The Millennial Mom Times

IKEA Play Kitchen Remodel

September 25, 2019

For a couple of weeks, I had been thinking constantly about getting Little Drew and Jade a play kitchen. Even before birthing my children, I knew the play kitchen I would get when the time was right—the famous IKEA DUKTIG kitchen. I’ll admit—I saw this kitchen in every single mother’s aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed and just knew one day that I, too, would have this kitchen in my house. The only issue with the kitchen that I had was that it was so Plain Jane. I didn’t know it could be hacked and customized into a much more charming looking kitchen though.

Fast forward to three weeks ago when I began doing my research on the kitchen and realized just how many tweaks parents have made to these little play kitchens so they can be even more special. There are a ton of blogs on these remodels and for a DIY kind-of-gal, I was beguiled.

The project was not difficult, just time consuming. Big Drew and I dedicated an entire Sunday to building and transforming the play kitchen and then letting it dry overnight.

This is what the play kitchen from Ikea will look like if you build it and don’t remodel it:

This is my transformed play kitchen:

So, down below, I will share the entire process for you so you can decide if this is a project you’d like to take on for your kid(s).


  1. DUKTIG Play Kitchen
  2. Batteries (not sold with the kitchen but you’ll need them for the cooktop lights)
  3. White Foam Display Board (36×48)
  4. Textured Subway Tile Peel & Stick Wallpaper
  5. All Surface Paint + Primer in Metallic Gold
  6. Spray-paint: Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Paint + Primer in Ultra Matte Nantucket Blue
  7. Spray-paint: Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Paint + Primer in White Gloss
  8. Seasonal kitchen décor (optional): dish towel, pumpkins, apron, etc.


I took every single piece out of the box and laid them out into piles for Big Drew. He was in-charge of assembling the kitchen. FYI, Ikea has a pamphlet for step-by-step building procedures but don’t expect any of the wood pieces to have labels. So get yourself someone who is handy with building and following visuals only.

I spray-painted the sink, faucet, stove’s perimeter, rod, kitchen legs, and cabinet handles metallic pure gold. It was left outside for an hour drying in the shade.

Side Note: Some people change the handles and purchase different tags or knobs, but I kept the original ones.

Big Drew assembled the bottom part without the cabinet front doors because those doors would be spray-painted Nantucket Blue. The sides of the kitchen cabinets were left exposed because I wanted to keep some of the original character. If someone saw the kitchen, I would still want them to recognize it was from IKEA but tweaked by me.

The counter top was originally supposed to have a faux butcher block contact paper, but I later changed my mind. I left the kitchen countertop bare because I knew my daughter would find the crease and rip the entire adhesive paper off. My hard work and dedication wasted.

The top portion of the kitchen was assembled in two parts because I did use the white gloss spray paint to paint the microwave area and shelving up top.

The handles to the microwave and cabinets were installed after everything was dried to the touch. However, we allowed twenty-four hours before allowing the kids to play with anything just in case.

The last step was to create the faux subway tile back splash, which I did not take any part in. I give 100% credit to Big Drew. He peeled off the adhesive contact paper, measured the foam board, and made sure all of the tiles properly lined up. He then nailed the poster board into the back of the kitchen.

Some people have stuck on LED lights, but I decided not to buy any from Amazon to include in the kitchen. My daughter would find a way to remove them for fun because she is a destructive one-year-old!

So, yeah, that was our Sunday Family DIY project! We loved how it turned out and how fairly simple the entire process was. Our kids LOVE the kitchen. It is a pain to come home after work every evening to a messy playroom, but it is worth it. The kitchen will be used for years to come. When they are much older and can understand, we’ll tell them we made them that kitchen. It will mean even more to them so I can’t wait for that day.

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