IKEA hack: 5 easy steps to makeover the Duktig play kitchen

IKEA hack: 5 easy steps to makeover the Duktig play kitchen

Interiors expert Ellie Tennant shows you how to transform IKEA’s popular toy kitchen from boring to beautiful

ikea duktig childrens toy play kitchen hack

Photo credit: IKEA

If your toddler loves pretending to ‘cook’ then it might be time to invest in a play kitchen, so your tot can have their own little space while you get on with the real cooking.

IKEA’s trusty Duktig kitchen is a great option – it’s affordable (£59), sturdy, easy to build and the hob lights up thanks to batteries concealed beneath. What’s not to love?

Well, it’s a bit boring. With grey plastic handles, the white and beige cabinets, it’s all perfectly practical but not particularly pretty. Give your Duktig a super-stylish makeover by following Ellie Tennant's five easy steps. 

Step one: read the instructions

ikea duktig childrens toy play kitchen

Photo credit: Ellie Tennant

First, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the Duktig instructions and the components, so you know which bits you need to paint. Ellie saved herself time and some paint by leaving the inside of the cupboards, the cupboard shelves and the microwave unpainted. Instead, she used paper and masking tape to cover up the areas that didn’t need paint.

Be sure to use spray-paint in a well-ventilated area – ideally outside, but check the weather forecast is dry and not breezy. Always wear a mask and gloves and avoid breathing in the spray.

Ellie used the cardboard box that the kitchen came in to protect her paving slabs, plus some bin bags, paper and plastic sheeting, and still managed to spray-paint parts of her patio. So be careful, as the paint particles mist out further than you’d expect, and make sure you wear old clothes.

Step two: prime and print

how hack the ikea dugtik play kitchen toy kitchen

Photo credit: Ellie Tennant

Ellie used PlastiKote Primer in white on every element she planned to paint, then let it dry for 24 hours. Next, she applied a top coat of PlastiKote Multi-surface Spray Paint in Matt Grey to the cabinets and the main body of the kitchen, a top coat of PlastiKote Multi-surface Spray Paint in Gloss White to the sink and used PlastiKote Metallic Gold on the taps, the hob surround and the hanging rail plus hooks.

You need to allow plenty of time to do this, as for many of the elements you need to spray one side, then wait until that side is dry before turning it over to spray the reverse. Ideally, you need to allow at least 24 hours between sides/coats. If you have the time, the paint and the energy, two top coats would be better than one.

Even if you are planning not to paint the inside of the cupboard, the oven and the microwave, you will need to paint at least a 2cm strip at the entrance to the microwave and around the other two doors as these areas will show, even when the three doors are closed fully.

You will also need to paint the edge of the middle upright panel that separates the oven and cabinet doors. Ellie only realised this once she'd built the unit and she had to re-spray areas, which was really annoying and involved a lot of masking.

Step three: cover the worktop

ikea duktig childrens toy play kitchen worktop

Photo credit: Ellie Tennant

Use a sheet of sticky-back plastic to cover the worktop. Ellie used D-C-Fix Original Marmi Deco Self-Adhesive Film in Grey (67.5cm x 2m), £5 from Wilko.

Apply it slowly and carefully, working from one end and smoothing as you go to remove air bubbles. Pierce holes in the film where there are pre-drilled holes for screws etc – this will save headaches later on.

Cut out large holes for the hob and sink afterwards, from the reverse, using a craft knife and/or scissors. Ellie turned over flaps of the plastic to create a neat edge. You will need to make lots of small cuts at the curved corners in order to fold the edges over neatly.

Step four: swap the handles


Photo credit: Ellie Tennant

You could spray paint the three grey plastic handles, but Ellie chose to swap them for some brass ones she found on eBay for £1 each.

Luckily, the grey plastic Duktig handles are the same size as many standard kitchen drawer handles, with 128mm between the centres of the holes for fixing screws, which means you have a wide choice of lovely handles you can use, instead, if you do decide to swap them.

Beware - the IKEA pre-drilled holes for the plastic handles are very large, so your new handles might look a bit weird inside them, and sit too close to the door face to be of much use.

Ellie got around this issue by ordering some inexpensive little brass drawer knobs to use as oven control dials and she used the brass surrounds from the knobs to cover the huge pre-drilled holes and ensure the door handles were fixed in the correct position. 

Step 5: put it all together

ikea duktig childrens toy play kitchen finished 

Photo credit: Ellie Tennant

Follow IKEA’s instructions to build your beautiful kitchen, taking care not to scratch your painted surfaces with tools. Once it was constructed, Ellie measured the size of the cubby hole openings and cut two sheets of cardboard to fit, then covered them with Liberty-print fabric and super-glued them in place. 

She also covered a piece of thick cardboard with her marble-print film and superglued it to the back of the kitchen to create a stylish splash-back.

Ellie super-glued a vintage ceramic tap insert that she found in a junk shop to the tap, to give it an authentic look. Ellie added the brass oven dial knobs and screwed a small brass hook on to the side of the unit so there is a place to store a bag and an apron.

She had to use a drill to make two small holes in order to fit this hook as the MDF is so solid it’s impossible to just screw into otherwise. Finally, she bought an iron-on Liberty-print fabric initial for £1 from GemimaLondon on Etsy and personalised a small white muslin cloth as a mini tea towel.

And ta-da!

Follow Ellie on Twitter @Ellie_Tennant


Have you revamped a toy for your little one? Tweet us at @GurgleUK or follow our Facebook page.



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