IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

IKEA Nordkisa nightstand Hack

Hi friends.  I hope that everyone had a nice Easter.  I spent my Easter morning finishing up my latest IKEA hack.  Before the quarantine I bought two of the IKEA Nordkisa nightstands for my guest bedroom.  They were the perfect size for my space but they didn’t match the other furniture so I decided to give them a little upgrade!  With a few tools, some hardwood boards and some spray paint I was able to upgrade the nightstads to give them a metal and wood mix look.

Design Inspiration

I built this modern industrial desk a few years ago for my guest bedroom.  The legs are pine 2×4 boards that I sprayed with Rustoleum soft iron spray paint.  It looks very close to real metal and the desk has held up extremely well which is surprising since it gets used every single day.  The parts that aren’t sprayed are solid oak and I finished them with Minwax early american stain and a few coats of polyurethane.

DIY Modern Industrial Desk

A few months later I added oak wall shelves to the room so it was pretty clear what direction I needed to go with this nightstand hack.  Oak and soft iron metal it is!

DIY Oak Wall Shelves Free Plans

Nordkisa Nightstand Before

The IKEA Nordkisa collection is constructed of bamboo that is sealed with a clear lacquer.  The nightstands come in two sizes that vary in width.  I went with the wider one due to the size of my room.  It is 23 5/8″ wide, 26 3/4″ tall and 15 3/4″ deep.  The smaller one is the same height and depth but the width is only 15 3/4″.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

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Nordkisa Nightstand Hack Materials & Tools


(2) 1×10 x 6′ length (for top and shelf)

(1) 1/2″ x 7.25″ x 3′ hobby board (for drawer face)

IKEA Nordkisa Night Stand

Spray Paint Primer

Spray Paint (Finish Color)

Wood Stain


Wood glue

Drawer pull

Sand paper

1-1/4″ Pocket hole screws


Miter Saw 

Table Saw 


Drill Bit

Jig saw

Pocket hole jig

Router (for groove in drawer face.  You could also use table saw)

Router bit



Tape measure

Safety glasses

Dust Mask

Ear Protection

Nordkisa Nightstand Hack Directions

Step 1 – Assemble the frame

I built a new shelf, a new top and a new front drawer face.  For the rest of the nightstand I wanted it to look like metal so I assembled the frames as shown below and also laid out the drawer back and two sides to be sprayed.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Step 2 – Cut and assemble new top

I wanted a slight overhang on the new top so I cut two pieces of 1×10 to 8-3/8″ in width and 24 – 5/8″ in length which left a 1/2″ overhang on all sides.  To attach the two boards and make a “solid” top I drilled pocket holes and secured the pieces together with wood glue and 1-1/4″ screws.  Make sure that if you are using hardwood like oak that you get the proper screws.  There are variations in thread patterns for hard and soft woods.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

To keep everything aligned when I screwed the two boards together, I used several clamps as shown below.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Step 3 – Cut and assemble new shelf

The shelf was assembled the same way as the top.  The only difference is that the shelf is smaller since there is no overhang.  I cut 1×10 boards to 7-13/16″ in width and 23-3/8″ in length.  Then attached with wood glue and pocket holes/screws.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

In order to fit around the legs, I had to cut notches into each corner of the shelf that matched the original shelf.  Using the original shelf as a guide, I placed it on the new oak shelf and marked where I needed to cut in each corner.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

I then used a jig saw to make the cuts.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Step 4 – Cut new drawer face and notch for drawer bottom

For the new drawer face I used 1/2″ thick oak.  I matched the dimensions of the original drawer face which is 5-1/4″ tall and 21-11/16″ long by cutting a 1/2in x 7.5in craft board on my table saw.

Below is a picture of the original drawer face being measured.  Notice that it has a groove on the bottom where the drawer bottom rests.  To replicate this notch I used my router but if you don’t have a router you could do it on a table saw.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

My router bit was slightly larger than the existing groove so I positioned it so that the bottom would align properly and there is a very slight gap on the top.  The drawer bottom is level and sits flush which is all that matters.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack 25

Step 5 – Spray paint frame, drawer back and drawer sides

Whenever I’m spray painting something a faux metal finish I always start by applying a flat black primer.  The Rustoleum 2X works really well.  It covers great and goes on smooth.  I applied one coat of the primer.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack
IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

After the primer had fully dried I applied 3 coats of soft iron spray paint by rustoleum.  I also sprayed the drawer pulls and screws that would be visible so that they matched the color of the frame.  For the drawer sides and back it’s really only necessary to paint the outside of the drawers but I decided to paint the inside too since I had plenty of spray paint.  it gives it a more finished look when you open the drawer.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Also, I would totally recommend a spray shelter.  It’s a life saver for someone like me who doesn’t have a separate shop for finish work.  I just set it up in my garage and then I don’t have to worry about any dust or debris ruining my sprayed pieces as they dry.

