Description: After finding an adorable yellow vintage cabinet/dresser at a thrift store, I needed to find a way to work in additional colors to my bedroom’s color scheme. I already had blue and some eggplant, so I went with a dual complimentary colors scheme, which brought in the yellow and required some orange.
I had already purchased and assembled (2) 3-drawer Aneboda bedside chests and (2) 3-drawer dressers, but had to wait for inspiration to strike to fix the ugly plastic drawer fronts. The yellow vintage cabinet was that inspiration, as I wanted to add a vintage feel to the Aneboda pieces while adding in the full spread of colors. Most of the mods that I’ve seen on Aneboda were painting or using paper over the drawers, but they just didn’t strike my fancy.
So, I hopped onto eBay and found a source for bulk mosaic tiles – and hit the craft store for my supplies.
1.) Since my cabinets were already put together, I went ahead to took off the drawer faces and prepped the surface by lightly scouring with an abrasive pad.
2.) Using freehand style for placement, I went with a grid formation and random color pattern, and placed the tiles by first spreading Mosaic Tile Adhesive (clear drying) over the plastic part and waited overnight for it to dry. I made sure that all tiles locked on properly the next day.
3.) Next, I did my mixing for grout. I used sanded black un-mixed grout, and if you do, take your time with mixing in water. You can go from dry to too wet VERY fast. You could also buy pre-mixed.
4.) Apply grout over the entire face of the drawer, making sure to get it in all rows, and try to miss getting too much on the sides. Luckily, the coating that IKEA uses on furniture kept the dye from affecting the white portion of the cabinet (this was tested beforehand). Wait 20 minutes.
5.) After waiting 20 minutes, use a damp rag to wipe the excess grout away. Be careful to not dig into the areas between tiles, just keep a flat motion to get excess. Leave to dry overnight. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but I made sure to get all grout off of the wood part of the drawer, just to not push my luck with staining.
6.) Once dry, use a dry rag to brush off remaining excess. Place drawer front back onto cabinet – make sure that bottom of drawer is in place with the slits on the front and back. You can use a sealant, but since I used black grout, I went without.
In the end, the recessed plastic panel worked out perfectly for mosaic work. I may replace the square white feet eventually with something more vintage and the drawer-pulls may eventually be replaced by something wrought iron, but for now, much better! Ignore the current paint job in room, that’s the next project.
Ease of project – Beginner Mosaic work, low level difficulty
Cost of project – Moderate. Costs could have been reduced using broken tiles or vintage plates and buying grout in bulk. This *could* be a very cheap project. You can break the cost spending down by doing the project in phases, such as 2 drawers at a time. Mosaic tile calculators are available online to determine how many to order for the portion you want to do.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.