IKEA Mini Kitchen Makeover (hack)

IKEA Mini Kitchen Makeover (hack)


Once upon a time, I wanted to make a play kitchen for Laelia from an old night stand or entertainment center. After at least 9 months of keeping my eye out at thrift stores, flea markets and curbside, I decided to just buy the IKEA play kitchen, with the intent of hacking it. Not really a hack, more of makeover, I would say. Here’s what it looked like before


To help me figure out what I wanted to do with it, I did what I always do; mock it up in illustrator.

To help me figure out what I wanted to do with it, I did what I always do; mock it up in illustrator.

We made this a surprise Christmas present. I would like to forewarn anyone who has the idea of making this sort of present a “surprise”. It was really, really intense trying to get it all done close enough to Christmas day without the pieces lying around begging to be questioned, but in time for a reveal on Christmas morning. Oh yeah, and during the rain. I don’t know, we don’t have a garage or a work/storage space for projects like this, so it would probably be easier to do with a garage. Anyway, we did get it done, and only a few tears were shed. And we did get to sleep by 3 am!IKEA_DUKTIG_top_view

I basically made her my dream kitchen; gray cabinets w/ white uppers, brass hardware, marble countertop… The bright pops of color and prints help to make the otherwise very sophisticated look more whimsical! Below is a breakdown of materials.


Items Needed:

IKEA DUKTIG mini kitchen + top section for mini kitchen
IKEA LANSA Handle 9 5/8″
IKEA VINNA Handle 6″
4 decorative knobs (I got these from World Market for $2.99, but the anthro ones look of a higher quality, and I had to spray paint mine gold)
1 small decorative hook
1 Tension rod
1 Can White Primer
2 Cans Gray Primer
Assorted Fabrics for window skirt (tutorial here, adjust measurements accordingly).
Rustoleum’s Bright Coat Metallic Gold Spray Paint (This is my favorite gold spray  paint; it definitely leaves it looking shiny and metallic, whereas many others have a dull finish)
2 Cans Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Granite Spray Paint
Pop Color Spray paint
Marble Faux-Finish Tutorial & Supplies

Firstly, everything needs to be primed. I let the primer set for 24 hours on all the plastic. All the metal and plastic was primed with white primer, as well as the countertop (which later got the faux-marble finish). All of the gray got gray primer. We just painted the blue boxes directly. It’s best to let the paint set for at least 24 hours (preferably 48, especially on the plastics) before regular usage. For example, I could easily scratch the gold off the plastic even 6  hours after spraying. We let everything set for the recommended time, and the paint has held up excellently, with minor scratches on the plastics, and no scratches on anything else.

primer primer1primer2 drill

I just followed the tutorial to do the faux marble finish; I had all of the materials on hand (including the  “stiff drink”) and stayed up late after Laelia went to bed to complete it! I also gave it a few gold veins for good measure. I finished it off with a high gloss sealer to make it easy to clean, and try to give it that sheen that real marble has.

faux_marble1 faux_marble2 faux_marble3IKEA-DUKTIG-detailI sewed the curtain on Christmas Eve (and two months later added all the ruffles I was originally intending to add, which is why I’m finally getting around to posting this), while Tyler assembled all the pieces, and added the hook on the side for the apron. The little apron is the mini-version of my apron, from anthropologie. <3. It all came together exactly as I planned, and I’m very grateful for that. Nothing worse than doing a ton of planning and hard work, just to have something go wrong in the last hour!


Christmas Eve!

utensils knobs detail desserts IKEA-DUKTIG-side-view2 IKEA-DUKTIG-side-viewSorry some of the photos are dark and/or kinda blurry! All of the in progress shots were taken on my iPhone, and a few at night. We didn’t buy my Nikon until after Christmas. Did I even mention that on my blog yet?! I don’t remember… I think I did, but just in case, I bought a Nikon D5100 with two lenses, and I LOVE it. My Canon 20D was stolen last year and it took 8 months to replace it. =/ Anyway, if anyone has any questions, I’d love to help!

