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IKEA Besta cabinet hack

Yep... long time, no blog. It has been busy all around, including migrating into our next fixer home here in Boulder.

We have been working on some updates to spaces prior to the bigger project of adding square footage and a mega kitchen and exterior redux happening sometime this coming spring.

After renovating this room to serve as my office (more on that later), it became clear that I needed more storage space than the little desk I had placed in there. Here is a shot of the before space.

The room is SMALL. So, I really needed to be sensitive to the dimensions of the cabinet I selected. Furthermore, as the cabinet would be visible from the entry, I really wanted something attractive. The task was not easy. If I liked a cabinet, it was too deep, or wide ...or expensive! Bottom line, I couldn't find anything I liked.

During my extensive internet research, I came across this beautiful cabinet.

photo source:

As it turned out, it was an "Ikea hack" (basically an upstyling of a piece of Ikea furniture). The cabinet was the perfect dimensions, and I really loved the finished look after being worked over.

Ikea hack project from Glamette featured here.

The only thing that wasn't going to work with this in my space was the Ikea really "white" white. My built in shelving and trim is off-white, and the bright white of the cabinet really clashed. In order to make this work, I was going to need to paint the cabinet.

This project utilizes one of Ikea's BESTA series cabinets, which prices out at $200.

You can find the cabinet here.

The "hack" includes a very cool overlay product, specifically designed for Ikea cabinet doors by O'verlays. I loved the design used in Glamette's project, so I ordered two of them for the cabinet.

You can find these overlays plus many others on their website here.

The cabinet and overlays arrived. Time to buy paint. I picked out a deep green shade, inspired by this file folder in my office.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore HC-124 Caldwell Green.

The BESTA series is made of foiled particle board :-/. This material needs to be primed before painting to get the paint to adhere properly. I used this product:

After priming all of the unbuilt cabinet pieces and the overlays, it was time to paint. This is where the project took a turn for the "omg.... will this ever get done?". The paint I used was a high quality, designed for cabinets (Benjamin Moore Advance, semi-gloss) option which 1) ended up requiring two coats of paint and 2) had a cure time between coats of over 24 hours. The full cure time before heavy handling (as in putting the cabinet together) is up to a month!!

While waiting for the paint to dry..... I looked into finding those cool vintage brass circle pulls that Jamie at Glamlatte used. They seem to go in and out of stock on Amazon.

You can find them here.

They arrived pretty tarnished. I used some brass polish which worked well to shine them up.

After what felt like months... I finally put the painted cabinet parts together. It all went pretty smoothly, minus installing the hinge hardware. Definitely a two person situation. My teenage daughter might have heard Mom swear a bit getting those hinges screwed in.

I'm super happy with how the cabinet turned out!

Would I do it again?.... probably not. Just too much time and fuss. But I am glad I did it. Lots of learning from this project.

Would I recommend this project to others? If you are like me, and like the challenge of a cool DIY project AND have a lot of time on your hands.... sure, it's rewarding to see your "custom furniture" come to life. Here are some project pros & cons to consider:

Pros: you can totally customize this piece with color, overlays, and hardware. You can end up with a really unique piece of furniture on a budget (around $300 total).

Cons: painting this piece is a commitment. Also, the paint seems to chip pretty easily, even after it is completely cured. You'll want to keep some touch up paint on hand.

Time to move on to the next thing: a closet trim project upstairs in the master bedroom, and.... oh yeah, the holidays.

Happy November!


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