Kitchen Living Room

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ikea Micke Desk Revamp

Meet the Ikea Micke desk:

At $79 Micke is a bargain, but he doesn't have a whole lot of personality. With a $3 bottle of sample paint from Home Depot and $9 worth of Anthropologie knobs, I sought to change that. I was inspired by this Fred Shand Garden Stretch Bolster pillow that I have on my bed (also from Anthropologie, surprise):

The last picture gives you an idea as to how long this sucker is. It is a huge pillow and it is longer than the width of my full size bed. Anthro describes the pillow as "a long and lean plot of colorful foliates and berry-red stripes." That berry red is what I wanted for my desk!

Here's old Micke back in my old house: 

A perfectly sized sewing machine cabinet!

Paired with a vintage chair, reupholstered with blue fabric from my old headboard.

This is back when I was content with him being his dry, boring Ikea self. (Sorry, Micke.)

So my first step in Micke's transformation was to put on a mask, drag him outside, and get sanding. Oh wait, no, I didn't. I'm too lazy. I sandpapered him right in my bedroom. Without a mask. But you shouldn't be lazy like me! So take your desk outside and wear your mask.

I used whatever sandpaper I had handy in the back of my car. You have to be a little careful because a lot of Ikea furniture is not solid wood. Micke certainly isn't. He is cheap, cheap, cheap. So when you sand MDF (medium-density fiberboard), you aren't sanding wood at all. You're sanding of pieces of...stuff. I just wanted to rough up the Stuff that Micke is made of so the paint would adhere to it. This step could be optional, you could always try it out and see how it works for you.

Next I got to painting. I didn't even tape. Boy oh boy, am I lazy. But Micke's surface is so smooth, I just used a wet cloth to wipe off any paint spills. I'll have to get back to you on the exact color I used. It was salmon or coral something or other by Behr. I'll update this space later with the exact name.

Oh! But first, I painted it another color. A very pastel pink.

The yellow chair halfway to the wrong pink. And then I got to painting the correct color! So technically I spent $6 for paint on this project (2 x $3 samples). 

Much better!

Now it's all done being painted. All that's left is to add the knobs (one power drill later...). 

Ta-da! And it matches the pillow, which is way over on the bed, so well. If I had any energy left (when did I get so lazy?!) I might paint the chair a different color, because it is a little matchy-matchy. The desk area needs some work on organization, and I don't care for that lamp at all, but it's getting better. And now I can hardly recognize our friend Micke! We might have to stop referring to him as a boy. Wait, that's sexist. Boys can be pink!

P.S. Here are some close-ups of the knobs I used (the Verawood knobs in white):

They received poor reviews online, and that is probably why they're on sale, but I think they're great.


  1. Love the color and love the knobs! You were uber-brave to paint without even laying down a drop cloth, especially on your gorgeous wood floors!

    I might have tried centering the cabinet knob for symmetry...that might not have given you enough leverage to open the door, though....

  2. Yea I wouldn't blame you if you centered the knob. I thought about it for a long time though decided off center was the way to go for me.

    I do not lay down drop cloths and I do not change my clothes. I would lose steam for most projects if I took too much time for preparation. Oh well.

  3. My nice pants and shoes all have lovely painty marks as a result. And my floors too. Somehow I just don't really care!

  4. Hi, I'd like to ask what type of paint did you use? like oil or what? I got to black and white Micke and I want to paint the white parts a light blue. Did you use a primer, if so, what primer did you use? thanks in advance!

    1. Also, I used water based paint, not oil paint. Water based paint is easier to clean up.

  5. Hey Julie! I didn't use a primer. I just used regular wall paint (a sample) from Home Depot. You can get them at Lowes too for about $3. I you're going to paint the parts of the desk that will be used, I would recommend sealing over the paint with a clear coat (they have clear spray paint for this purpose) so that it doesn't get scuffed up. Let me know how it turns out!

  6. Instead of painting you could have used an adhesive vinyl for revamping. Maybe you could browse for ideas