How To Paint An Ikea Ivar Cabinet In 5 Steps

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Ikea’s Ivar cabinet is easily one of the most versatile pieces the furniture conglomerate has to offer. With its natural wood finish, Ikea is daring you to customize this piece to fit your aesthetic and design style. In fact, the endless opportunity for personalization is arguably one of the best features of the Ivar cabinet. One question you may have when thinking of personalizing your cabinet is how do you paint an Ikea Ivar cabinet? We’ve researched the best process for painting an Ikea Ivar cabinet that will give you the best results.

Here’s how you can paint your Ikea Ivar cabinet in five easy steps:

    1. Lightly sand your cabinet using 150-grit sandpaper.
    2. Clean off any dust and debris with a tack cloth.
    3. Prime the cabinet for the best results.
    4. Paint with your favorite color.
    5. Protect the painted cabinet with a topcoat. 

Painting the Ikea Ivar cabinet is a wonderful way to transform the cabinet. And thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy. For tips and tricks to obtain the best results when painting your Ivar cabinet, as well as some additional information on how to further customize it, keep reading below. 

Mockup frame in farmhouse living room interior with lamp shades and a wooden cabinet, How To Paint An Ikea Ivar Cabinet In 5 Steps

Step One: Sand

Many people say that most of the work when it comes to painting is prep work — and we would have to agree! The first step to painting your Ikea Ivar cabinet is to sand the surface lightly. The keyword here is lightly, as if you sand it too much, you can actually damage the surface of your cabinet. By using 150-grit sandpaper, you will rough up the surface just enough to give the primer something to stick to without damaging your Ivar. 

Click here to see 150-grit sandpaper on Amazon.

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend on this cabinet upgrade, it may also be worth it for you to purchase an orbital sander to complete this step. An orbital sander is a hand-held power sander that moves in a circular motion. This helps prevent any one spot from being over-sanded. An orbital sander will also help you complete this step much easier and faster than sanding manually. 

Click here to see an orbital sander on Amazon. 

Step Two: Clean

After sanding, you’ll want to be sure to clean off all of the dust from your cabinet before moving onto the next step. The best way to ensure you’re removing all of the dust is to use a tack cloth to wipe down the cabinet. Tack cloth is a specialized type of cloth that is treated with a tacky material, sometimes beeswax. It is designed to remove loose particles of dust, dirt, and lint that would contaminate a surface that is to be painted. 

It’s important to note not to use a paper towel to clean off the dust from your cabinet. Using a paper towel can lead to relatively significant amounts of unwanted paper and debris getting left behind on your cabinet’s surface. This ultimately defeats the purpose of this entire step! 

Click here to see tack cloth on Amazon. 

Step Three: Prime

Applying a primer to your cabinet before painting can be essential to receiving the best result. Once you’ve cleaned off all of the dust from sanding, apply one coat of primer across all surfaces you’re going to paint on your cabinet. You can either use a spray primer or a liquid primer with a foam brush to apply the primer. Both of these methods will leave a smooth coating without any brush strokes to worry about. Once the primer is applied, follow the directions to allow it to dry fully. 

Once your primer is fully dry, you can sand any bumps or drips away with 220-grit sandpaper. Be sure to wipe down your cabinet with a tack cloth again after sanding. 

Click here to see a spray paint primer on Amazon.

Click here to see a liquid primer on Amazon.

Click here to see a mini foam roller on Amazon.

Step Four: Paint

Now it’s time for the best part! Once the primer is fully dry, you are ready to paint your Ivar cabinet. For applying the paint evenly, you can use spray paint or liquid paint with a foam roller — just like for the primer. If applying two coats of paint, be sure to follow the instructions that come with your paint regarding how long to wait between coats. 

Click here to see latex paint on Amazon.

You’re probably aware that there are several different types and finishes of paint to choose from. Semi-gloss latex paint is a popular choice for furniture, but chalk paint has also been very trendy recently. As you can tell from the name, semi-gloss paint offers a somewhat glossy finish. Chalk paint has a flat, matte finish and today comes in several colors. 

Click here to see chalk paint on Amazon. 

Step Five: Protective Finish

Now it’s time to protect that beautiful paint job! Find a protective finish to apply on your cabinet to protect it from chips, scratches, and liquid. Be sure to choose a topcoat with the same finish as your paint. For example, you wouldn’t want to choose a glossy top coat if you used chalk paint and want a matte finish.

Additionally, you will see the two main types of protective finishes are water- and oil-based. Water-based finishes will dry completely clear, while oil-based finishes will dry with a slight yellow tint. So if you painted your cabinet white, you will want to pick a water-based finish. Be sure to consider this when you’re choosing the best protective finish for your painted cabinet!

Click here to see a protective finish on Amazon.

Can You Stain An Ikea Ivar Cabinet?

Painting is a great way to customize your Ikea Ivar cabinet. But you may also be wondering if you can stain it? The answer is yes, you can easily stain an Ivar cabinet. In fact, the steps are almost the same to paint it!

  1. Sand your cabinet with fine-grit sandpaper, such as 220-grit.
  2. Wipe down your cabinet with a tack cloth to remove any dust or unwanted particles. 
  3. Apply your stain! Follow the directions that come with your stain for applying. 
  4. You’ll want to add a protective finish to protect your cabinet and help it last longer. 

Click here to see a wood stain on Amazon. 

How Much Weight Can An Ikea Ivar Cabinet Hold?

Now that your Ikea Ivar cabinet is painted or stained, you’re ready to put it to work! An important question to ask before using any cabinet is how much weight can it hold? While Ikea does not list a weight limit for the Ivar cabinet, they do provide max load amounts for Ivar shelving, which uses the same material. Based on that information, it appears a safe weight for your Ivar cabinet is approximately 40 lbs. 

Can You Stack Ivar Cabinets?

Another creative way to customize the look of your Ivar is to stack it on top of another Ivar cabinet. Ikea actually includes instructions and hardware for stacking Ivar cabinets in their assembly manual. 

How Do You Add Legs To Ikea Ivar Cabinets?

If you’re looking to add a bit more character, or maybe some height, to your Ivar cabinet, it’s very simple to add legs. There are so many options online for leg kits that you can order to add to your furniture! You’ll likely be able to easily find legs in your preferred style. 

Once you find legs that you like, just be sure to follow the instructions that come with them to install them correctly to your Ivar cabinet. 

Click here to see cabinet legs on Amazon. 

Final Thoughts

Mockup frame in farmhouse living room interior with lamp shades and a wooden cabinet, How To Paint An Ikea Ivar Cabinet In 5 Steps

The options to customize an Ikea Ivar cabinet are practically endless. Painting your Ivar is a fantastic, easy way to personalize this staple! Thankfully, it is also easy to stain, stack, or add legs too. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love our other posts on Ikea furniture. Start by checking out “How To Paint An Ikea Billy Bookcase” and “Does IKEA Furniture Come With Tools?”

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