IKEA Hack: Building Your Child’s Dream DUKTIG Play Kitchen

Follow along with us as we update this post in the coming weeks…

After discovering an endless number of hacks to bling out your child’s DUKTIG play kitchen on Pinterest and Google, my husband and I decided to embark on one for our own. In early January, we brought home the kitchen in the standard IKEA flat box, along with several other accessories from IKEA. Our little was just 14 months then. In the coming two months, we also acquired pieces from Lowe’s, CostPlus World Market, Target, Amazon, Costco, Joann Fabric and beyond. Now that she’s walking and with Easter quickly approaching, we thought it was time to start assembly.

Most all of the parts are here, except for the Land of Nod wooden play food (on backorder), her broom (out of stock and to be ordered soon), the sheet metal for the refrigerator (since we needed to construct the VALJE first to determine what we needed to buy), her tablecloths (made with IKEA cut-your-own fabric), the spray paints, stain (seen below in separate photo) and Loctite adhesive spray.

Project Paints & Stain

As we acquired items and saw favorite hacks online, we started a list of notes of exactly what we wanted to do to customize her play kitchen.

Shopping List (with Products Hyperlinked Where Possible):

Unfortunately, the DUKTIG is a single piece, with sink, countertop, shelves, microwave, and oven all built into one center. But, lacking a common appliance: a refrigerator. After looking online for options, just nothing seemed to suit our needs…especially in that we didn’t want it to be overly expensive. On a return visit to IKEA, we stumbled upon two VALJE clearance items, that when stacked would make a perfect fridge and freezer combo.  The smaller piece was on sale for $15 and the larger on sale for $25.

IKEA VALJE Last Chance Item

IKEA VALJE Last Chance Item

IKEA Hack Refrigerator Parts, VALJESo, we actually decided to assemble this first, since we knew one of the things we wanted to do to it was make the door fronts’ magnetic. And, by assembling it, we would be able to measure the doors and see how attaching a thin piece of sheet metal would work and allow for free movement of the doors.  Both doors were about 12 and 3/16″ wide. The smaller one, was similarly tall. The larger one, was 25 and 3/16″ tall.  We paid a visit to Lowe’s, our favorite home improvement store, and found thin sheet metal that worked with her magnets (we took one along with us to the store to check for a perfect match). We also bought Loctite Professional Performance Adhesive Spray, in order to attach them to the VALJE fronts. We were originally thinking small tacks in the corners, but we didn’t find anything initially that was as shallow depth as the doors.

IKEA Hack Refrigerator Parts, VALJE
Minus the sheet metal and door handles, the parts that would assemble for the play refrigerator.
See “Etsy Order + DIY Project: Creating Our Family’s Mobile Growth Chart,” for more information about the project seen on the wall in the background.

The other thing we did, mind you we were limited to working during her 2.5-hour afternoon naptime, was separate the parts that were to be spray painted a different color. We happened to have some Minwax Wood Finish Early American stain on hand, so we decided to go the route of staining the counter top. Several hack projects online use contact paper to wrap the counter top, but the one we liked most, used stain. Also, we decided to spray paint all other “wood” colored parts in satin white, leaving just the counter top in a wood tone. We are painting all of the handles (which we subbed out for IKEA TAG handles), the faucet, metal sheets, metal rod, “s” hooks, legs, and a silver-toned flower pot in a brushed bronze color. The sink and the edge of the stove top will be spray painted in a glossy white, similar to that of a “farmhouse sink.” The interior of the oven will be painted in a dark gray paint we recently painted a contractor-basic vanity in our house in. And, finally, black spray paint to have a border on the interior glass of the oven door.

Parts Organized by Color


After reviewing that list of notes we had made over the two months, we separated the pieces into their five groupings for spray painting. At this point, we opened up the DUKTIG box, in order to get at the chrome- and wood-colored parts inside.

Next, we taped off the stove top, using painter’s tape so that just the border would show for spray painting. We left the clear protectant film on the stove top, but peeled it back slightly and recovered with the tape, if it happened to overlap the silver border anywhere. I also used my fingernail to make sure the small divet between the stove top and the border was precisely covered with the tape. I found that working on the corners first and cutting the rounded corners with scissors seemed to help. It was then easy to fill in the remainder of the straight-edge area.


