90s IKEA CD Cabinet Upcycle Project

90s IKEA CD Cabinet Upcycle Project

September 2018

If you looked up the word procrastinator in the dictionary I’m almost positive my photo would appear next to it.

This upcycle project began back in November when I purchased a CD cabinet off of Kijiji for $40 CAD. I was a bit skeptical when the seller claimed it was real wood and originally from IKEA since it looked like it had cheap coating over it, but for its low price I was going to take my chances.


Its design is very similar to the shoe cabinets IKEA currently sells and I thought it would be perfect to store my growing CD collection. That’s right I still own and continue to purchase physical copies of music. I know the industry has headed more into a streaming/download direction, but I love nothing more than popping in a brand new CD and reading all the liner notes while it plays in the background. Yes, I was born in the 80s.

It was too cold in my garage to start this project when I purchased it (#canadian), so I didn’t end up getting around to work on it until this past June.

The first thing I did was remove all the hardware from the shelves and then the screws that allowed the shelves to fold down. I realized I had to do this in order to paint the inside of the cabinet to avoid the wood colour showing when the drawers were open. They were quite easy to disassemble but I made sure to keep each set of parts within each corresponding drawer so it would go back together just as smoothly. I also numbered the outside of the drawers with its shelf position to align it the same way again.

Ikea Shelf
IKEA knobs

Once the shelf was apart I started to sand. I used a small piece of 60 grit sandpaper to lightly scuff up the front of each shelf so the paint would have something to adhere to. I used Penney & Co. Fusion Mineral Paint for this project, which claims it doesn’t need any prep work, but I always like to sand surfaces that have a glossy sheen to them to make sure the paint covers with only two coats.


I also gave the shelves a light sanding where I noticed some rough edges on the bottoms and did the same process with the actual frame of the cabinet. I should note that I wasn’t looking to repair the holes or gouged parts at the top of the frame- I decided to leave them as is for character.

While sanding I found a small piece of paper attached to the leg and sure enough it was an IKEA piece- the MARKOR from the 90s!


Once all the sanding was complete I used painter’s tape to line all the edges I didn’t want to get paint on, which is crucial for me since I’m a bit wild with a paintbrush in my hand. This tape brand is normally used for automobile painting and the same one I used in my coffee table makeover project.

For paint I went with the Fusion Mineral brand again as I find it’s easy to work with. I chose the colour Soap Stone and depending on the room it’s in it can either take on a bluish tint or more of a grey hue. I realized later that I used one of their colours from the Penney & Co. line compared to their Classic Collection used on my tables. This paint allows you to correct any imperfections that may occur, but once you leave it to set it dries very quickly. Remember to shake the paint well (which I forgot to do on the first pour) and that a small amount goes a long way.

I also used my Staalmeester Series 2012 paintbrush for this project. The best method I found to avoid streaking or drip marks was to paint the perimeter of the shelf and then paint horizontally dragging the paint from one side to another. When I tried to paint the “face” of the drawer first and then do the edges it would show all the difference brush stroke patterns. This paint claims to be self-levitating, but I’m no painting extraordinaire so I didn’t want to take any chances. I followed the same type of a pattern when painting the frame and I’m happy with the outcome.

This is what it looked like after the first coat:

Mineral Fusion Paint

I let the project be for a few days and then applied a second coat of paint. When I was walking into the garage after washing the paintbrush I somehow ended up making a water spot on one of the drawers that created a paint bubble. I thought that I could just lightly sand it out when it dried. Wrong. Then I thought I could just sand that area right down and then repaint just that section. Wrong again. I ended up having to strip the whole face of the drawer using an orbital sander and re-do the entire drawer.

By this time summer was in full swing and Canada decided to have the weather typical of a tropical island. This made my time in the garage less than desirable so the painting took a while to finish.


At first I liked the original style and colour of the drawer knobs when I bought it, but with it painted I ended up hating the colour contrast. Instead of purchasing new knobs I used Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint in the colour Dark Steel. I had read online that before spray painting them to lightly sand and wash with soap and water. I honestly don’t know if the sanding made any difference in the paint sticking and I feel like that step could have been eliminated.

I sprayed two coats 24 hours apart and was extremely happy with its coverage and colour. I thought later about applying a sealant to the handles, but I liked the matte finish that was produced with just the spray paint. I will have to see if it will hold up with use or if it chips.

Since it was still the temperature of the devil outside I moved my project inside my air-conditioned house to finish it off. I first removed the tape from the edges and then installed the hardware.

Putting the drawers back on proved to be much more difficult than initially removing them. I basically had to try and take the plastic sliders and screws and line them up on the outside of the notch of the drawer, then blindly try to realign it with its hole position (luckily there was a faint circle imprint where it had originally been screwed in). I had to do like this because the screws actually get tightened from the inside of the drawers and not the outside, but the plastic parts are technically on the outside the drawer.

While I was screwing in the right side I also had to hold up the left side so it wouldn’t fall onto the drawer below it. The top washers that allow the drawer to glide back and forth were much easier to screw in since you install them from the inside. A bit of frustration and some choice words later I was done.

The paint has been curing now for about three weeks and I found the colour has gotten much darker, which I’m happy with. Fusion Mineral Paint has a built in top coat and I decided not to use an additional top coat or wax based off other Pinterest projects by DIYers who have used this paint. I would suggest using a pair of latex or nitrile gloves when handling your projects as some areas look to have a greasy smudge print where I handled them while assembling it back together before it was cured.

Breakdown of the project cost in CAD $:

- IKEA CD Cabinet off Kijiji= $40

- Tack Cloth= $6 (for 2 @ Canadian Tire)

- Tape= FREE (From an auto body shop from my Dad)

- Sandpaper= FREE (From my Dad)

- Fusion Mineral Paint in Soap Stone 500ml= $24.99

- Staalmeester Paint Brush= $29.99 (Used in previous project)

- Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in Dark Steel= $12.49 @ Canadian Tire

My next project in the works is modernizing an old desk I bought off Kijiji for $75.

Prep. Sand. Tape. Paint. Repeat.

*This project was not sponsored by any of the mentioned brands or stores although I wish it was. 

Concert: Five Finger Death Punch with Nothing More & Bad Wolves

Concert: Five Finger Death Punch with Nothing More & Bad Wolves