Are you ready for the cutest IKEA hack in a while? Using the IKEA MULA cart (from the kid section), and some Homestead Milk Paint, you can transform a melamine toy cart into a retro race car, perfect for your stuffie’s next weekend in Monaco at the Grand Prix.
Painting over melamine aka most IKEA products, is actually totally doable using Milk Paint, you just need the right prep and the right products.
How to paint over IKEA Melamine
Homestead makes a product called Bonding Agent, which is meant to be mixed with your base coat. But before we get into that, they also recommend using the Fusion TSP agent to clean the surface. You can also lightly sand, but I did this entire car with just a TSP cleaning and some Bonding Agent.
Using Bonding Agent
Because the green that the cart comes in, is not the colour I wanted, I started by painting the entire thing in Homestead’s Raw Silk. In total, I used ¾ cup of Raw Silk + ¾ cup of water (as a reminder, Milk Paint is prepared with a 1:1 ratio of Milk Paint powder to water). It took 3 coats to get the coverage I wanted.
I added about ⅛ cup of Bonding Agent to that mix in order to get the coverage and bonding required.
Sanding in between coats
You have the option of lightly sanding in between coats to buff out any pigment that may not have been mixed in correctly, but I only did it when I absolutely needed to.
Painting IKEA melamine
Once the base was prepped, I used Maritime Blue for the body of the car. First though, I used the lid of a mason jar to draw a circle on each side (where the race car number will go), and to create a little seating area behind it (closer to the back axel). I also applied a piece of painter’s tape along the bottom to create another racing stripe.
After 2 coats of Maritime Blue, I used Coal Black (about 1 tablespoon worth) to outline the circles, car lights, stripe along the bottom etc. I also used some already pre-mixed Garden Seed to add car lights.
Each car design should be unique and interesting, so if you flip through vintage racing posters (or just Pinterest) you’re bound to find some great inspiration.
Finishing your project
You have the option of sealing the finished product with Hemp Oil, or a natural salad bowl finish as both eco friendly options.
IKEA MULA Race Car Hack
By turning the MULA into a vintage race car, your kid's toys can cruise around the living room in style, toddler in tow.
We'd love to see what you make! Share your completed project with us in the Paint It Beautiful Facebook Group.