ikea play kitchen hack

after scouring the internet for the perfect play kitchen that looked exactly how i (i mean, mila) wanted, and discovering that i just can’t justify spending nearly a thousand dollars for the beautiful ones from pottery barn… i decided to give an ikea dutkig a major upgrade, and OMG we are so happy with the final results.

there quite a few blogs and insta posts that show all the cool ways you can hack this kiddo kitchen. i got a lot of inspiration from this apartment therapy roundup of other DIYs. but in the end, i copied a little here and there from different kitchens and this is what we ended up with.


here’s how we did it, and a few tips i learned along the way:

  • in my opinion, spray paint is better than regular paint because you don’t get lines from the paint brush. i used rustoleum universal paint-and-primer in one. this is my all time favorite spray paint because it holds up so well. i used it to paint the legs of our dining room chairs that we use a million times a day, and two years later they don’t have a single chip.
  • paint all of the wooden pieces you want painted before you attempt putting anything together.
  • the handles are from home depot, they were $5/each. they are 5-inch drawer pulls.
  • we used marble contact paper on the top of the counter only. i have a friend who tried to sand and paint the countertop — she said it did not go well and looks horrible. you could try painting without sanding, as it is the same material as the rest of the kitchen, but i wanted the marble look. some kitchens i saw online, contact paper was wrapped around the edge of the countertop; i like that in theory, but if you look closely there were little folds on the corners, and that would have driven me crazy.
  • i painted the sink and edge of the stove white. finish this with a sealer or paint will chip, like it has on ours because i was too lazy to seal it. i will do that later. i think. maybe. probably.
  • we did not paint the faucet or the utility bar, because 1. i kind of like them this color and 2. i worried the faucet handle wouldn’t twist well if it got gunked up with paint.

the kitchen was on sale for $80 (normally $99), plus the handles and spray paint (already had the contact paper), we probably spent $115. totally worth it. mila loves opening and closing the doors, putting little pans on the shelves and filling up the sink.



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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

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