Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

What do you do when you need new furniture but can’t drop a ton of cash on it? Well, you get a little scrappy. I desperately needed new dressers for our bedroom, something that is modern with clean lines. I’ve been crushing on West Elm’s Acorn collection but just couldn’t justify the cost. So being the person I am, I decided to find another solution.

It turns out that Ikea’s Tarva line is actually a great bargain option. The pieces are made of unfinished pine, unlike their fiberboard counterparts, which means they can be stained or painted to your liking. Dressers can be customized further by upgrading the nobs to whatever you’d like. I opted for a mid-century inspired round, brass pull.

The items are pretty affordable to begin with, but I’m down with saving all the money. So, instead of paying full retail, I was able to source these off Craig’s List. This takes some patience, but you’ll likely find what you’re looking for. Just search every day “Ikea Tarva Dresser” and eventually you’ll find your piece. I was able to snag the 6-drawer chest for $80 and the 5-drawer chest for $60. That’s $140 total which is about 1/10 the price of 1 dresser from West Elm. Yowza.

I used Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut stain, an old cloth, and an  electric sander . The wood oil I chose colors and oils the wood but doesn’t shellac like other stains. If you’d like a glossier finish, you might want to consider this type of wood stain.

I used Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut stain, an old cloth, and an electric sander. The wood oil I chose colors and oils the wood but doesn’t shellac like other stains. If you’d like a glossier finish, you might want to consider this type of wood stain.

How to Hack

Sand down the entire piece with an electric sander (or sandpaper if you’re down for some cardio) and brush off the excess sawdust. You’ll want to do this outside to avoid making a giant mess.

Wipe danish wood oil over the dresser. I didn’t stain the inside of the dresser or the sides of the drawers. You really don’t see the unstained parts when the drawers are pulled out.

Let the stain dry for at least 15 minutes before adding another coat. You may need to layer several coats to achieve your desired coloring.

Once the dresser is completely stained and dried, add your knobs.

NOTE: Make sure to wear chemical-safe gloves and use a protective mask while sanding and staining.

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I looked high and low for mid-century-esque brass nobs reminiscent of West Elm’s and found these from Amazon to be an amazing value that looks the part. I actually bought a larger pack of 25 that cost only $40 or $1.61 per nob. Craziness.

Happy hacking, kids!

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