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How to Hack an Ikea Bekvam Step Stool

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If you’re looking for an Ikea Bekvam step stool hack, you’ve come to the right place! Learn how you can quickly and easily paint this IKEA stool to give it a worn look. This simple DIY is easily adaptable and you can change your step stool to any color you want.

Finished and painted Ikea bekvam step stool.

IKEA Stool Upcycle

It’s always a good day when I go to visit Ikea. I have never come back empty handed. Last time I had gone I bought me a Bekvam step stool. It was a necessity because I’m on the short side, 5 foot 2 inches and needed it to reach all of my upper cabinets in the kitchen.

I let it sit there for a few months mulling over what I would do with it. Until this week when I had a brilliant idea. 

I didn’t want it to look new, because you know I’d mess it up anyway with all the use. Instead I’d speed up the process and make it look old.  But with a little help from my paints. And so today I will show you how to get an easy worn look for an Ikea Bekvam step stool.

Materials I Used to Hack This Ikea Bekvam Step Stool

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Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in everlasting.

How to Hack an Ikea Bekvam Step Stool

It’s made of solid birch, but I wanted to paint it with something so it would be easy to clean but at the same time have an old worn look to it. You know I use it all the time. Before starting on this project I gave it a good wipe down with a vinegar and water solution. ​​

Ikea Bekvam step stool made with natural wood.

Disclosure: I was compensated for doing this post with product.  However, all the opinions stated here are my own. I only use products I love and would recommend to my viewers. 

I had Americana Chalky Finish in Everlasting white but wanted to go with a different color.  So I added a tiny bit of black acrylic paint to make a gray color.

Mixing white chalky paint with black acrylic paint.

I was not happy and wanted to warm it up a bit so I added a tiny bit of yellow for good measure.

Adding yellow paint to the gray mixture.

I then painted the whole Ikea bekvam step stool. I was really very pleased with the warm grayish color.

Top of the Ikea Bekvam step stool.

​The whole thing was painted and then sanded down so it would be nice and smooth and the wax would go on nicely. The color looks a bit blue here because of the light but you can see that the entire Ikea Bekvam stool was painted.

The painted underside of the Ikea Bekvam step stool.

At this point I was indecisive about how to finish off my Ikea step stool makeover.

Should I use a wax?  Should I use a varnish to give it a hard finish?  Which should I apply first?

I knew that I wanted to add a bit more warmth to it with a dark colored wax.  But I had no idea if I could add varnish as well.

This went on in my mind for a while, till finally after speaking with a few friends – it’s always good to have blogger friends , I decided I would play it safe this time and not mess with the varnish.

So I applied some Cream Wax first.

Americana Decor Creme Wax.

​And then I added the darker wax, Daddy Van’s Cafe Noir. The cream wax serves to create a base for the Cafe Noir wax so that it will go on smoother and not penetrate as much. You can also not use the cream wax and just go with the darker wax, but I was so afraid I’d mess up I wanted as much control as I could get.

Adding the dark wax on top of the cream wax on the stool.

Below you can see how it has warmed up the left side of the stool step.

Showing the warm look of the dark wax on the Ikea Bekvam step stool.

​Next I used one of these round brushes which really helps to get the wax in all the nooks and crannies. Then I used the clean towel to rub the excess off.

Adding the dark wax with the round brush.

I even added some distressing along the way.  I’m kind of sloppy like that.  I know I should do the distressing first and then add the waxes, but things have a way of going the other way sometimes. That’s okay!

Distressing the stool.

And here is my “old” new Ikea Bekvam stool.

Finished and painted Ikea bekvam step stool.

I wish you could see it in person. The gray is really warm and along with the distressing it gives the wooden stool a cozy worn look that I love.

Close up of the distressed step stool.

​Now I’ll be able to reach the top cabinets in the kitchen in style!

Top view of the finished and painted Ikea bekvam step stool.

Sometimes I like to put things on there too, because I have too much stuff right now and no place to put them.

The Ikea stool, painted grey, with a  blue planter on top.

In the future I will be trying out the other method with the varnish first and then the wax to see how it turns out.  You all know I can’t help myself, I just have to try new to me techniques and products.

A blue planter filled with an aloe plant on top of a painted Ikea Bekvam step stool.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this easy Ikea bekvam step stool hack.

Doing things like this makes me learn a lot about myself. When I first started blogging I never liked this distressed look, but since then I have come to embrace these old worn pieces. And if you don’t have them, why not create your own? This is why I wanted to show you how to get an easy worn look for your Ikea stool, or any piece of furniture.

Now I need your help.  Do you ever add varnish first and then the wax?

A blue planter on top of the finished Ikea Bekvam step stool, with text overlay "worn look for Ikea Bekvam stool."

More Paint Projects:

daybed upcycle with paint in white and blue.
Daybed Upcycle

Dictionary Stand painted with chalky type paint
Dictionary Stand Upcycle

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Tuesday 31st of July 2018

I have this stool and years ago I painted it an ugly brown....I've been wondering what to do with it now....ideas ideas....Thanks!

Rena Christodoulou

Monday 5th of February 2018

Έγινε πολύ ωραίο το σκαμνί σου Μαίρη . Έχω το ίδιο και μάλλον θα το προσπαθήσω σύντομα. Σωστά έβαλες πρώτα το διάφανο κερί και μετά το σκούρο. Δεν μπορείς να βάλεις βερνίκι και μετά κερί. Δεν θα πιάσει το κερί επάνω στο βερνίκι. Καλή συνέχεια και φιλάκια πολλά .

Michelle Leslie

Monday 5th of February 2018

I just love the way you kinda go with the flow when it comes to doing something Mary. There's no fuss and big fancy words, just honest to goodness "hey I'm going to try this". Was the distressing you did on the bottom step intentional, because it really looks like a well worn spot where your feet would go.


Monday 5th of February 2018

I've never used varnish then wax. I'm not sure what purpose that would serve, unless I'm missing something? It seems to me the main use for the wax would be to get a slightly different color if desired and a bit of protection, but the varnishes only purpose is protection. xxx

Pat Rios

Monday 5th of February 2018

I love it Mary! It’s the perfect rustic, greyish, brownish finish. It has so much charm now.

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