Wood glue

Refinishing Process

This was a really easy thrift flip, because it didn’t involve completely sanding down the dresser in order to repaint it. Since it was already white and the wood filler easily filled all of the holes and scratches, all I needed to do was give it a quick sand after the wood filler was applied, before proceeding to paint.

My top tip for planning to refinish anything thrifted is to make sure it’s solid wood, if possible. This makes it a lot easier to touch up any imperfections. Sometimes Ikea furniture is laminate, which can make the refinishing process a lot trickier.

Adding Floral Accents

Even though there are SO many things you can do with these dressers, I decided that I wanted to keep it relatively simple, given that it’s a small space, and there are a few different styles of furniture in the space already. I was initially just going to keep it white and add the brass knobs, but then I saw Erika from Peony & Honey add some wooden beads in a flower pattern to her mirror, and I was immediately inspired!

After installing the brass knobs, I just used wood glue to adhere the beads to the drawer fronts, making sure to apply lots of pressure so that they stayed solid. Alternatively, you could attach them with short screws from the inside of the drawer, but this was the easiest method. Plus, if we ever wanted to remove the flowers, it would be easy to pry them off and sand off the remaining glue.


I probably shouldn’t even call this an Ikea Hack, because it was SO easy and you could do this to any dresser or cabinet, but it was the perfect choice for our little floral nursery! I’ve always loved a good theme, and I’m so happy with how things are coming together in here so far!!

Next Steps:

We still have quite the to-do list, but with the long weekend coming up, we’re hoping to make some good progress over the next week!

  • Paint the room
  • Marketplace Ikea Dresser Revamp
  • Install a custom closet
  • Wallpaper Feature Wall
  • Book and Toy Storage
  • Figure out Window Covering options
  • Assemble furniture
  • Source and install lighting:
  • Wall Decor/Gallery Wall
  • Add finishing decor pieces & plants!

Stay tuned for more progress, and make sure to follow along on instagram for story updates! Don’t forget to check out the Featured Designers and other Guest Participants! All of the space designs are looking incredible so far!




  • Erin
    May 20, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial….GORGEOUS result! We’re enjoying following your transformation! Good luck from fellow ORC participants!!

    • Julie
      May 21, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks so much Erin!!


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