Transforming Ikea Ivar Cabinets

I’m Anna.
Newly wed, pup mom to Ozzy, living off the coast of NC. Sharing capsule wardrobe tips, renter safe home projects, recipes & more! Here to share the alternatives for living simply and sustainably
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We love Ikea, like so much. If you’re on a budget but trying to furnish your rental home or space it’s the place to shop! Now that we’ve moved to the coast we have to drive into the city to shop there in person, which makes it a bit harder to just snag what I need for the house. But my very first purchase for our new house here were two of the Ivar Cabinets for storage in my office. I have always loved the look of raw pine wood and these cabinets are so versatile and provide great storage space so it was a “no-brainer.” But after two years it was time for a change, so here is how I worked at transforming our Ikea Ivar Cabinets:


As much as I loved the natural wood I have slowly been transforming our rental home to make it feel more minimal and sophisticated. Ikea is a great place to find affordable pieces to furnish a space but sometimes you need a little extra. Our home was built in the 70s and has loads of dark wood accents including wood trim so at times it can feel very dark and crowded in our living space. At first I pictured painting the cabinets the same color as the walls to make them look almost like faux built-ins. After some thought and consulting my interior design friends, I decided to paint them a subtle warm grey to highlight a few accents in the house. I went with the color JOGGING PATH by sherwin williams.

How To / Prime

I started by priming the cabinets to conceal any wood knots or grain. This step is optional but I highly recommend it if you are wanting the cabinets to look professional. The primer I used was the Stainblocking Bonding Primer by Valspar. This was the same primer we used on our old 80s wood panelling in the dining room. It does a great job at concealing the wood knots and grain for a more finished look.

How To / Paint

Be sure to let the primer dry a good bit before applying your first coat of paint. Then have at it! I recommend rolling the paint on vs. painting with a brush to avoid streaks. This jogging path grey color is just stunning! I wanted something that looked minimal and polished and I feel like this really captured that feel. By the first coat I already felt like these Ivar Cabinets were being transformed.


Ikea ivar cabinets


painted transformed ikea ivar cabinets

I plan to hang the mirror above the cabinets and style them with a few of my favorite accent pieces. I will be sure to share the finished project when the room is complete. I’ll even round up links to my favorite things in the space so be sure to hope on my email list and follow the blog here. I hope this inspired and encouraged you to paint that piece of furniture that you’ve been debating painting. If you do, be sure to send me photos because I love a fun transformation.

I’ll see you in my next blog!



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  1. Isa says:

    Where is this little mushroom lamp from? I love!

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