With any bright idea that I have, as soon as it enters my thoughts I have to act upon it straight away! I am quick to jump on the laptop and start searching for ideas on how I can actually achieve it. This project of transforming our preloved Ikea Duktig Play Kitchen into a mini version of my very own Tom Howley kitchen was certainly no different.
So, a couple of weekends ago we dusted off our old Ikea play kitchen which has been sat at the bottom of the garden in the summer house for the last two years and brought it back up into the house. The children were so excited to have it somewhere they could actually play with it again. I, however, was not so keen on how it looked in my colour coordinated, meticulously designed, open plan living space!
After trawling through numerous images of other people’s Ikea play kitchen hacks on Pinterest (to get an idea of what I could do to improve the look of mine), it suddenly dawned on me, why don’t I recreate my Tom Howley kitchen using the same colours and door fittings? I had some leftover paint from when our kitchen was installed and Tom Howley kindly sent me some matching door handles and internal door labels. I was all set with a plan of action and eager to crack on with it!
I’ve included a step by step guide below for your own play kitchen makeover. It really isn’t a tough one to do, I promise!
Supplies I used
x1 Rust-Oleum 400ml Metallic Spray Paint
x1 Rust-Oleum 400ml Universal Spray Paint White Gloss
x2 Rust-Oleum 400ml Surface Primer White
Tom Howley ‘Tansy’ Paint (similar to Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball)
Tom Howley ‘Lithadora’ Paint (similar to Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball)
Mini Foam Roller Kit
d-c-fix Self Adhesive Marble Vinyl
Big Boy Body Filler
x1 White Foam Board
Frogtape Multi-Surface Masking Tape
Box Cutter Kit
Caulk or multi-surface silicone with gun
Tom Howley polished chrome cup handles for the oven and cabinet door
Tom Howley polished chrome knob handle for the microwave
1. Our Ikea kitchen was already assembled so rather than taking it apart completely I just took off the doors, handles, worktop and separated the top and bottom sections. Lay out all of your pieces and make a plan for what colour to paint each piece.
2. Use frogtape/painter’s tape to block off the parts you don’t want to get paint on (the microwave, oven “glass” and outer edges of the stove top). You’ll need to also tape the inside bottom and inner sides of the stove and cabinet (approx 3/4″) in order for the internal wood not to show when the doors are closed.
3. Fill the holes from where the Ikea handles had previously been. I used Big Boy Body Filler, which I swear by! Once the filler has dried give it a good sand until smooth.
4. I sanded all wooden areas which were to be painted. I had heard mixed reviews on whether the top coat would stay on properly if the shiny properties of the Ikea doors were not sanded off, so to be safe, I gave it a quick sand. Once roughly sanded, I used the primer to spray all the wooden pieces, the white gloss to spray the kitchen sink and the metallic to spray the tap, cooker rim, rail and hanging hooks. Be sure to check the instructions on the spray cans for when you can do the second coat.
5. Once the primer had completely dried on the units and doors I applied the top coat of paint. I use Tom Howley paint which work off similar colours to the Farrow and Ball colour chart. My cabinets are painted in Tansy (Cornforth White F&B) and the kitchen island in Lithodora (Hague Blue F&B). To apply the paint I used a mini foam roller which gave a smooth finish. The secret I found to a successful application is to apply lots of thin coats. This builds up the colour nicely whilst retains the smoothness.
6. Attach the new handles. I gave this job to my husband and he did a grand job and ensuring they were level!
7. Apply the adhesive vinyl to the countertop. Do this slowly and carefully while using a vinyl squeegee to get out any bubbles as they come up. Cut out the centre parts of the sink and stove with a boxcutter and wrap the contact paper around those edges. (They won’t be perfect, and that’s okay! The sink and stove will cover it up anyway!) In order to make a smooth finish on the outside edges and corners, you will want to use a hairdryer to heat up the contact paper. This makes it stretch much easier for a perfect fit!
8. Measure your foam board to fit the back of the kitchen opening and trim it down with your box cutter. I opted for an upstand and painted wall effect (to match my kitchen) so I painted the foam board in Wimborne White F&B and then attached it to the back of the kitchen using my glue gun. For the upstand I trimmed a piece of foam board to size and covered it with the adhesive vinyl, I then glued this to the inside of the painted foam board.
9. And finally, to give your play kitchen that extra special finish, apply white silicone (I used caulk) to the joins of the worktop and upstand.
And that’s it, your Ikea play kitchen hack is complete! All you need to do now is accessorise it. I put two rattan wicker storage trays underneath the kitchen to keep the play food and cutlery in and managed to find some extremely cute miniature clip lid jars so put some spaghetti in one and baking beans in the other. (Don’t worry, Scarlett will not be playing with these – they are just for photography styling purposes!).
Before and After Shots
Thanks for reading and I hope this has inspired you to give this a go! If you do, please tag me in your Instagram posts 🙂