Ikea Malm Dresser Hack

The Ultimate Guide to Ikea Malm Dresser Hacks

When it comes to stylish and functional furniture, Ikea is often the go-to destination for many homeowners. Their Malm dressers are a popular choice for those looking for a sleek and modern storage solution. However, while the Malm dresser is already a great piece on its own, many DIY enthusiasts have taken it a step further by creating their own unique and customized versions through clever hacks. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best Ikea Malm dresser hacks to inspire you and help you transform your basic dresser into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Why Hack Your Malm Dresser?

Before we dive into the myriad of ways you can hack your Malm dresser, let’s take a moment to consider why you might want to do so in the first place. The primary reason for hacking your Malm dresser is to add your personal touch and unique style to the piece. By customizing your dresser, you can create a furniture piece that perfectly fits your aesthetic and functional needs. Additionally, hacking your Malm dresser can often be a more cost-effective alternative to purchasing a completely new piece of furniture, making it a budget-friendly option for those looking to update their space.

Materials and Tools

Before you get started on your Ikea Malm dresser hack, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials and tools. The specific requirements will vary depending on the hack you choose, but there are a few staple items that you’ll likely need for most projects. These include:


  • Paint or Stain
  • Hardware (Knobs, Handles, etc.)
  • Decorative Paper or Fabric
  • Wood Trim or Molding
  • Adhesive


  • Paintbrushes or Rollers
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring Tape
  • Utility Knife

Of course, the specific tools and materials needed will depend on the hack you choose, so be sure to read through the instructions thoroughly before getting started.

Ikea Malm Dresser Hack Ideas

Now that you have your materials and tools ready to go, it’s time to explore some creative Ikea Malm dresser hack ideas. Whether you’re looking to add some color, texture, or additional functionality to your dresser, there are endless possibilities to consider. Here are a few popular hacks to get you started:

Paint or Stain

One of the most straightforward ways to transform your Malm dresser is by giving it a fresh coat of paint or stain. Whether you opt for a bold and vibrant color to make a statement or a more subdued hue to complement your existing decor, a new finish can instantly breathe new life into the piece. You can also experiment with techniques such as ombre, distressing, or stenciling to add an artistic touch to your dresser.

Replace Hardware

Another easy way to upgrade your Malm dresser is by swapping out the hardware. New knobs, handles, and drawer pulls can completely change the look of the piece and give it a more custom feel. Consider mixing and matching different styles for a modern and eclectic look, or opt for sleek and minimalist hardware for a more contemporary vibe.

Decoupage or Wallpaper

If you’re a fan of patterns and prints, decoupaging or applying wallpaper to your Malm dresser can be a fun and creative way to add visual interest. Whether you choose a bold floral print, a subtle geometric pattern, or a whimsical motif, the possibilities are endless. This hack is especially great for adding a pop of personality to a child’s room or nursery.

Add Decorative Trim

For a more sophisticated and architectural look, consider adding decorative trim or molding to your Malm dresser. Whether you opt for a classic beadboard finish, elegant crown molding, or trendy shiplap, adding trim can elevate the look of your dresser and give it a custom built-in feel. This hack works especially well for those looking to create a more high-end and custom look on a budget.

Customize Drawer Fronts

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, consider customizing the drawer fronts of your Malm dresser with a unique design or texture. This could involve adding mirrored panels, upholstered fabric, or even intricate wood carvings to give each drawer a distinct look. This hack is a great way to add a touch of luxury to your dresser and create a statement piece for your home.

How to Hack Your Malm Dresser

Now that you have some ideas for transforming your Malm dresser, let’s walk through the general steps you’ll need to take to complete your hack. While the specific process will vary depending on the hack you choose, these general guidelines should help you get started on the right foot.


The first step in hacking your Malm dresser is to prepare the piece for its transformation. This typically involves removing the drawers, sanding the surfaces, and cleaning the piece to ensure a smooth and even base for your new finish. If you plan on painting or staining, be sure to use a primer to help the new finish adhere properly.


Once your dresser is prepped and ready, it’s time to execute your hack. Whether you’re painting, adding trim, or customizing the drawer fronts, be sure to follow the specific instructions for your chosen hack closely. Take your time and work carefully to ensure a professional-looking result. For hacks involving new hardware or decorative elements, be sure to measure and mark your placements before drilling or adhering anything in place.

Finishing Touches

After completing the main components of your hack, it’s important to add the finishing touches to truly bring your custom Malm dresser to life. This may involve adding a clear coat of sealant for protection, installing the new hardware, or reassembling the dresser if necessary. Take a step back and make any final adjustments to ensure your dresser looks and functions exactly how you envision.

Closing Thoughts

Transforming your Ikea Malm dresser through a clever hack can be a rewarding and satisfying DIY project. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color, a touch of luxury, or a unique texture to your space, there are endless possibilities to consider. By infusing your personal style and creativity into your dresser, you can create a furniture piece that truly feels like your own. So, gather your materials, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to turn your basic Malm dresser into a show-stopping statement piece in your home.


Can I paint my Ikea Malm dresser without sanding?

While sanding is often recommended to ensure a smooth and durable finish, it is possible to paint your Malm dresser without sanding. However, keep in mind that the paint may not adhere as well, and the finish may not be as long-lasting. Be sure to use a high-quality primer and paint specifically formulated for use on furniture to achieve the best results.

How can I make my Malm dresser look more expensive?

There are several ways to make your Malm dresser look more high-end and luxurious. Adding decorative trim, customizing drawer fronts, and upgrading the hardware are all great ways to elevate the look of your dresser. You can also experiment with high-quality paints or stains, as well as adding decorative elements such as mirrored panels or upholstered fabric to create a more upscale look.

Is it worth it to hack my Ikea Malm dresser?

Hacking your Malm dresser can be a worthwhile project if you’re looking to add your personal touch to your furniture and create a piece that reflects your unique style. It can also be a more budget-friendly alternative to purchasing a new dresser, making it a great option for those looking to update their space without breaking the bank. Ultimately, the decision to hack your Malm dresser comes down to your personal preferences and the results you’re hoping to achieve.