Tuesday, April 3, 2012

IKEA Malm Dresser Makeover with O'verlays


I have been wanting to experiment with O'verlays ever since they came out.  I think the product is ingenious and the perfect way to elevate even the most mundane big box furniture.  So when my friend Christiane started thinking about redoing an old IKEA Malm dresser to use in her son Hudson's room, I jumped at the chance to help!

Hudson's room has some great roman shades made of Dwell Studio's Dotscape in Major Brown


And his ceiling is painted this super fun green.


After some brainstorming, we decided to pair a smokey, high gloss gray on the overall dresser with the Lolita circle O'verlays to play off the circle motif started on his roman shades.  Painted in the same green as the room's ceiling, it really brings the whole color scheme together.

I'm not going to re-invent the wheel and give you a whole tutorial on how to paint the dresser.  I'll defer to Kate's excellent posts on how to do that here.  I taped, primed (using my favorite primer - Zinsser Cover Stain) and painted it very easily since the Malm is just a bunch of flat surfaces with no nooks or details to speak of.  Pretty much a furniture painters dream!

There aren't a ton of colors in the Rustoleum Protective Enamel Oil line but if you can find one that works for your project I HIGHLY recommend it.   They're sold near the spray paints and come in quart size which is perfect for a small project like this.  And the best part - they're only about $8!  Yes, oil paint can be a pain to work with and clean up but I think it's completely worth the trouble for the professional looking finish you get.  Just be sure to follow your local waste regulations for disposing of your oil based paint cans.


After a couple of coats with a brush, I had this glass-like, perfectly glossy surface.  Oil paint takes a lot longer to dry than latex so resist the urge to touch it or do a second coat until you've let it completely dry (overnight is best).

So that was the easy part!  But then I got started on painting the O'verlays themselves and thought I was going to die.  My recommendation to you if you're considering using and painting some O'verlays - SPRAY PAINT, SPRAY PAINT, SPRAY PAINT!  Pick a color that you can spray on and don't look back.  

Since I wanted to match the O'verlays to the existing ceiling color, I started by rolling my paint on.  

 That was fine, except for this...

See all those totally-unreachable-by-a-roller nooks? After debating everything from hand painting all of them with a foam brush (aaaaargh!!!) to physically dipping the entire O'verlay into the can of paint (and then dealing with drips!), I remembered I had this Martha Stewart Crafts spray paint kit in my craft supplies.  The instructions make it pretty clear that it's for use with acrylic/craft paints but I was desperate. 

And guess what?!  IT WORKED!!!  The process for using the kit couldn't be easier.  You simply mix your paint with the spray paint medium included in the kit in a 1 to 1 ratio, attach the sprayer and start spraying.  You can watch Martha demo the process here.  About 2 oz of my Benjamin Moore latex paint is all it took to get complete coverage on all my O'verlays and save me hours of hand painting and cursing up a storm. I stuck them on with a little bit of Liquid Nails.


Here it is in Hudson's super cute room.

So let's recap what we've learned:
1.  Oil paint is awesome
2.  O'verlays are awesome
3.  When in doubt, spray, do not brush
4.  Go buy the Martha Stewart Crafts spray paint kit