57 Responses to IKEA Mini Kitchen Makeover (hack)

  1. Amy says:

    I love what you did with the kitchen. Where do you get your fabrics for the curtains?

  2. Whitney says:

    So cute! I just recently did a boys Duktig makeover!
    If you’d like to check it out: http://sandpaperandsillyputty.blogspot.com/2013/04/kiddo-kitchen-remodel.html

    Great blog you’ve got!

  3. Samantha says:

    I am about to paint our Duktig kitchen :) and have a couple of questions for you.

    Has the paint held up well without sanding before priming? The guys at the hardware store swear I need to sand…and ugh I just don’t want to!

    Did you drill new holes for the handles? Or did you measure and buy ones that fit the existing holes?

    Thanks a ton in advance!

    • Hi! I did not sand, but we did prime. It is holding up very well! The sink has a few chips and that’s it.

      I drilled holes for the lower half, but I used the existing holes for the microwave.


  4. Mel says:

    I may have missed this but what did you use for the gray paint?

  5. I can’t believe I haven’t come across this until now. I’ve been following your blog for a long time (you hooked me with that amazing baby quilt a while back). I just bought this kitchen today and searched for hacks and you came up. So glad you did this and shared it. Thank you!

    • I love that! You’re talking about Laelia’s baby quilt, right?! Well, stay tuned, cause as soon as I unveil my new blog (ugh, totally in the trenches of the design and content right now), I’m going to share her twin quilt. So happy I could inspire you with this kitchen!

  6. Leah says:

    I love, love, love this! I was just wondering about all the painting you did on it. Are the products you used for the painting and marble countertop toxic or are they safe for kids? Thanks so much!

  7. SarahJane says:

    Love this kitchen and planning to do something very similar for my daughter. Question on the curtain, do you just need a tension rod to hang it from? The tutorial talks about attaching it to another piece of fabric and I am a bit confused. My mom is sewing this with leftover fabric from my daughter’s crib skirt – a 4 tiered ruffle. This kitchen will look so great in her toddler room and I’m so excited! :)

  8. Saideh says:


  9. Alison says:

    Where did you get the hook and knobs to hang the apron on the side of the kitchen in your last picture?

  10. Carolyn says:

    Where did you get the food accessories??

  11. Missy Dorius says:

    I’m wanting to redo my own daughter’s ikea kitchen and I’m wondering about the handles you got for the front. Were they the right size for fitting into the two holes that are already pre-drilled? I want to order them but I’m worried they won’t be the right fit. Yours look great!

  12. Natalie says:

    Wow! It’s beautiful. Where did you get the three tiered dessert stand on the top shelf, far right?

  13. Sarah says:

    Beautiful! But looks a bit complicated for me to accomplish. We bought the play kitchen for a birthday gift in August. Am wondering where you got the tension rod and hooks for the utensils? Thank you!

  14. Lynette says:

    Ok I need to know where that three tiered cake stand is from? Is it plastic? You did an amazing job, this is the best redo I’ve seen yet!

  15. […] For more detailed information on the play kitchen, click here. […]

  16. […] table hack from The Thinking Closet IKEA Hack mid century coffee table from Triple Max Tons IKEA Play Kitchen Hack from Visual Vocabularie IKEA chair hack from Hither and Thither IKEA Frack mirror turned Vintage light from From […]

  17. dawn says:

    Your kitchen is amazing I was wondering if you made the cake stands or if they are glass?

  18. dawn says:

    Oh I just saw Jewelry stand great idea!

  19. natalie says:

    This is so beautiful! I would love to make this for my daughter. I was looking at ordering it online and it says that the entire unit is only 28 inches wide. That seems sooooo small to me. My daughter is 2.5 years old. Do you feel like the size of this kitchen is decent or does it feel small to you? I just wish I could see it in person but we don’t live close to an ikea.