Step 6 – Apply finish to new wood parts

Below are new wood parts laid out for both nightstands.  I first sanded all pieces to a smooth finish starting with 120 grit and then using 240 grit.  I then applied one coat of early american stain.  Lastly, I applied 3 coats of semi gloss polyurethane lightly sanding with 400 grit in between coats.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Step 7 – Assemble

Drawer Assembly

I started by assembling the drawer. First I attached the back and sides per IKEA’s instructions and then I slid in the bottom.  I removed the corner bamboo blocks from the front face that I wasn’t using and attached them to the sides as shown below.  Hindsight, I should have spray painted those too.  I may actually do that at a later time.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

Then I marked and drilled holes into the back of the new drawer front.  To make sure that I didn’t drill through the front of the drawer I marked my bit with tape so that I knew when to stop.  You can see an example of this in the top assembly.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

I was able to use the screws provided with the nightstand to secure the new drawer face to the rest of the drawer box.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

The last step for the drawer was to add a pull handle to the front.

Shelf assembly

Set the drawer in place and then loosen the screws on the sides of the frame to allow the frame to pull apart and provide room to slide the shelf in.  When I first started to put the shelf in I noticed that the notches didn’t align perfectly anymore and it was a little too tight.  I used a wood file to take a little bit off and then slid it in with no problem.  You’ll want to be sure not to force it since it could scrape the spray paint off of the frame.  Leave room on top of the drawer so that it slides easily.  I used two washers at each corner of the top of the drawer to align the shelf.  Then, I drilled holes into the oak shelf through the screw holes in the frame.  I used the screws provided to attach the shelf to the frame.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

Top Assembly

I turned the entire piece upside down to install the top.  First, I aligned the frame so that there was a 1/2″ overhang all around and then I marked where I needed to drill through the holes in the frame.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack
Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

I marked the depth that I needed to drill and added tape to the bit to make sure that I didn’t go through the top of the nightstand.

Ikea nordkisa nightstand hack

I used the hardware provided to attach the top (minus the dowels).  That’s it!

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack – Finished Photos

And here are the finished photos!  I love how they turned out and they definitely upgrade the room.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack
IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Here is a closer look at the finishes.  That faux metal spray paint is convincing isn’t it?

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

If you are curious, the drawer pulls are from Home Depot.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Three coats of polyurethane can be tedious but look at that sheen!  It’s totally worth it in the end.  Not only does it look fantastic, it also provides a more durable surface.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

For a little added flair I used contact paper inside the drawers.  I think I’ll go back and spray those corner pieces of bamboo.

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

And here is a look at both of them.  This room still needs some work but it’s come a long way.  I plan to build a headboard and replace the art above the bed at some point.  I also plan to either make or buy matching lamps for each nightstand.  Since we’re still in quarantine I was pretty limited on my decor.  I had to shop other parts of my house to stage these photos.

You may notice another IKEA hack in this shot.  The hanging plant holders are on the blog too!

Also, I later updated this space with some DIY lamps made out of vases!

IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack

Check out my IKEA hack page for more inspiration!

Want to save this IKEA Hack for later?  Pin it below! 🙂 

IKEA Nordkisa nightstand Hack

I kept the Nordkisa nightstand parts that I didn’t use so maybe I’ll make something else with them later. 

What do you think of this IKEA Nordkisa hack?

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  1. Wow, one would never know these are IKEA tables! I love the industrial vibe you gave them and clever idea replacing the stained parts with a much nicer oak grain. Pinned

  2. Your project turned out great! I’m debating these tables as well? Are the original tables solid wood? I’m hoping to sand them down and stain a different color

    1. Thanks Heather! The originals are solid bamboo but they have a thick clear lacquer on them. I think with enough sanding you could get it down to bare wood but it would definitely be a lot of work. I’ve read that you can stain bamboo but it doesn’t take as easily as some wood species so it requires multiple coats.

      1. Hi Hannah, just wondering, did you sand the frame at all before applying your primer and metal look spray paint? Thanks 🙂

        1. No, I just cleaned it with TSP substitute to prep it. It’s held up very well. I even hit it with the vacuum at least once a week and no chips.

  3. Wow! That makeover is beautiful! I love the idea to use pretty contact paper inside too. Thanks for sharing at The Ultimate Pinterest Party this week!

  4. That looks super cool, what a difference. I love it and would never have thought to try the effect with spray paint. Pinning so i can come back to this idea later! Thanks.

  5. What a great look! You definitely wouldn’t guess that’s not metal. I love how clearly you shared the step-by-step, too; it’s really easy to keep up with everything you did.

  6. Hi Hannah, I absolutely LOVE this!!! And I’ve been looking for nightstands forever!! I don’t have a router and not really looking to add it to my tool stash. Do you think a hardware store would do that for me? Or maybe I’ll just request it on my local neighborhood website…

    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  7. This looks great! I recently bought the same dresser. Curious if you were able to do any adjustments to help the drawer movement more graceful. It’s not one you can add a slide.

    1. Thank you! I didn’t adjust the drawers at all. Since it’s a guest room these don’t get used very often so it wasn’t a concern for me.

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