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Ikea Tarva Hack.


Ikea Tarva Hack.

Michelle Pulman

Ikea is truly one of my favorite places to shop. You can purchase everything from a solid wood chopping block and live jade plants, to faux sheepskin rugs (which we all know is a personal favorite of mine). 

Well, I had been looking for the perfect piece of furniture to put under our television in the bedroom for some time. While mounting the TV, we discovered that we weren't able to hide all of the wires inside the wall (since there were too many studs and brackets in the way). As a result, we've had wires hanging from the bottom of the television down the length of the wall, which was driving me crazy! Since tucking the wires into the wall wasn't an option, I had to do the next best thing and find a piece of furniture that would at least hide them.

The bottom of the television hits about 58 inches from the floor, which meant that we'd need a fairly tall piece of furniture to hide everything. Well, let me tell you that after months of searching for the right piece, I discovered that a) not many pieces of this height exist, and b) the ones that did exist were so exorbitantly expensive, I couldn't bring myself to purchase one. 

Enter the Ikea Tarva 5-drawer dresser. At 50" it was the perfect height and at only $99 it was the (more than perfect) price. Here's what the piece looks like:

Made of solid pine, I knew it would be sturdy enough to hold my overflow of sweaters, gym clothes, and pjs. The only issue was that it didn't exactly fit with the rest of the decor in the room (namely the bedside tables, which are made of salvaged, distressed wood and have solid brass pulls -- see below).

Since the piece is totally unfinished and it's one of the most popular Ikea products on Pinterest to hack, I figured my own hack would be worth a shot.

What I used:

  • Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

  • Minwax stain in "Early American"

  • 10 brass knobs from Home Depot

  • 2 clean rags

  • An old sock and a handful of screws, nails, and bolts (I'll explain this later)

I chose Minwax stain in "Early American" because the color looked like it would match our Pottery Barn bedside tables pretty closely (and for those of you who haven't stained before, the Minwax brand is great; it's easy to use and covers wood beautifully). 

First, I assembled the dresser. Fast forward eight hours, and it was all set. (Note: I'm never again putting together something with drawers. Getting them to line up and close correctly is an absolute nightmare. Far better idea to buy an already assembled piece from Craigslist or Amazon and save your sanity!). 

Once the dresser was assembled, it was time to "distress" the piece so it would match our existing bedside tables. I took a handful of screws, nails, and bolts, and stuffed them in an old sock of my husband's. Then I smacked the dresser a few times across all of its surfaces with the sock. The screws, nails, and bolts made tiny dents and marks in the wood. Then, I took my hammer and gently knocked the dresser a bunch of times to make a few more marks that looked different. I did this across the top and sides of the dresser, as well as on the front of the drawers (sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this step). 

Next, it was time to stain the wood. I took an old rag and used it to wipe an even coat of the pre-stain wood conditioner to the full exterior surface of the dresser. This just helps to condition and protect the food, and ensures that the stain goes on smoothly. I let it dry for a few hours and then took a new rag and wiped one coat of stain across the dresser.

As you can see, the "distressing" that I did was immediately exaggerated by the stain (which is exactly the look I was going for). I let the whole thing dry overnight.

The last step was to replace the Tarva's plain wood knobs with brass ones that would match our bedside tables. I couldn't find ones that matched perfectly, but these knobs from Home Depot looked similar and were only $4 each. I screwed them on. Easy. 

And voila! The piece now matches our bedroom, hides the TV wires perfectly, provides adequate storage, and didn't break the bank. And it really makes the view from bed so much nicer.

Here are a few more shots of the final piece in the bedroom:

What do you think? Have you done an Ikea hack yourself? If you're considering one, the unfinished wood of the Tarva collection (which also includes a bed frame, bedside tables, and a few different dressers) is the perfect start.