I finally got fed up with my ugly choice of Ikea dresser (fun fact, the tall dresser on the left was a craigslist find in 2005, the one on the right I purchased for real and assembled 2 years ago) and started googling around for ways to update it.
I came across several hacks to this dresser, this one: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/ikea-dresser-hack and this one: http://www.designsponge.com/2009/03/before-after-adams-ikea-dresser.html give you the best idea of the before/after I was inspired by.
Please don't judge me on my poor choices, the original dressers were made like this:
I went to my favorite hardware store, Tags, in my least favorite parking lot, Porter Square, and got a lot of spray paint - primer for plastic and other weird surfaces, and then white to transform the "birch wood." Hint: if you buy this dresser in white, the project is WAY EASIER. I also ordered some contact paper online.
Here's a close up:
I did this in the summertime, so I took the dressers apart, brought them into our backyard, dressed up real fancy (I used an old bandana as a mask) and did a lot of spray painting. Then I dragged all of the drawers to the basement to dry, and left the two dresser bodies in our kitchen. My room was a mess, since all of my clothes were now in piles on the floor....
Once the drawers were dry, I added contact paper and reassembled and had this!
Sure, minus the fact that my room was still very messy in this photo, not bad for a previously hideous dresser, right? (And if only I had drawer pulls to put on it that were cute. Oops, guess this is still a work in progress!)