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Ikea Tarva Dresser To"Restoration Hardware" Inspired Nightstand

How to take a basic pine dresser and turn into into a Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn Dupe!

After so many questions on how I changed our bedside dressers, I'm finally getting around to posting how I transformed our Ikea Tarva dressers (I'm glad I took some pictures of the process 3 years ago)! .

One of the first DIY projects I did in our new house was to "hack" Ikea Tarva dressers into our nightstands. I really like the size of these Ikea 3 drawer dressers at "30 x 36" - but I especially liked the fact that they are real pine because that means there are many options to change them up as you'd like. There are also hundreds of DIY Ikea dresser hacks to be found online, so I thought I'd try my own version!

My goal was to create a worn and timeless looking piece of furniture that didn't look like it was from a big box store (although I love Ikea!!!); and one dresser cost me around $150 to make, compared to some of the $1,400+ dressers I'd been eyeing!

First, here's the inspiration for our nightstands:

Shop these dressers below:

The great thing about the Ikea Tarva (at $120), and even the smaller Rast (at $40,) is that they are dressers made of wood - which means they can be "doctored up" to look like much more expensive dressers or nightstands!

Here's what we started with - the Ikea Tarva:

And here's the finished outcome -

Here's what you'll need:

Supplies for construction -

  • Any untreated wood dresser. The Tarva and smaller Rast are great options from Ikea because they both have flat drawers.

  • Furring strips or any trim or molding you want to use.

  • Saw, nail gun or wood glue and any other tools required.

  • Wood filler if you go the nail gun route to applying the trim.

  • New hardware if desired.

Supplies for paint application -

***Please see the following post on how to do the application.

  • 3 colors of gray and beige paint - see what colors I used in the steps below

  • White latex paint

  • Chip brush

  • Wet rag, small towel, and small bowl of water - these are for the "white washing" technique.

  • Dark stain and rag

  • Finishing wax and clean cloth

*Paint tip - use the boxes the dressers came in as a drop cloth if you're painting inside like I was.

Steps to this Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack -

1. Build the dresser without the legs:

2. Next, remove the drawers and drill new knob holes if you'd like to change the hardware location. We drilled new holes for Bill's dresser, but left mine in the original position.

3. Then cut your trim pieces to frame out each drawer. We just did straight cuts using furring strips.

4. We then secured the trim pieces using a nail gun and then wood filler to cover those tiny holes. *You can see the straight cuts in the trim corners that I mentioned previously.

Just giving it that simple shaker trim really adds the prefect amount of detail:

5. Now for the paint - I chose three different colors in addition to the white paint. Medium gray, light gray and beige color (or greige), and a warmer tan beige.

6. Apply each color using the whitewashing technique, starting with the white paint.

*For specifics on HOW to do this, please see my next post (coming soon).

7. White wash the next lightest color - I did a little of the light tannish beige next -

8. Then I white washed with the lighter gray, and then next, the medium gray (please excuse the nighttime pics):

9. And the last color applied to the dresser is a stain. This is the stain color used. Just a little bit goes a long way. You can see how much color it adds to the wood below.

I know, staining over paint seems weird, but it will work:

10. And lastly, seal your dresser. I waxed these with clear natural wax and then buffed off with a cloth. If they were going to be used in a high traffic area, I would have used a polycrylic. I also waited to seal it after letting everything dry overnight.

A nighttime view haha! *With little kids, sometimes you can only work at night ;) -

Daytime view -

And here's the finished look - my dresser -

Bill's dresser (the only difference is the hardware) -

You can PIN this and save for later:

And there you have it - our bedside dressers - transformed by some simple DIY steps!

Stay tuned for a more specific HOW-TO on how to get this finish!

Good luck on your next project,

xoxo Sarah


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