Just $50 in Materials Helps This IKEA Dresser Mimic a Thousand-Dollar Piece

published Apr 11, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
IKEA TARVA 6-drawer pine dresser
Credit: IKEA

Some pieces of furniture are so customizable, they’re practically begging to become something new. Take IKEA’s TARVA dresser. With its simple shape and $179 price point, it’s ideal for a redo—and unlike IKEA’s laminate pieces, which require some prep work to paint, the unfinished pine is ready for color in the form of paint or stain.

Blogger Kourtni, of House On Longwood Lane, had grand plans when she picked up a 6-drawer TARVA for her son’s nursery. With one TARVA makeover already under her belt, Kourtni had a clear vision for this next piece. 

“This project was inspired by a piece of furniture from a store in Australia that I desperately wanted, but could not bring myself to spend $1,100!” she said. Instead, she created a similar piece herself using not much more than the TARVA dresser, a roll of cane webbing, and some stain.

To customize the piece, she cut a rectangle out of each of the six drawer fronts using a drill and jig saw, then assembled the frame. She sanded and then stained the wood pieces using a custom blend of Varathane’s Weathered Oak and Early American stains, which stayed close to its original lighter-wood hue but gave the piece a more polished look. Once the stain was on, Kourtni sealed the piece with a matte polyurethane. 

Kourtni found some cane webbing online—similar to this option—cut it to size, and stapled it to the back side of the drawer panels. Finally, Kourtni made her own custom pulls for the dresser from scraps of pine, which plays off the blocky, clean-lined design of the original piece.

The end result is classic, upscale, and just what Kourtni wanted for her son’s nursery. The best part? It rang in at just $220 total—a far cry from the $1,000 inspiration piece. But if you ask us, we think it looks like a million bucks.