How to paint Ikea furniture without sanding or priming

I’ve been asked a lot lately how to paint Ikea furniture, especially those shiny, melamine type finishes that appear in the Expedit, Kallax, Malm and Lack ranges.

If you’ve already done a Google search “how to paint Ikea furniture” then you’ve probably come across lots of tutorials showing you how to paint these types of surfaces by sanding, priming, painting, lacquering … (bored?)

That’s a lot of steps.

But the good news is that all of these steps aren’t necessary with Vintage Rocks chalky paint and I’m here to tell you how.

From this …

How to paint Ikea furniture

Ikea Expedit Shelving Unit

To this …



Dismantle (optional)

If you have time, and you really want to do a good job, then first re-flat-pack your flat-pack furniture.  It’s not absolutely necessary but it will make the job easier in the long run.  There won’t be any awkward corners to get into and you can make sure the paint is applied in the same direction on all sides.

Having said that … there are advantages to keeping your furniture in one piece.  You don’t need a screwdriver or allen key, it takes less time to complete the project and you only need to paint the bits that are on showing, again saving time and paint.

Clean (not always necessary)

Unless there’s something sticky or raised on the furniture then you don’t need to worry too much.  A quick swoosh over with a baby wipe will normally be fine.

Paint (yay!)

We’re already at the good bit! Take a long bristled, synthetic paint brush and apply Vintage Rocks paint in nice even strokes. To avoid getting “stop and start” marks, ensure that you lay the paint by running the brush in one long stroke from one end to the other once the paint has been applied to that section.

With shiny surfaces it is best to use several coats of thin layers of paint rather than a couple of thick coats. Ensure that you leave the paint to dry fully in-between coats.

Once your piece of furniture is completely covered and you’re happy with the finish, allow to dry overnight.

1 Litre £16.95 100ml £4.00

1 Litre £16.95
100ml £4.00

For this project, Caz used Vintage Rocks paint in Lagoon CLICK THE SWATCH BELOW TO GO TO THE VINTAGE ROCKS PRODUCT PAGE

How to paint Ikea furniture

Protective Finish

To protect your paint from scratches and marks, ensure that you complete your handy work with a couple of coats of Vintage Rocks Finishing Cream (available in matt and gloss) or Vintage Rocks Buzz Wax


How to paint Ikea furnitureIf using Finishing Cream, simply dip a brush into the pot and apply over top of the dry paint.  The more coats the better but 2 is normally enough.  Don’t forget to ensure that each coat is dry otherwise you could end up with a sticky mess.

To apply Buzz Wax, use a Vintage Rocks wax brush.  Simply swirl the brush around in the wax and apply in circular motions then remove the excess with a lint free cloth.  See our video tutorial


So there you go …

Ikea furniture transformed in 4 easy steps (and 2 of them aren’t always necessary!)


How to paint Ikea furniture


How much did it cost?

0.25 litres of Vintage Rocks Lagoon £4.23

0.25 tin of Vintage Rocks Buzz Wax £2.00

Total … £6.23




If you’ve enjoyed reading our guide about how to paint Ikea furniture and you’re going to give it a try yourself, we’d love to photos and hear about your Ikea hacks and transformations.  Join our Facebook Group to share your inspirational projects.

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