What do you get when you take a good old-fashioned Ikea Tarva chest and combine it with some effort, a bit of paint, and some fancy drawer pulls? The prettiest and easiest Ikea Tarva Hack, that’s what!
In our house, the dining room is where everything happens. From daily meals to homework, crafting, and general purpose gathering. We badly needed storage for both dinner time accessories like place mats and trivets, but mostly for the children’s art supplies. Enter the Ikea Tarva chest. It’s affordable, the right size, and the drawers are deep enough to hold everything.
Let’s talk inspo and paint
After some deliberation, I knew I wanted a tone-on-tone effect with this project, and so the dresser and the formerly white wall it would be standing in front of, both needed a coat of paint. I decided on Benjamin Moore Gentleman’s Grey. Contrary to it’s name, Gentleman’s Grey is actually a sophisticated, rich navy blue with teal undertones. BM’s Aura is always my go-to for dark colours because it covers beautifully and is so saturated and velvety. I used the same paint for the dresser too.
In which the actual hacking begins
Here is the Ikea Tarva chest in all it’s unfinished pine glory. Faux Pro Tip: Paint the drawers separately.
These are the supplies I used to paint the dresser: a 180 point sander, Kilz Primer (I wanted something water based vs. oil based because it smells less), a Linzer brush for water-based urethane primer, and a rag. I also bought spray sealant (not pictured).
I lightly sanded the dresser all over, brushed off any residue with the rag, and then brushed on the Kilz primer. It looks white in the can but paints on translucent-ish and dries the same. I did two thin coats. Never having done a DIY before, I felt like this was probably the way to go haha.
Next, I rolled on the Gentleman’s Grey paint with a small roller and touched up any corners with a brush. The dresser took two coats plus several touch ups. I could have sworn I had “In progress” shots but I don’t- sorry about that! Here’s an After video though!
Once the dresser dried, I moved on to the drawers using the same method (sand, dust, two coats of primer). Once the drawers were painted and dry, I screwed in the hardware. I’ve always loved Anthropologie hardware but never had an occasion to use them until now. I found these gorgeous pulls in their sale bin! Such a find! The navy blue leather pulls matched the navy blue paint perfectly and there were only two left. It was serendipitous! I chose the other four pulls in a classic, curved mid-century shape and the same gold finish as the squares on the top two drawer pulls.
Once all of the painting was complete, it was on to the legs! I knew I didn’t want the Tarva’s square legs. They’re just basic blocks of wood and since our house already has a strong mid-century mod feel, I wanted to get tapered wooden legs in a walnut finish. I found the perfect legs on Amazon. They came with screws, plates, and padded sticker bottoms.
Andrew had to drill extra holes to attach the plates to the bottom of the dresser since the Tarva’s legs are attached differently. It wasn’t difficult and I think if you are handy with a drill, it should be easy for you too! One caveat though- the screws that came with the legs were a little bit too long so they kind of poke out the top of the dresser slightly, right under where the third drawer slides. Oops! We didn’t notice until we flipped the chest over. I don’t mind because it’s very subtle and, honestly, by this point I was just ready for this to be over, but please keep screw length in mind for when you attempt this.
Once the legs were on, all I had to do was slide in the drawers and voila! The easiest DIY Ikea Tarva hack was complete!
This is how our dining room looked with after the Ikea Tarva hack, all set up for Christmas dinner with the family!
As you can see, we ended up hanging up a gallery wall above the chest to round up the space and finished off the dining room with a lovely dracaena plant. Oh, and my floral displays even have their own hashtag now! Follow #navyblueandprettytoo! It’s right there in my bio.
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Now that you’ve seen how easy this DIY is, will you be trying it out too? Leave me a comment below and let me know!