Oops, I did it again. Not listening to Britney anymore, but I did another DIY Ikea Tarva hack! My first hack was completed last year – it was a super simple DIY and we get a lot of use out of them in our entryway. They are great pieces of affordable furniture that provide a lot of storage. After I realized our master needed a lot more storage, using the dressers as nightstands seemed like the perfect solution.
It’s the second week of the One Room Challenge and I’m still so excited about our room update. In case you missed week one, check it out and see my design plans for our master bedroom and all about the One Room Challenge.
I was inspired by this console from Studio McGee and knew I had to re-create the look. It’s a fairly simple DIY that anyone can do! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you might have seen my Stories and sneak peeks of this project. (post contains affiliate links, see disclosure)
DIY Ikea Hack – Modern Graphic Dresser
- Ikea Tarva dresser
- stain of choice, I used Minwax Weathered Oak and Minwax Dark Walnut
- Minwax White Wash Pickling
- Foam Brushes
- Bristle Paintbrush
- Old Rag or T-shirt
- Fine Grit Sanding Block
- White Craft Paint, I used Martha Stewart Wedding Cake
- Small Artist Paintbrush
- Blue Painters Tape
- Measuring Tape
- Drafting Triangle
- Polyurethane, I used Minwax Spray Clear Satin
- steel wool
- drawer pulls of choice, I used these HERE
As I mentioned, this project is super simple but a little time-consuming. The first step is putting the dressers together. Again, its Ikea so looking at pictures for instructions instead of reading them can be a little difficult. I put them both together one afternoon while catching up on my reality shows.
Ps. if you’d like you can skip this step and put the dressers together after everything has been stained and painted. I personally didn’t stain the insides or sides of my drawers and trying to figure out what sides and pieces to stain was too much for me.
After the dressers are put together, using the backside of one of the drawers I tested some stain colors and decided which steps and stain to use first. The winning combination for me was first Weathered Oak, then White Wash Pickling, then a light coat of Dark Walnut, and lastly a dry brush of White Pickling again. I wanted to achieve the same look as my original inspiration and the White Wash Pickling is the best stuff ever! I used a sponge brush to apply the weathered oak stain and the bristle brush for the white pickling. The pickling goes on for a couple of minutes and then needs to be wiped off with an old t-shirt or rag.
The color of the wood still didn’t seem right to me, so luckily in the garage, I had some leftover dark stain – the dark walnut. Using an old t-shirt I wiped it on and then immediately wiped it off. I didn’t want the wood to get too dark. Then using a dry brush technique, which is basically very very little paint on the brush, I went over some areas again with the white pickling but did not wipe it off.
I started the staining and dry brushing early morning and by afternoon they were dry and ready for the design. Using my inspiration photo, I used my drafting triangle (from my design school days) to line up with the top straight edge of the drawer front and create the angle. The pre-drilled drawer pull holes are where I centered each angle. I went back and forth and traced the pattern with a pencil. To get the opposite angle, flip the triangle over and trace it again.
Use a tape measure and mark the center of the drawer to create the center angles and design. Creating the pattern on the first drawer front took longer than I expected, the pattern didn’t seem to be lining up correctly. It was then that I realized my inspiration photo had 4 drawers and mine only has 3. I then developed my own pattern, trying different techniques and angles.
Once, I had everything penciled. I used the blue tape to mask off my lines for a perfectly straight edge. Don’t worry if the lines don’t all line up perfectly, once the drawers are in place it will hardly be noticeable. Ps. if you wait to put the drawers together until the last step and place the drawer fronts butted up together – creating the design and painting the lines would be much easier.
This part of the DIY took a lot longer than I expected, it seemed tedious. It took me two nights in front of the tv to finish, but once it was complete it was SO worth it. After the white paint was all dry, I took a fine-grit sanding block and sanded down the pattern just a little in various spots. It helped make the paint not look so new and took off the raised surface from the paint.
Next, I used spray polyurethane in clear satin on the top and drawer fronts of the dresser. This step is a good idea if you don’t want the pattern wearing off or rings from a water glass on top of the dresser. I used two coats of poly and wiped them down with steel wool in between each coat for a smooth finish. Then, I installed the drawer pulls using the pre-existing holes.
Here’s a sneak peek at the dresser! Using a dresser as a nightstand is one of my favorite design ideas. They are much bigger and taller than regular nightstands and I think they anchor king size beds so much better. I did cut off 4 inches with my jigsaw from the legs to shorten the dressers to a more comfortable height. A typical rule of thumb is the nightstand should be no higher than 3 inches above the mattress.
I have a few more projects to finish up for this room. But I feel like I got a lot done this week. Now, let’s see how next week goes. 🙂 I’m so glad I decided to join the One Room Challenge! Don’t forget to check out how everyone else’s rooms are coming along!
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