DIY #2 - IKEA IVAR Cabinet Hack

I was looking for a new sideboard for our living room and I couldn't find anything that wasn't too deep for our space AND that was in a colour I liked. So I decided to DIY one using the very popular IVAR cabinet from IKEA! 💡

Before / After

What you need:

  • 2 IKEA IVAR Cabinets - $110 each

  • 1L Dulux Aquanamel Low Gloss Paint in the colour of your choice, I went for Grand Piano Half - $51

  • 1 Square edge moulding coverstrip 20 x 4mm in 2.4m (if you can find one that is thiner, that would be even better) - $10 from Bunnings

  • 5 Leggz leg furniture 150mm square - $3.79 each from Bunnings

  • 1 wood bench top - I purchased a 1800 x 405 x 18mm panel from Bunnings for $39.90

  • 4 Cabinet pulls - I went for the Tezra cabinetry T pull brushed brass from ABI Interiors for a luxurious finish ($14.90 each) but you can find cheaper alternatives online or from your hardware store

  • 8 Flat head nails

  • Paint brush (any brush shape would do) + Wool paint roller

  • Wood filler

  • Wood glue

  • Sand paper

  • Saw (or you can ask your hardware store to cut everything for you)

  • Drill

  • Hammer

Total cost:

This gorgeous new cabinet cost me $400


This DIY took me about 3.5 hours + drying time

Step 1. Assemble your IVAR cabinets

Follow the IKEA instructions to assemble your 2 cabinets

Step 2. Hide the unaesthetic gap between the doors

- Cut the moulding coverstrips to have 2 x 83cm pieces (I actually used a cutter to do this instead of the saw)

- Sand the ends

- Fix these pieces to the middle of each cabinet with the flat head nails. Once you've done this, you won't be able to move the shelves anymore so make sure they are at the right height. If you want to be able to move the shelves later, you could glue the moulding coverstrips to the doors instead

Step 3. Hide nails and connectors

- Use wood filler to hide all nails and connectors

- Slightly sand with sand paper for a smooth finish

Step 4. Paint the cabinets

Paint the cabinet in your chosen colour, with Dulux Aquanamel low gloss paint. I tested two colours directly on the cabinet to help me make a decision. I chose Dulux Grand Piano Half instead of a plain white, for a more sophisticated look. You will need to do 2 or 3 coats depending on the colour you choose and the amount of paint you apply.

Step 5. Attach the two cabinets together

Use the hardware provided with the cabinets to attach them together from the back. You can also glue the two cabinets together.

Step 6. Add the legs

- Saw the legs to your desired shape / height

- Sand them

- Paint them the same colour as your cabinets

- Glue the legs to the bottom of your cabinets with a strong wood glue

Step 7. Install the bench top

- Saw the bench top so it's the same size as the top of your cabinets: 160cm x 30cm. You could have this done at your local hardware store if you don't want to saw it yourself

- Sand the edges

- Glue the bench top to the cabinets

Step 8. Fix the cabinet pulls

It's time to add the final touch with the cabinet pulls!

- Drill holes in the doors where you want to fix the pulls (make sure you measure correctly so they're all at the same height)

- Screw the pulls

Et voila! You've got a beautiful customised sideboard, for a fraction of what you would have paid in a furniture store 💪


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