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  • Writer's pictureLorna

Ikea Play Kitchen Hack

I have always been on the lookout for a play kitchen for Emilia, but none of the ones I spotted took my fancy. I loved the beautiful upcycling jobs people have done on these Ikea Duktig kitchens, so I set about creating a kitchen that fitted in with the colour scheme of Emilia's bedroom. There are many great ideas on Pinterest, and below are some of the ones I saved to get me started.


The Colour

These photos also helped me decide what panels to paint and what to leave white or natural wood. When it comes flat packed furniture, it can be difficult to work out what part needs to be what colour. To help me with this, I got the colouring pencils out and coloured in the picture of the kitchen on the front of the assembly instructions booklet. I chose to paint the inside of the top section of the kitchen white to match in with the microwave. I wanted a dusky purple colour for the rest of the kitchen as I wanted it to match the purple colour in the Laura Ashley Curtains in Emilia's bedroom. I came across Peignoir by Farrow and Ball and it was perfect. (I may consider this for her whole bedroom one day!)


This is where it got tricky! I had hoped (from looking at ikea kitchen projects online) that I could just paint directly onto the kitchen. This, unfortunately, isn't the case! As there is a protected lacquer applied to the kitchen, the paint just scraped right off. I then bought a primer to spray on and tried to paint the colour on top again. In hindsight, I think the primer layer would have benefited from more coats as, again, the paint came off very easily with a scrape of my nail. So, third time lucky! I sanded off the paint and some of the lacquer that is on the treated wood using a mouse sander. This time I painted on a primer with a brush and that seemed to do the trick. I then applied three coats of the colour using a small roller. 

As I wanted the inside of the top section around the microwave to be white I had to paint up to the screw holes Peignoir and above it white. It also meant some sides were Peignoir while the reverse were white. The screw holes on the panels of wood were very handy for marking off where to tape off for a different colour or if you wanted to leave some sections wood as I did in the base of the microwave. 

Bring paint in 1cm around doors:

I found when I assembled the unit and attached the doors that you could see the wood from inside the cupboards. I taped off about one centimeter into the bottom unit as well as the microwave section as you can see in the picture below.

The Hardware

I went looking for some new handles for the kitchen but it was difficult to find the same size handles to fit into the existing holes drilled. I thought it would be easier to just spray paint them. In that way, all the hardware for the kitchen would match. I chose a silver gold / champagne colour from Rustoleum and set about spraying them (Mask advised!) 

A tip for spraying the tap and handles is to make holes in a cardboard box for them to sit into. I pushed the tap and handles into the box to create an imprint from the screw fittings and then pushed a screwdriver through. They then stood upright for me to spray evenly. The cooker hob comes with a protective film on the black surface, so using a stanley knife I cut this film to expose the grey edge that I wanted to spray. This then created a barrier so no paint would get on the black surface. After the spray paint had dried I sprayed all the 'hardware' with a clear sealant

The Counter and Splash-back

There are some lovely ideas where you can recover the counter with an adhesive film in a granite or marble finish. However when I saw how the kitchen was coming together, I decided to leave the counter in the original wood finish. This was also due to the choice of 'tile' back-splash. I found these self adhesive 3D subway tiles onAmazon. I bought five 'tiles' even though my measurements showed four would be enough... I wanted one extra for an mishaps that might occur! (I did use the fifth F.Y.I!) I then bought a piece of chipboard in B&Q to attach my tiles to. (They cut it to size for me there and then which is always so handy). I stuck the tiles directly onto this and then nailed it onto the back of the kitchen. 

The kitchen is now pride of place in Emilia's room and kitted out with all the beautiful wooden utensils and food from Lidl. I still have some bits to add to it; like a hook for towels, some pretty knobs for the oven, a plant and (more adventurously) a drop leaf table mounted to the side. But that's another days work! 

As always, thanks for dropping by.

Lorna x

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