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Hey friends my favorite day of the whole year is finally here!

My craft room studio is 95% done in my new house in Columbus, OH. The added 5% is the finishing touches of decorating the walls. So for the next week or so I am going to share the process with you.

For those of you who have followed me for years you may have remembered my amazing studio back in my house in Indiana. I can’t tell you how much it pained me to leave that room behind after all the blood, sweat and tears (yes I cried!) I put into that room.

While it was custom and awesome it also cost me 4 months of my life. And honestly, moving into a new house where everything needs to be decorated, I didn’t have the burning desire to do that again.

So I was on the hunt for other options that would take less time but would still give me the storage I was looking for.


So I stumbled upon the IVAR cabinets and drawers from IKEA.

At $90 each for the cabinets (article #700.337.66) and $125 for the drawers (article #901.452.68) I figured that was doable for what I was trying to create.


So today I am going to start to show you one wall of the room. This particular wall contains 15 of the IVAR Cabinets.

I spent a whole day on and off putting all of the cabinets together. It is a really easy build (even with the funny IKEA pictures with no words).

I would recommend purchasing the hex bit needed and not use the tool that comes with it. If not your hands are going to be killing you after putting together all those cabinets.

hex bit Source

Also I don’t recommend using a super powerful drill. Since IKEA only recommends hand tightening I used my Worx Extended Reach cordless screwdriver.

I absolutely love this little tool for putting together IKEA furniture. I have it in a handy place and pull it out at least 3 times a week.

worx extended screwdriver

So after you put all the cabinets and drawers together you can then decide how you want to finish them.

As much as I would have loved to paint them all different colors I figured I should go for classic white both for resale value and overall aesthetic of my home.


While the cabinets are paint ready I did sand the doors and shelves down with a fine grit sandpaper and my orbital sander just to get all the factory dust and dings off them.

On the cabinet bases themselves I just used a sanding sponge.


Now if you take on this project I would highly, highly recommend a paint sprayer.

I used my Home Right Finish Max sprayer on them. It is worth the $70 purchase I promise.


All in all it took me 10 days to prime and then give it two coats of paint on 17 cabinets and 4 sets of drawers. Keep in mind all the shelves and doors.

I painted 17 cabinet bases, 34 shelves, 34 doors, 12 drawers, and 4 drawer shells. Phew!

Tip: Make sure you use a sanding sponge to sand them down between priming and painting them.  This will give it a really nice finish.


I am glad that is over. In my HomeRight Finish Max I used Kilz Premium for my primer and Lowes Valspar Reserve for my paint (I had it color matched to White Dove by Benjamin Moore).


I took my time and could only paint before noon or else it was too hot and sunny. And since most of the cabinets were going to be set into the wall I didn’t paint the sides of all of them.

Why waste paint, yo?


So after 10 days of some quality time with my paint sprayer I was done. Now the back of the cabinet is just a piece of inexpensive particle board.

there was no way I could drill into that to secure them to the wall. So I purchased some cheap 1″ x 4″ furring strips from Lowes and then cut them to the width of the back of the cabinets.

Then I used some Gorilla Glue Constructive Adhesive to secure those to the back. I put them at the top edge of each of the cabinets.

However, on the 5 cabinets that were going to be on the ground I also attached the furring strips to the bottom. Then I let those sit overnight to dry.

Tip: Yes the furring strips will stick out past the cabinets.  But it is no big deal since they are secured within the confines of two walls on the sides. However, if this isn’t the case for you I would consider using L brackets to secure them instead – which you will see in a future post I did on the other wall).


So install day came. First I marked the location of all the studs with a stud finder (super important!) on the wall. Then I wrote those all down on a piece of paper so I could measure them later.

My first step was centering all the cabinets and then screwing the cabinets to each other with 1″ wood screws.

I also used clamps to hold them in place while I drilled. And secured them with two screws into each cabinet.


Once they were all screwed to each other I then marked the location of the studs inside the cabinet towards the top. To secure the cabinets to the wall I used 2.5″ wood screws.

At this point you are screwing into the furring strips you glued onto the back and then into the studs in the wall.

installing-cabinets (2)

At this point I couldn’t resist organizing my stuff and setting it in the cabinets.

And I purged and purged and purged.


Click here to read the next post where I talk about how I finished the sides and the top.

Disclaimer: I reached out to IKEA to see if they wanted to partner with me on my studio makeover. All IKEA products were provided by IKEA, the design and studio plan was my idea.

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