What is your nail polish storage solution? If you’ve got 10-40 polishes, there are lots of easy to use options that are interesting looking and useable (e.g. spice racks, pretty boxes, antique bathroom cabinets etc).

If you’re over the top obsessed with nail polish like me and have over 100 polishes – nail polish storage becomes tricky. Many nail art enthusiasts have taken to love the Ikea Helmer Unit which will run you about $50 CAD (each drawer holds up to 100 polishes) for nail polish storage. I’m not going to bore you with the pros and cons of the unit, as other bloggers have written great articles on this (see: manicurity or youputition). I’ve already been sold on the value of the Ikea storage unit, so what I want to show you today is how you can add your special accent to your unit by painting it with spray paint so it so it’s not so boring looking.


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Helmer Ikea Drawer Unit On Casters


I started out my brainstorming session as I usually do with my sketch book and art supplies (over a latte of course) and came up with a few different ways I could paint my Helmer to make it more ME. Here are some of the ideas I had.

helmer sketch, drawer sketch

Sketch of Helmer Unit


I love pink and grey together and I love gradients and ombre nails so I wanted to combine these things in my project.  After going debating the pros and cons of 1, 2 and 3, I finally settled on a combination of the three and decided I would keep things neutral with number 2 (greys, so I don’t get sick of it) BUT, I would add in one pink drawer.

I zipped off to Canadian Tire, Walmart and Llowes to get the full range of colors I would need (spray paint runs about $5-$7 per can).

After putting the unit together (left the handles off), I painted the entire unit and drawers separately.

Ikea helmer

spray paint ikea helmer


Tips for Spray Painting Your Helmer

  • Do spray paint in moderate weather outside as the fumes are pretty fierce (if it gets too cold then the paint dries crackly)
  • Do put enough coverage on the ground outside to protect the area you are spray painting on (I may have found this out the hard way after painting my driveway pink…)
  • Do leave the handles off the unit, as it’s easier to paint and put them on once your unit is completely dry
  • Do Apply two coats to the drawer and unit (but allow the first coat to dry fully first) (the whole unit took 1 can and each drawer took 1/4-1/2 can of paint)


The Finished Product

I’m super happy with the results. What do you think?

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Finished Painted Ombre Helmer

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The Finished Product

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nail polish storage, polish storage, ikea, ikea helmer, ombre, pink and grey gradiant, grey ombre

My creation space

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My creation space


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  1. katie

    You nailed it!!! That’s so exciting Lindsay, it really came together & mow I want a custom unit too! Keep posting great ideas, the inspiration jump starts my creativity <3

  2. lilyelle

    LOVE your paint colors! This turned out so well! I found a gray helmer unit on craigslist but was worried it would be difficult to paint … I totally forgot about using spray paint! Very excited to get started on my own color scheme now 🙂 thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Summer

    I may have to do something similar. Grey wasn’t available when I bought mine, so I had a choice of white (oh heck no I’d spill something permanent on it day one), fire engine red, or green. I went with red but I don’t love it. I know this post is over 3 years old but I found it on Pinterest!

    1. Lindsay Veling

      I still love my helmer! It really made a difference! Glad you found it 🙂 Good luck

  4. Pingback: Nails By Ikea · NAILS.TECH

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