IKEA Tarva Hack Tutorial

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA TARVA Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

I recently shared our master bedroom makeover for the One Room Challenge, and one of my favorite projects in the room was this IKEA TARVA Hack. I transformed the 3-drawer TARVA chest into a custom nightstand for our room, and our existing desk serves as the nightstand on the other side. Today, I’ll walk you through the step by step process of how I made over this piece of furniture and created a totally custom look.

Project Supply List:

  • IKEA Tarva 3-Drawer Chest (You can find it on Amazon here.)
  • Primer
  • Paint (I used Behr Marquee color matched to Benjamin Moore Onyx in Satin finish)
  • Paintbrush (I used this Zibra Triangle Brush and the Zibra Chiseled Wedge Brush.)
  • Glass and Brass handles from Hobby Lobby
  • Sanding Block
  • 4 Turned Bun Feet (I got mine from The Home Depot. Similar here.)
  • 4 Heavy Duty Metal Top Plates
  • Drill
  • (4) – 1/4″ thick x 2″ W Poplar Hobby Boards
  • Brad Nailer
  • 3/4″ Brad Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Paintable Caulk
  • Caulking Gun
  • Wood Filler
  • Putty Knife
  • Satin Polycrylic
  • Saw (I used a miter saw, but a hand saw will do.)

IKEA TARVA HACK TUTORIAL

Step 1

I started with a basic unfinished wood 3-drawer IKEA TARVA chest (here), which costs $79.99. I assembled it as directed.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

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Step 2

I marked the legs with a pencil where they connect to the base. I wanted to cut them so they would be flush with the bottom, allowing me to add different legs/feet later.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Step 3

I removed the legs and cut them where I had marked my pencil lines, leaving me with about 2 inch blocks. I sanded them and then reattached them to the chest.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Step 4

I attached metal top plates to each corner of the bottom of the chest.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Step 5

I screwed the bun feet into the bases. (They come with bolts already attached to them.)

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Step 6

Next, I turned my attention to the drawers. I measured the distance between screws on my new hardware (note, quality control for the Hobby Lobby handles is not top notch, so many of the screws were bent and/or different widths apart.) I marked the distance on painter’s tape and used that as my template, and then drilled holes for the new hardware. I used wood filler to cover the old pre-drilled hole, and then sanded it smooth.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Step 7

I cut 1/4″ thick Poplar hobby board (about 2 inches wide) to fit the perimeter of my drawer fronts using my miter saw, and then attached them with wood glue and brad nails.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Step 8

Next, I caulked all of the seams with paintable DAP caulk, and after it dried I sanded everything smooth.

Step 9

I coated the entire piece with a coat of primer, and then painted it using Behr Marquee color matched to Benjamin Moore’s Onyx in a satin finish, and added a Satin Polycrylic topcoat for protection.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

I installed the new handles and now it looks like a brand spankin’ new piece of furniture.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

And here’s a little pinnable graphic for you. I’d love it if you would share!:

Check out this beautiful DIY IKEA Tarva Hack! Transform this inexpensive piece of furniture for a totally custom look with this step by step tutorial.

Here is a little slideshow video of the process:

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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-Erin

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16 Comments

I have just seen this post suggested at the top of your blog Erin, and I’m so glad! This transformation is beautiful.

I can sometimes struggle with seeing the potential in some plain items of furniture, so I admire you ability to see this from the old IKEA product. You’ve created a truly beautiful and unique piece for your bedroom. Plus, I’m a massive fan of black and gold/brass 🙂

Do you find it very easy to transform IKEA furniture?

Hello!
Thanks for sharing this project!
Could you share what primer you used? Did you put any wood filler over the knotted areas or do extra primer over tbe knots?