IKEA Hack…Tarva Dresser Makeover


How is 2014 treating everyone? We are off to a good start and hoping tonight when Auburn (cross our fingers) beats Florida State tonight in the National Championship game it will be even better! Regardless it’s always great to be an Auburn tiger!

I still have several projects from 2013 I want to share with you, starting with this IKEA hack dresser makeover for little chickadee’s nursery. So as simply as possible let me tell you how this happened.


We picked up the TARVA unfinished wooden dresser at IKEA for $149.99. Everything at IKEA always seems like such a great deal. Then you put it together and realize why it’s so inexpensive. Thankfully since I was about 7 months pregnant III and my sister did most of the assembly work! It only took 3.5 hours :o)


This piece would look beautiful stained with some fun hand painted knobs (which you could probably find on sale at Hobby Lobby). But I had a different idea in mind. I started by priming and painting the dresser (minus drawer fronts) a teal/mint/green color. It’s Behr from Home Depot but I don’t remember the exact name, I can find out if you would like to know. The drawers got a crisp coat of white paint. 

Next I cut out the fabric (from Hobby Lobby) in a rectangle two inches smaller in length and width than the drawer fronts. I attached the fabric in the center of the drawer using a spray adhesive made by Krylon. 


 I picked up general purpose screen moulding and 5/8″ wire brads at Home Depot as well to add a little dimension to the drawer fronts. I painted all of the moulding white before I started cutting. After measuring the length I needed each piece I used a miter box and hand saw to cut each piece at a 45 degree angle.


I attached the moulding to the drawer fronts using the 5/8″ brads, every 6 inches or so. Then I used this patch and paint to fill in the corners and nail holes.


PicMonkey Collage

After another coat of paint on the trim all that was left was attaching the knobs!


I absolutely LOVE how the dresser turned out. One of a kind, you might say! The dresser is a little bigger than I thought it would be, but every drawer is filled to the brim, so I’m glad we went with this six drawer size.


TDC Before and After


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25 thoughts on “IKEA Hack…Tarva Dresser Makeover”

  • Love what you did with the Tarva Dressers – so pretty! I just gave one a makeover as well to use as a change table for my daughter. It’s the perfect size dresser for one isn’t it? Yours caught my eye at the From Dream To Reality Party.

    • Thank you so much! It’s nice when they are younger so don’t really have an “opinion” just yet :)

  • I have been following your blog since I since I was only 4 weeks pregnant and I am so excited I found it. We are starting to get our baby girl’s nursery together now and was trying to decide between this ikea dresser or the smaller Koppang Ikea dresser. I really like what you did with chickadee’s dresser and am hoping you have found you do have enough room/width for her changing pad on top. I noticed this dresser is a couple inches more narrow then the other one I was considering. Can you let me know if you are having any trouble with changing her on top of the Tarva dresser, and perhaps what changing pad you are using? I treid to look at dimensions of different changing pads online. Thank you for all the great ideas, I love your Blog! -Nicole Skaife

    • I so glad you are along for the journey Nicole! Congrats on your baby girl…..having Chickadee what a life changer in the BEST possible way! The Ikea Tarva dresser is a little bigger I think than I thought it would be, but we have so much stuff and had no problem filling it up! The changing pad does hang over the back very slightly, but it has not been a problem for us. We have the changing pad from Babies R Us. I think it is the Summer Infant brand. Good luck with the dresser. I’d love to know how it turns out!

  • I have this dresser and the 5 drawer tall one, on the tall one I did a stain on it in a blue gray with dandelion stencils in wood glue so that when you stain that area doesnt pick up stain and has a cool natural wood look to it! for a more “manly” look on the other one (this dresser exactly from ikea) I stained the outer the same gray blue stain and then Decoupaged the drawer faces with black and white comic book prints. and left ALL the knobs on both completely natural. I love the versatility of these SO much that I came across this Hack browsing Ideas to do the same two dressers for my daughter, when I first saw this I thought hey cook decoupage I wonder what the dimension is, well que surprise that its actually fabric which is GENIUS! it will add amazing texture to the piece and I have seen a lot of hacks that add more wood elements that are SUPER intimidating but this looks like wood working that is easy! so long story (not so short) this.is.AWESOME

    • Thank you so much!! A blue gray stain I bet is beautiful and using wood glue to create a pattern is a great idea. I’m actually about to buy a smaller version for a bedside table! Maybe I’ll try out the wood glue idea :o)

  • Love, love, love this!! How much fabric did you use for this project? I’m thinking about doing the same thing in our nursery. Thanks for sharing you idea!

  • Hi Laura Beth!
    Ooooh, your dresser is just beautiful! Thank you so much for such wonderful and clear pictorial directions. I am one of those people who is afraid to fail so I don’t get started, but posts like yours give me confidence! Who knew there was a miter thingy like that?!! You nailed it about IKEA…I call what I buy “a box of parts”…bless your sister for being such a great help! Congrats to Auburn for making it to the National Championship!
    :-) Laura

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