Hacked Play Kitchen

Ikea Play Kitchen Painted

Okay we all know I can go a little overboard at times, yes? And sometimes I’ll admit that I’m not sure if I can actually pull off what I’ve dreamed up or not. This was one of those projects.

Almost a year ago we started talking about getting E a play kitchen. I spent some time looking at what was out there, and trying to decide what we wanted. A lot of them were pretty, but a bit plastic, and I wasn’t sure how well they’d hold up.

I kept seeing great reviews about the Ikea play kitchen, and how it holds up for YEARS. But it was pretty boring and plain for me. Fine, but it wasn’t exciting me. And then I found a lot of blog posts about people adding and changing details, and effectively hacking the kitchen to make it their own. There were so many things you could do! And my creative mind got excited. Really excited.

I started picking colors and dreaming up countertops… it was almost like I was planning an actual kitchen. And yes, I went way overboard. Here’s the official before and after:

Ikea Play Kitchen Before After

Here’s what I did:

  • I painted the lower cabinets grey, and the upper cabinets white.

  • I swapped the plastic door pulls for ones that match our actual kitchen drawer pulls.

  • I covered the countertop with butcher block contact paper to make it look wood

  • I added a back to the kitchen and covered it with a tiled contact paper to make it look like subway tiles

  • I painted the sink, faucet and outside of the stove. You can’t really tell, but it’s a shinier, darker grey

  • I painted the hanging rod (and the hooks on it)

  • I put under cabinet lights as well as a light in the microwave.

  • I added a hook on the side to hang up aprons

Ikea Play Kitchen Hack Edits

And yes it took forever, and yes it’s insane, but it makes me SO HAPPY. It’s exactly what I wanted, I had fun making it, and E loves it. I really hope that him and G play with it for years to come. We decided to give it to E a day before his birthday, since there was no school and he’d already been home for the three days prior, and we were all getting a little bored.

He’s spent all week cooking and serving us all breakfast. His best friend got him some kitchen stuff for his birthday that are ORANGE, so of course he’s been using those all the time.

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