IKEA Helmer Hack: DIY Copper Patina Finish

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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

Painted helmer

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

IKEA Helmer Hack: Copper Patina Finish

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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 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
Close up of patina on helmer

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

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

IKEA helmer hack with paint

New Look for Helmer: Decoupage

A few years later, I ended up decoupaging over this paint job for a new look. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Cut the paper to size and use decoupage glue to attach the floral paper.
  2. Cut at the corners and fold the paper over the edge. 
  3. Apply a coat of glue over the paper to seal it. 
  4. 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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IKEA helmer hack, give it a vintage look

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  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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