An Easy Upgrade for an IKEA Kitchen Cart

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Ahhhh, the beloved IKEA Forhoja kitchen cart. Useful, sturdy and if we’re being honest, a little bland. But hey! Sometimes that’s what you want in a kitchen cart. Mylinh was looking for something with a little more pizzaz, so she decided to add some dreamy romance to this classic work horse. With this easy and inexpensive project you can adapt it to your style and in endless ways. So if you’ve been considering a trip to IKEA, needing some new kitchen or dining room storage, or thinking of flexing your DIY muscles, give this project a try!

Skill Level: Easy
Time Required: 48 hours
Project Cost: $150 (about $200 Canadian Dollars)

Materials and Tools

  • Stain brush
  • Paint brush
  • Oil based stain with polyurethane of your choice
  • Latex paint of your choice
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Self-adhesive marble vinyl contact paper


  1. Stain the top, let dry twenty four hours before the second coat
  2. Make chalk paint with 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris, 1/3 cup of cool water and mix until smooth. Mix with 1 cup of paint. Repeat this again for the second coat the next day.
  3. You don’t have to paint the drawers if you are going to put the vinyl contact paper on, so you can do this all while the stain and paint is drying. Just measure the paper and line it up and then scrape off the excess with an Exacto knife. You can also put the contact paper on the other side of the drawers depending on if you will be putting it against the wall or not, or just paint it white. I opted to put the contact paper on the sides for some detailing, but you don’t have to.
  4. Put the cart together per the IKEA instructions and voila!

Thanks so much, Mylinh!

You can see more on Mylinh’s blog Ambience of Eden.