Ikea Vittsjo Hack: Antique gold with marble shelves

Gold spray paint and IKEA are made for each other, especially when it comes to this hack of their inexpensive Vittsjo shelving unit! This was a rather simple project requiring only time, attention to detail, and a little ‘let’s give it whirl’ attitude.

Before and After Ikea Vittsjo Hack with antique gold finish and marble shelves

First, let’s back track. Late last year my mom and step dad moved from our family home of forever into a fabulous condo. And if you know me, you won’t be the least bit surprised to hear that my mother immediately set about decorating, repainting, buying new rugs, updating the kitchen, and having the furniture recovered. I come by it honestly:)

One such purchase for the new space were these lovely gold leaf end tables from Union Lighting, a super simple and elegant antiqued gold finish with glass shelving. What my mom was looking for was a coordinating shelf or unit that would allow her to display some family items and items from their world travels. While she found many options she loved, the expense had her hesitating at making a commitment.

side tables from Union Lighting

side tables from Union Lighting

And then fate placed us in Ikea discussing this very topic, when we passed the Vittsjo shelving units. To which I pipped up, “I could upgrade this for you” pointing at the unit. “I’ve seen lots of others paint it gold and fancy up the shelving… I bet I could make it look like the new end tables.”

SOLD. Thank goodness for a mother’s faith in her daughter’s abilities:) Plus, I said if they didn’t like it I would keep it, so win win really:)

So I got to work getting it done. Forgive the lack of step by step photos – I was having so much snapping my way through (on Snapchat) that I forgot to save lots of the pics…)

Here is how the project got done:

The first step in transforming the basic white and glass Ikea Vittsjo unit into an antiqued gold and marble unit was to assemble the unit (mostly).


Outside it got a shit tonne LOT of spray paint. I mean a LOT! Knowing I would end up using a lot, I started out with any leftovers from random gold spray paint I had around. From there, I had planned on finishing with the Krylon Metallic Gold, but it was too rose gold once I was done a good solid coat of it. So needing more any way (and having missed some spots – which on this is crazy easy to do), I covered it in Rustoleum’s Metallic Gold. This was a much better match to the end tables.


From there I used cheap craft paint brush with stiff bristles to apply black craft paint as the antiqued finish. After each brush stroke application I made sure to dry the brush off so it didn’t get too moist. This is where the give it a whirl attitude comes in. If I made any marks with black I didn’t love, I had a damp cloth on hand to wipe it away and start over (which I did a few times).

The final step for the frame was applying a nice glossy clear coat. This really finished the piece off nicely, adding a great overall sheen. The only note of caution I would say is if this coat drips and you wipe it, it then removes ALL other paint from underneath – not ideal. I ended up having a small section drip requiring a quick touch up…ugh. So note on future use of glossy clear coats: spray lightly friends, spray lightly.

Since both the top shelf and bottom shelf are just Ikea white, it was upgraded with this contact paper I bought on Amazon. This stuff is the bees knees! I am ordering more just to have it on hand for projects – super pretty and great quality too. Plus, it went on like a breeze. A note of caution though: I had just enough (literally!) to do one side of each shelf. Thank goodness I also ordered another type of contact paper, which wasn’t nearly as glossy (or easy to apply), and ended up using that for the top of the top shelf (which you don’t really ever see).


Of course, the final step to the whole project was to transport it to my mom’s place in the city, set it up, and get busy making it look all pretty with all their pretty things.

With mom in the elevator:)

With mom in the elevator:)

This is the wall/space we started with.



unloading all Mom's loot:)

unloading all Mom’s loot:)







And the full finished space:) How lovely!


Total Cost for this project: Under $200


  1. by Laurie @Vin'yet Etc on July 7, 2016  7:56 am Reply

    That looks amazing, loved watching it on snapchat and love seeing it all in place and dressed with all of her pretty things. What a wonderful thing to do with your Mom, cherished times!

    • by Heather on July 7, 2016  8:16 am Reply

      Thanks so much Laurie:) We had such a hoot together:)

  2. by Lidia on July 7, 2017  1:17 pm Reply

    Heather what a gorgeous makeover!! I'd love the link to that contact paper please!!

    • by Heather on July 7, 2017  1:37 pm Reply

      you bet! It's this DC Fix on Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00504QXM0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - worked really well. I would TOTALLY suggest ordering more than you think you need/want - you will for sure find a use.

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