  20. Ada says:

    Hello? i have a question.. How did you make the holes for the knobs? i dont know much about drills

  21. […] table hack from The Thinking Closet IKEA Hack mid century coffee table from Triple Max Tons IKEA Play Kitchen Hack from Visual Vocabularie IKEA chair hack from Hither and Thither IKEA Frack mirror turned Vintage light from From […]

  22. […] colcha de tricot, letras e nuvem: Jesyka do Visual Vocabularie + Tutorial da cozinha de brinquedo Tapete: Rugs USA ‘Quartz Crystal Trellis in Blue’ | Parede de bolinhas: All Four […]

  23. amanda says:

    Hi tHere! Wondering about how you did the corners on the contact paper? It looks so smooth the way you did it!

    • Hi! I’m sorry, I didn’t use contact paper on this project. Do you mean the marble counter top? I painted it using a faux marble technique. There are photos, and I linked to the tutorial in this post. :)

  24. Jamie Patton says:

    I love the apron hanging on the side! Did you make it or purchase?

  25. Kate Tyson says:

    Hi, I tried a similar hack and seem to have used the same primer and paint for the plastic but have found that after a couple of weeks, it just peels off. I have redone it about 5 times since Christmas. Did you treat the plastic first with anything? Clean it etc? I can’t understand how it worked so well for you and isn’t at all for me.

    • Hi! I’m sorry that sounds like a very frustrating situation! Perhaps the manufacturers use a different formula now; maybe you could try switching brands. Also, I’m not sure how old your kitchen is, but our kitchen was brand new before we painted it, which could have an effect on how well the plastic holds the paint (i.e. there is not years of kids fingers playing with it). It held up very well for the first two years, but it has been 3 and a half years now, and I’m planning on doing a little touching up, so I’ll be trying out new paints too!

  26. […] Visual Vocabularie makes the IKEA kitchen a little bit boho Pin it […]

  27. Maggie says:

    We just painted my sons play kitchen we didn’t prime and I’m really not happy with how it turned out. It’s not smooth and has a lot of bubbles.

  28. Katy says:

    Hi – sorry to revive an old post but was wondering how you painted the gold around the stove. Did you just tape it off?

  29. Kimberly Adolph says:

    Hi! I’m hoping to paint a playhouse stove and table similar to your play kitchen. I’ve looked at your post and the faux marble/granite tutorial linked. I’m still unsure of how you did your marble counters. Did you prime them,paint them with rustoleum granite spray paint then paint on the marble whiskers? Thanks! I just want to be sure I do this right the first time!

    • It’s been a while, but I don’t think I primed the countertop. I just painted a base of white paint, and then used the black mixed with varying amounts of white paint for the veining. Sorry I could not be of more help!

  30. Vicky says:

    Curious about the hob? Did you just spray it all gold and stratch off it all apart from the rim?

  31. Britt says:

    Any chance you still have the illustrator file? I’d love to play with textures and colors before trying my hand at your hack! :)

  32. Olivia says:

    OH MY GOOOOOODNESSS! So awesome! Well done Mommy! I will try to do up something like this . I am so insoired by your ideas.

    By the way where can i get the candy jars and cake stand as I believe they are children friendly… in singapore the Kitchenette does not come with a backdrop…

Leave a Reply


Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

Popular Tutorials

  • Pinwheel Tutorial

  • Tissue Tassel Garland

  • Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains

  • Ikea Mini Kitchen Makeover


Link with Love

You are free to pin to pinterest, or post my photos on your blog, but please give proper credit to my full name Jesyka D’Itri Marés (I know, I know, it's not the easiest name!), and you link back either the home page of this website, or the permalink of the original post (although, I'm sure your followers will thank you for the permalink!). I would LOVE to know if you enjoy my work enough to share it, so please don’t be shy and drop me an email!