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HomeRight offered a challenge to their brand ambassadors.
They offered to send us one of the IKEA Tarva 3 drawer chests and then have at it – An IKEA Tarva Hack.
There are three things I have never passed up in life:
1. A Good Challenge
2. Free Furniture
3. Cheap Beer
My fingers and toes and arms and legs were crossed in hopes that I would be one of the five chosen ambassadors drawn from a hat for this challenge.
And I was.
*Insert 7th grade girl squeal here, along with fist bumps.*
So what did I turn my chest into?
A drink bar.
A green one.
With pretty gold accents.
To say that I’m happy with this piece is an understatement.
I am still bouncing off the ceiling, throwing confetti, fist bumping the air excited about this piece.
IKEA Tarva turned Bar Cabinet
#1: Put the “frame” together
First off, I put the piece all together just as the directions from IKEA said to with the exception of the drawer slides. I just skipped that part. When the directions started telling me to put together the drawers, I stopped and had this:
#2: Construct the doors
The second thing I did was construct the doors. I wanted to use as much of the wood as I possibly could from this piece so I used the drawer fronts to make the two doors.
I made the doors by first lining up all three of the drawer fronts and clamping them together. I measured to the middle of the top drawer front, then used our miter saw to cut right down the middle of all three drawer fronts. This left me with six pieces – three for each door. (#1 in the photo above.)
Next, I found some pieces of wood that could be used to hold all three pieces of wood together to make a door. I used two drawer sides (that came with the Tarva) for each door and some scrap pieces I had laying around. (#2 in the photo above.)
After I laid out the wood pieces to hold the backs of my doors together, I put glue on the pieces and clamped them down to the door front. (#3 in the photo above.)
Finally, I ran some glue along the backside seams of the door as well (where the old drawer fronts meet). (#4 in the photo above.)
I let the glue fully cure for one day, then I flipped the doors over and filled in the gaps of what were the drawer fronts with wood putty. I also filled the holes that had been pre-drilled for the hardware as well. After the putty was dry, I sanded it smooth.
#3: Construct the Shelves
The bottom shelf is pretty easy. All you do is measure the inside bottom of the frame and cut out a piece of MDF to that size. Leave about a 1/2 inch of clearance in the front so that those wood pieces (I’m sure there is a technical word for those, but you know I don’t do technical) on the back of your doors will have room. After you have your piece cut, run wood glue along the bottom inside edges of the chest and place your piece of wood on top.
The photo above doesn’t show it, but you will need to put some weight on the shelf to make sure it gets a good grip with the wood glue and the chest’s frame. I did this with the super
technical resourceful method of stealing landscape bricks from my yard and placing a few around the edges.
For the top shelf:
Take two of the remaining drawer sides that came with the chest and cut 3/4″ off the short sides. I once more clamped them together and did this with my miter saw. (#1 and #2 in the photo below.)
After they were cut, I measured 8 3/4″ down from the inside top of the chest and put the pieces there. Apply wood glue to the back of the pieces first, then clamp them to the chest’s frame making certain they are level. Use small screws to attach them to the frame and then remove the clamps. (#3 and #4 in the photo above.) Do this on both sides.
Make the top shelf the same way you made the bottom one by measuring the inside of the chest. Apply wood glue to the wood pieces on the edges and then place your shelf on top and weight it down for a little while.
#4: Paint It, Baby!
Here’s the fun and easy part – paint it!
I used my HomeRight FinishMax Pro (which as you can see in the photo above works overtime for me) to paint this piece. The paint I used is a new find for me. It is called Velvet Finishes and requires no priming or topcoat. I used the Baroque color in my sprayer and gave the chest three light coats. The paint worked just fine in the sprayer – just needs watering down a bit. The sprayer gave the paint a flawless finish. After the paint dried, I used a dark glaze over the entire piece to give it a bit more dimension.
#5: Attach the Doors
I Grunt Labor did this with simple utility hinges that I picked up at our local hardware store. Screw them onto your doors first and then onto the edges of the chest that are facing you. (Make sense?)
*I must pause here and give a big thank you to Grunt Labor and Bill. Remember how I said the easy part was painting the chest? It totally was. Making the doors and shelves were pretty easy too. However, for me the hardest thing was lining up the hinges correctly to make sure the doors were even. Grunt Labor and Bill swooped in and saved me from an imminent meltdown on that one. Thank you, guys.
#6: Add the Hardware
I used two of the knobs that came with the chest, but I gave them what I’m proclaiming to be a “gold nugget” look with my HomeRight Heat Gun. I’ll post the tutorial for those soon. I also added flat L corner braces to the corners of each of the doors.
And the result is…
See those gold nugget beauties?
I added a towel hook on the back of one door for easy towel access and (more importantly) easy bottle opener access.
I also spiced up the back interior of the cabinet with black and gold polka dotted wrapping paper.
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And here are five more IKEA Tarva hacks!
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