Friday, October 26, 2012

IKEA Wide Storage Stencil Mod

We desperately needed some storage space in our living room, so we went for another IKEA modification. We bought this untreated hardwood TARVA drawer chest and HEDRA knobs for this project.
I stained it with Minwax WoodFinish in the shade Special Walnut. Remember to wipe off any excess stain with a clean cloth before you let it dry.

After letting it dry for a day I would have treated it with wax, but I was still not quite done...

After attaching the knobs it still needed something, so I made stencils with the names of different areas in San Francisco. You can make your own custom stencils too:

* Print out the text/pattern/figure you want in the size you want
(make your text light gray, so you won't waste as much ink as with black)

*Put clear cover (adhesive plastic film) over your stencil pattern

Note: You don't necessarily need to use the plastic clear cover on there, but I want to keep my stencils "sterdier" in case I need them again. In this case, friends of ours wanted to have a drawer chest stenciled like this so I was glad I had them ready!

*Carve out the letters/pattern etc carefully (I used a precision cutter and had a cutting board under)

* Place the paper where you want your stencil to be, and secure it with some tape

* Dab paint on carefully with a sponge/sponge brush, not too much paint at once since it may leak under the stencil

* Immediately remove the stencil paper when you're satisfied with how the paint looks (I used a few different looks, a couple with really good coverage, other with less, and one where I dabbed outside of my stencil paper)

(If you want you can carve the clear cover directly (while the protective film is still attached), and then attach it directly onto the surface you want to stencil)

* After stenciling was dry, I treated the whole thing with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax

Metal bowls from IKEA, 
B&W bowl is by Marimekko (a wedding gift from a friend), 
fun bottle from some "Missisippi Mud" Husband drank.

Update: Realized I need to stain the supporting piece at the back as well!

E-mail me or comment, if you want me to send you the word document with the stencils I used :)


  • I came across your blog while looking for decor inspiration and wanted to write in - I LOVE all the Ikea hacks you did! I just bought a TARVA and needed some inspiration to make it look less Ikea-y. Did you need to prep/sand the wood at all or did you just go ahead and stain it right away? Thanks again for a great idea!

    1. Hi, and thank you :) no I did not neet to sand at all, since it was totally untreated :) have fun!


  • Hi!
    It looks amazing. I REALLY love it.
    I just wondered what kind of brush did you use to stain it?
    Kisses from France!

    1. Hi Elsa! I used a foam brush, and after I'd put the stain on I went over it with a clean cloth (so before it had dried), wiping away everything that hadn't been absorbed :)

      I wish I was in France! Kisses!


  • Hi
    My name is Julia and I'm from Sweden, happened to find you when I searched for insperation for Tarva. And think your's was really cool.

    and I would very much like to have the word document with the stencils you used.
    If you still have them, been a while since you made this post.

    / Julia

    1. Hej Julia,

      vad roligt att du hittat min blog! Jag är själv från Finland och talar svenska :)


  • This is lovely. Did you use anything else in addition to the special walnut stain? I love the light color here, but in other places, I've seen special walnut look much darker.

    1. Hi! I only added the wax on top. I think the stain looks lighter since the piece is sanded down very smooth; sometimes when I've stained something that I've sanded down myself (not as smooth) it seems to absorb more color.



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