With a bit of creativity and effort, you can transform ordinary furniture into unique, stylish pieces that reflect your personal taste. The IKEA KALLAX, with its simple, clean lines and multifunctional design, makes a perfect canvas for a DIY furniture makeover. In this article, we will show you how to turn it into a stunning 1960s Brutalist-style display piece.

Brutalist style, named after the French term “béton brut” meaning raw concrete, rose to popularity during the post-war period and is characterized by its bold, monolithic forms and often rough, unrefined materials. It’s a somewhat austere and monumental style that can add an intriguing, architectural element to your interior. With its emphasis on functionality and minimalism, IKEA’s KALLAX is a fitting starting point for your Brutalist furniture creation.

What You Need

– IKEA KALLAX Shelving Unit
– Dark, metallic spray paint
– Stone textured spray paint
– Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)
– Clear, matte finish protective spray
– Respirator or dust mask
– Eye protection
– Drop cloth to protect your workspace

Here are the steps to transform your KALLAX:

1. Prepare your workspace:

Clear out an area where you can work without damaging surrounding surfaces. It’s advisable to work outdoors if possible to ensure proper ventilation. Lay down a drop cloth and make sure you have your respirator and eye protection on hand.

2. Sand the KALLAX:

Start by giving your KALLAX unit a light sanding. This will rough the smooth finish a bit to help the paint adhere better. Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth after sanding.

3. Apply the first coat of paint:

Next, use your dark metallic spray paint and evenly apply a coat over all surfaces of the KALLAX. It’s crucial to keep the spray can at the recommended distance (usually mentioned on the can) to prevent drips and uneven coverage. Let this dry completely.

4. Apply the stone texture:

Once your first coat is dry, it’s time for the magic. Apply the stone textured spray paint, which will get you that gritty, Brutalist look. Apply it as evenly as possible. However, with Brutalist style, irregularities can often add character, recreate impact of raw concrete. Allow it to dry completely.

5. Protect your new piece:

To make sure your Brutalist-style KALLAX can stand up to everyday use, apply a clear, matte finish protective spray. This step will ensure the paint won’t chip or scuff easily.

6. Finishing touches:

To further underline the Brutalist style, you might want to consider adding accessories made of raw, natural materials, like stone, clay, or bronze. Decorate your KALLAX with vases, sculptures, or bowls that echo the Brutalist aesthetic.

In a short time, with surprisingly little effort, you have transformed a humble IKEA KALLAX into a unique, 1960s Brutalist-style masterpiece. Not only have you created a functional storage solution, but you’ve also added an intriguing, architectural element to your space. Don’t be afraid to experiment with styles and to use furniture as an expression of your personal aesthetic. Happy decorating!

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