Before and After: A Major Upgrade for a Generic IKEA KALLAX

published Oct 26, 2018
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(Image credit: IKEA)

We’ve seen a few IKEA KALLAX hacks before— the room divider, the terrarium, the amazing craft credenza—and they’re all inspiring, and this one is no exception. The secret, magical ingredient? Plywood.

Reddit user thehomestud scored some free IKEA KALLAX units with drawers and decided to make the most of this windfall. There are a variety of KALLAX configurations you can go for, including horizontal, vertical, and with any combination of doors, drawers, shelves, baskets, and casters. Let’s see what thehomestud did with theirs:

This looks so classy and unique and so completely different from the ubiquitous store-bought KALLAX. When I first glanced at this project, I thought just a wooden top was added, which was great, but the waterfall ends and the added edges really elevate this to a super-classy piece. Like thehomestud, I love plywood, so I was pleased to learn it looks even more amazing stained and polyurethaned:

I like the industrial look of plywood and the laminated open edges, so the entire project is built from plywood (aside from the KALLAX).

The stain unifies all the various edges and really helps incorporate that inner edging that was added. Meanwhile, the colorful new knobs add so much vibrancy and personality. They were found on Amazon; this set is similar, and these are fun too.

This project involves more specialized equipment than we generally see on Before & After projects—miter saw, table saw, biscuit joiner, brad nailer, wood brace, clamps, and so on—so this one is for those of you with a full workshop and lots of confidence.

If you’re considering tackling even a remotely similar project, be sure to check out all the process shots, complete with helpful hints. And when you’re done, be sure to let us know!

Thank you, thehomestud!