IKEA Helmer Hack: Give it a Vintage Look

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Learn more about an IKEA helmer hack to make it look old. You might also like this IKEA Besta cabinet hack

It’s week 3 of the $100 Room Challenge and I finally got a ton of work done. I’ve been working on updating my office on a very limited budget, using items I already own.

Today in addition to sharing my progress on the room, I’m sharing my IKEA helmer hack. I transformed this plain piece with a fun paint technique to make it look old!

IKEA helmer hack, give it a vintage look

I’ve joined Erin at Lemons, Lavender and Laundry for her $100 room challenge. We have a month to transform a room on a budget of only $100. The small budget requires us to get creative with items we already own. This is the perfect excuse to use all of those supplies and items that I’ve been hoarding!

Week 1 | Week 2

Current Progress:

This past week, I finished painting my dresser pink and installed the hardware that I already had on hand. I also moved the armoire out and moved the dresser to it’s spot. Also, note the curtains that are the right length! Finally hung!

There have been several furniture rearrangements, but I’m holding off on showing a full photo of the room.

There was also some purging. Not going to lie. I hated that part. A mess would get cleaned up and then another mess would happen. There’s still a bit of organizing to finish, but I’m loving all of the clear space so far!

The IKEA cabinet was also painted. Full tutorial at bottom of post.Painted helmer


IKEA Helmer Hack: Vintage Look

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Supplies Needed

Prep Work

  1. Start by removing your hardware.Helmer before
  2. Spray paint the hardware if desired. I spray painted mine gold.Spray painted handles
  3. Lightly sand your metal cabinet. The goal is not to remove paint; just to scuff the surface a bit.Scuff up surface with sand paper

Apply the Metal Primer

  1. Paint on the primer. I poured my paint into a disposable bowl to make life easier. (Ps. The primer smells like mint.)Paint on the primer
  2. Apply a 2nd coat of primer after 30 minutes. It takes 12 hours to dry completely.Painting the helmer

Paint the Bronze Paint

  1. After the 12 hours, paint the 1st coat of bronze paint.bronze paint coat
  2. Apply the 2nd coat after 30 minutes.

Apply the Patina

  1. While this coat is wet, apply the patina. You can spray it on or paint it on.Paint on patina while wet
  2. The patina turns blue after a while.Brush on patina
  3. If you add too much patina, you can go back in and add more bronze paint.
  4. In some spots, I used a paper towel to remove spots where the drips were too uniform.
  5. Let dry and reinstall the hardware.Helmer hack

I think my IKEA helmer hack turned out really cool. It has a nice, aged look which I love.Close up of patina on helmer

It blends in pretty nicely, without being too in your face.

IKEA helmer hack with paint

Be sure to check out the other participant’s rooms! I’m loving watching these rooms come along!

Decoupaging an IKEA Helmer 

I ended up decoupaging over this paint job for a new look.

Cut the paper to size and use decoupage glue to attach the floral paper.

Cut at the corners and fold the paper over the edge. 

Apply a coat of glue over the paper to seal it. 

When it dries, replace the hardware. 

The outside was painted in Country Chic paint in Happy Hour. 

IKEA helmer cabinet decoupaged with Rifle paper

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14 thoughts on “IKEA Helmer Hack: Give it a Vintage Look”

  1. Love the painted pieces. I also have not seen that paint technique before, very cool. I plan on working on my office at some point this year, and I can’t wait to see the end results for yours.

  2. This is seriously cool! I’ve never seen anything like it before and I really like it! Wonder if my employers would let me do this to my file cabinet at work….


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