IKEA Hack | IVAR Cabinets Turned Into A Sideboard | DIY

It was proving to be almost impossible to find a sideboard that ticked all the boxes we were looking for. You read more about our struggles here. That was, until I discovered the Ivar hack from IKEA’s Ivar cabinets. They were just what we needed and with a little visualisation I knew they’d be a perfect fit…
The space where the sideboard would be going, is 160-170cm in length and the depth would need to be 30cm ideally, or 35cm max. Each cabinet measures 80cm in width, which meant side by side, they’d total 160cm and with a choice of either 30 or 50cm depth, the 30cm ones were a perfect fit.

- 2 x Ivar cabinets from IKEA
- 4 x bee handles
- 4 x 4” hairpin legs
- Gold spray paint (if you can’t find gold hairpin legs)
- Paint of your choice – I used Valspar furniture paint in the colour mix Cape Verde
- 2” roller AND/OR paint brush
- Smaller paint brush
- Rustoleums metallic gold furniture paint
- Frog tape
- 2 x strips of timber approx. 150 x 10cm OR 1 x piece of ply or some sort of board approx. 140 x 20cm
- Sander - optional. I didn’t sand mine as it wasn’t until after I thought about it. If I were doing it again, I would add this step in with a light grain to just smoothen the surface a little, but it’s not compulsory.

Step ONE.
Assemble. Once I knew how it was meant to be put together, I whizzed through the second one. However, putting the first one up and trying to use the instructions was a nightmare! The instruction manual you get with the cabinet has other products in there from the IVAR range, so you might start off on page 7, but you’ll end up flicking backwards and forwards to find the next steps – it’s a total nightmare! Saying that, it is a simple piece to assemble and if you’re familiar with the fixtures and fittings, you’ll have an advantage. This was the first piece of flat pack furniture I’ve built, so all the little bits and pieces were new to me and I wanted to make sure I was putting them in the right places.
Step TWO.
Paint the cabinet bases and doors in your chosen base colour. As much as I love working with chalk paint, unfortunately I couldn’t find a colour I liked for this project. Instead, I got some swatches from my local B&Q and found the colour I liked in the Valspar range; Cape Verde. Until this project, I had never used Valspar paint on furniture before, so I made sure to get their wood and metal interior mix rather than risk using standard wall paint and it being a total fail.
Annoyingly, they don’t do any sizes smaller than 1L, so it’s a little pricey at £23 when you have loads of leftover paint like I do, unless you’re going to use it for another project.
Since this project I have used their standard wall paint on a dressing table and I can confirm, it seems to of gone on just the same. Meaning any furture projects I do and I decide I want something from their colour range, I'll buy their tester pot sizes instead. At £3 a tester pot, it's a big saving.
For the varnish, I used an interior wax varnish by Ployvine. It’s something I’ve used numerous times over the years for various projects and it’s great. It gives you a wax finish, but with the durability of varnish. It’s perfect for painted surfaces where there’s going to be a lot of wear and tear such as; table surfaces desk tops, sideboards etc. Areas where stuff is constantly moved around on, will hold up longer than a wax will.
Whenever I use it, I pour a small amount in a container and add a few drops of water. Two coats are recommended as per the bottle instructions and by adding the water you’ll get more use out of the bottle.

To apply, I use a paint brush (it’s a water-based solution so washes out really easily with warm water) and wait anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes in between coats (judged by touch testing). Every surface is different so this will alter the dry time, as will the temperature.
Step FOUR.
Before I bought the paint for the cupboards, I had an idea in my head of how I wanted the sideboard to look. I played around with a few basic designs created on PowerPoint (yes you read that right) and from those I was able to see what I liked and what I wanted to do slightly different and that's where the current design was created.
If you’re doing a continuous pattern you’ll need an area big enough to lay all your doors down. If you’re short of space like I was, lay them side-by-side on top on the cabinets.

The design was masked out freehand using Frog Tape and left over craft tape.
Take my advice, spend the extra for good painters tape such as Frog Tape. You can see the difference where I used the cheap tape, as it allowed for bleed. Thankfully you can only see the bleed up close, so I was able to let it slide.
Step FIVE.
It’s time to get the gold out! I tried using a roller for the gold, but soon realised a paint brush was a lot easier. The paint is quite thin and seemed to soak into the roller, meaning the coverage was not great. It dries pretty quickly and I was able to apply 3 – 4 coats within about 40 minutes.
Step SIX.
Peel back the tape and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing those clean lines appear.
Once the gold has dried, go over with your wax varnish to protect the newly painted areas.

The gold legs on eBay were double the price of the black and the ones that were the same price, were out of stock. Which is why I decided to get black ones instead. Most of the listings will sell them in sets of four.
I originally ordered 8” but once we added them to the sideboard, we realised it was too high and I didn’t like that it was so leggy. I then ordered the 4” ones and these worked perfectly. The gold spray paint was from Aldi and at £3.99 it is just as good as any branded ones you might find in your local hardware store, just a fraction of the price!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos for this part. I’m hoping my diagrams and my explanation will be enough for you to understand what we done.

As you’re working with two cabinets you have two choices. You can either assemble them as separate cupboards meaning 4 legs on each one and place side by side, or, connect the two to make it look like one piece. As you can see from the finished result, I done the latter as I wanted it to look like one whole piece.

As I was only adding 4 legs, I needed to connect the two cabinets together to equally share the weight and to connect them in the middle. You have two options of how this can be done, so I’ve added pictures of both below.
As we had timber strips left over from a previous project, we used method B.
You also want to join the two sides together. This is something I didn't think of before painting, but if you're connecting them as we did, then these sides don't really need to be painted.
Again, I didn't take a picture of the screws, but have added a diagram above to indicate when we added the screws in the middle.

Step NINE.
All that's left to do is to add your chosen handles and attach the doors to the cabinets. I really liked the idea of added an animal twist to the sideboard, but the only ones I could find that I liked were these bee ones, so an inset twist will have to do. Terry kindly done this step for me, measured out where I wanted them and put them in place.
And there you have it. Your IKEA hack complete and a brand new sideboard. I love it and we've received so many compliments from it! It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea because of the colours, but I'd love to know what you think?
If you'd like to see a short video of how it was made, you can view it on my YouTube below. If you like this, you'll like the other DIY projects I've got to share, so feel free to subscribe :)

Love Hannah xx

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