Before and After: A $130 DIY Turns an IKEA HEMNES Shoe Cabinet into a Sophisticated Console

published Mar 16, 2022
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Before: Basic dark brown IKEA HEMNES shoe cabinet in hallway

Hallways and entryways, especially in smaller spaces, can be tricky to shop for. Any furniture you put in a high-traffic area has to be somewhat small to stay out of the way but also typically serves as a drop station or storage for keys, coins, cards, and more.

Finding the perfect, compact furniture for a hallway or entryway is a win, whether that’s a shelf, a shoe rack, a console table, or some sort of hybrid. DIYer and homeowner Bailey Powell’s ( shoe storage/console table in her hallway worked fine, but she wanted to make it a bit more sophisticated.

The “before” “had plain silver knobs and a simple profile,” Bailey says of the piece, a basic IKEA HEMNES ($150). She spent about $130 making it look a bit more custom.

“This project was fairly simple,” she says. First, she removed the knobs and painted the entire cabinet black — a darker, matte alternative to its black/brown stain before — using a shellac primer.

Then, she got to work giving the cabinet some texture. “I created a Shaker profile by adding a slim piece of PVC trim around the perimeter of each door with some wood glue,” she says. “I filled the space inside the trim with fluted pole wrap, which I also painted black.”

She did experience a slight hiccup with the pole wrap, though. “One lesson that I learned is that you need to sand the pole wrap before painting it,” she explains. “I thought it looked & felt completely finished and smooth, but I found that it was snagging when I wiped it with a cloth. I had to lightly sand down, repaint, and seal the cabinet front to get rid of the fuzz left behind.”

Bailey gave the whole piece a matte top coat for protection, and lastly, she added tab-style drawer pulls, which she painted to get the perfect aged brass look.

Bailey says she loves that the “after” is “a statement piece rather than just another piece of furniture.”

“It’s also a great conversation piece because people can’t believe it’s IKEA!” she says. “I love that it is still fully functional and has a huge amount of storage, but doesn’t look like a utility piece of furniture.”