Similarly, albeit a little more complicated, also taped off the inside of the oven door (the side with more holes in it), leaving just the part to be spray painted black exposed. We did this in a 1″ border, marking teeny tiny little dots at the corners, which actually wiped off by touch. Using my fingernail, I made sure the tape that wrapped inside the door frame didn’t accidentally cover the glass, and pushed it slightly underneath the frame. In order to do the rounded corners, I used one of the spray paint cans on hand, along with an X-ACTO knife and lightly scored the painters tape in order to peel it away.




IKEA DUKTIG Oven Door Front

After taping out the necessary items, it was now onto likely the biggest task of all: painting!

We primarily used spray paint in order to speed up the painting process a bit.

Our first color was satin black for the interior of the oven door.

Duktig Oven Door

You’ll notice a small clear line above the top of the black paint. Apparently the glass can shift in place and when tape is removed, gravity will force it down. Tip: hold the oven door upright as you begin to tape it out, to keep the glass in its final position prior to spray painting. We’re not too worried about it, and may correct it later with a paint brush and tape, however use this tip to your advantage.

At the same time, we focused on the “outdoor plastic” glossy white paint for the edge of the stovetop and the “farmhouse-style” sink.  Now is also a good time to mention a couple of key points: Wear a respirator / dust mask to reduce your chemical intake. Don’t spray paint in the wind. We noticed some crackly patterns appearing in some of our paint, which we were able to wipe off and repaint. Also, keep your distance, and do thin, even, directional coats. Use primer where recommended by your local hardware store professionals. And, we found a can of “duster” solution to be helpful to clear any particles from pieces just before painting them.

Duktig Sink

Duktig Sink

Duktig Sink


DUKTIG Stovetop

We opted to work on these pieces first, for two reasons: 1) they were the pieces that were taped out and required more attention to detail and 2) they were the paint colors that had the fewest number of pieces to test the waters with our setup.

Our lesson learned after we painted the stovetop is that we should have removed the “burner” top from the frame, as it was relatively easy to do (and then used painter tape to tape off the relevant inside parts). Paint unfortunately did get under the edge of the tape a bit and to no avail could we get it cleaned up again. We ended up solving the problem by using burnable DVDs (4.75″) with tape over the eye, over the 4″ diameter ranges (using small pencil marks to get them centered correctly), to spray the top of the range to cover up the faux pas. Once we removed the DVDs, we clear coated the entire surface of the range before popping it back into the stovetop frame.

DUKTIG Stovetop


Next up, it was time to start coating the brushed bronze pieces. Most of these we hit with a clear coat first. This was the metal flower pot, the two pieces of metal purchased for the front of the freezer and refrigerator, the faucet, the rod, the “S” hooks that we bought, plus the ones supplied with the DUKTIG, the legs, and the TAG handles.  Here’s a sampling of the process:

Brushed Bronze Pieces
Laying all the pieces to be spray painted out on surfaces we didn’t care about.
TAG Drawer Pulls

For the TAG handles, we hit the underside, from both sides, before hitting the top. This was to cover any imperfections with the most visible side done last.

TAG Drawer Pulls


Not only does the faucet head pivot, but the faucet knob turns. Once the coat is dry, turn the knob, in order to easily spray paint the underside.



Sheet Metal Facade for VALJE


Flower Pot


Brushed Bronze Pieces Drying
It was a partially cloudy, 80-degree day outside, so we moved the pieces outside for the final coat and to dry.

Simultaneously, while I worked on the brushed bronze pieces, the dear husband used an electric sander to remove the clear coat off the surface of the counter top. He then applied a coat of Early American-colored stain to the piece (top surface, and the front, left, and right edges only) which absorbed nicely.

DUKTIG Counter Top Prep Work
Sand the surface with 120 grit sandpaper.
DUKTIG Counter Top
Use rubber gloves, as stain can be quite messy.
For even staining, you’ll need an even sand job. We like how this is a bit “imperfect,” as we want our final kitchen hack to look vintage anyway. This photo was taken after two coats of Early American-colored stain and prior to two coats of matte polyurethane.

To end the day, we applied Kilz in spray-paint form, to all remaining “wood-colored” pieces, so that our entire kitchen would be white, except for the beautifully stained counter top.

DUKTIG Children's Play Kitchen

Next up: finishing the white satin spray-painted pieces, clear coating nearly all the painted pieces. And, then it’s assembly time!

We resume tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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