Ikea Hemnes Dresser: Hack

Earlier this week, you guys got a glance at the new tall dresser that’s currently hanging out in our office. I showed you how I jazzed up the drawer sides with marbled paper, and today I want to show you how I jazzed up the outside of this ho-hum dresser.
I purchased this dresser from Ikea because I needed a decent amount of storage for our office, and I wanted it to be hidden inside drawers. This dresser is a great size and you simply can’t beat the price ($149!)
Ikea Hemnes Dresser
Side Note: My hubby-to-be and I have put together a decent amount of Ikea furniture in our day. This dresser was the absolute worst thing we’ve ever put together….by far. I guess dressers just take forever to put together. Lucky for me, I have a very patient fiance who enjoys putting things together while watching sports on TV.
The dresser was great once we finally got it together (albeit a little boring), but it just took a very long time to get from step 1 to step 35 (no joke…).
boring ikea knobs
After this bad boy was put together, I immediately knew that I wanted to trade out the hardware. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…hardware is one of the easiest ways to update any piece of furniture in your home. These boring knobs had absolutely no chance of staying… #buhbye
Ikea Dresser Hack
I ordered 5 of these silver pulls on Amazon and $25 later I had pretty new pulls for my dresser.
silver drawer pulls
I’m in love with the shiny silver. It adds a nice glamorous touch to the otherwise blah dresser.
drawer pulls
But my customization of this Ikea piece didn’t stop there. I’ve always been eager to try out the industrial, campaign-style look on a dresser and this white piece offered up the perfect opportunity! So I purchased some silver brackets (these ones to be exact) and decided to add them to each drawer front.
corner brackets on drawer front

This is just about the time that this project slowed down.  I was totally on a roll, and then boom…I had to install 4 brackets on 5 drawers. It took some major drilling time. Learn from me and take these tips into account if you’re looking to add brackets to one of your own dressers…

silver corner brackets
Rookie Tip #1: Use a drill bit to create pilot holes in the front of the drawer. This is very, very important. If you skip this step, then you risk splitting the wood. It’s also key when you go to put the screws in. I suggest using your drill for the pilot holes, and then just a normal screwdriver for the screws.
ikea hemnes dresser
Rookie Tip #2: Each bracket will have 4 holes and 4 screws. That’s 16 screws per drawer, and with 5 drawers that’s 80 screws to measure, pre-drill, and then screw in. Yikes. Instead, I recommend only putting 2 screws in to hold each bracket. The bracket will be plenty snug on the front, and you’re less likely to split the wood. I did all 4 on one of the drawers, and then immediately switched tactics. Learn from my mistakes…
ikea campaign dresser
ikea dresser makeover

  • clare @ fitting it all in

    i wish i had your design brain! i maybe be calling you for DIY help when I move to Louisville! xoxo

  • Maybe DIY Playbook could take a road trip?! That would be awesome!

  • Mary

    I like the idea, but the pulls and brackets look really mismatched – different styles, different metal finishes…

  • Mary, it may not be your style..but I’m totally loving it! So nice to just spend a couple bucks to jazz up an otherwise boring piece.

  • Crystal Disbrow

    Thanks for the idea. We recently purchased two of the larger dressers and 2 nightstands from the Hemnes line. They were such a pain to put together, and I have done many Ikea builds before. I started looking for ideas to dress them up and I love the bracket idea. Do you happen to remember what length the screws you used were?

    • Crystal,
      Totally agree that it can be a big pain to put together! Ha. But once it’s done…it’s totally worth it.

      The screws actually came with the brackets that I purchased. But if you need to purchase any, I would recommend doing very short ones…definitely less than an inch so they don’t go through to the other side of the drawer.

      Good luck!

  • Vicky ladlamme

    It seems that the screws in IKEA drawers are shorter than a regular pull handle/knob screw. I’m curious to what you did to accommodate the longer screw did you cut them or were you actually able to find knobs that had shorter screws ?

    • Vicky, I just put some washers on the back and it kept it in there tight.

    • Ana Patricia

      Where did you find the washers… I’m having a really hard time finding some that fit.

    • There should be a wide variety of washer sizes at your local hardware store. Just brings your hardware with and make sure you get the right size!

  • Shelby Handlin

    This dresser seems to come in white and white stain. Which did you purchase? And could you tell me if you saw them both and what the difference is in the two stain options?

    • Hi Shelby,
      This is the pure white one. I haven’t seen the white stained one in person.

      Good luck with your purchase!

  • Eileen

    Just found this, great idea. Completely transformed my dull, brown dresser for less than $30 in under 45 minutes. Thanks!

  • Chloe Anderson

    Did you by chance keep your old knobs?