In the first instalment (here) we got as far as using coving to create a cornice at the top of the units and although I hadn’t yet spoken about it I’d also painted the inside of the units.
We’d decided quite early on to paint the inside of the units a darker shade of grey than the outside to both create a contrast and to better show off the things we’d be displaying on the shelves. My wife chose a “warm brown grey which wasn’t blue but had some red in it”. I thought I’d better use italics here as my internal colour chart only has about 8 colours and I really couldn’t tell you the difference between a warm grey and a cold one. So she does the picking and I do the painting and between us we usual get along just fine.
I’ve painted quite a few IKEA units over the past couple of years and I’ve never bothered to use a primer and I’ve never had any trouble with the paint adhering to the surface. So this time I just gave the inside a light sanding and painted away as usual. I realised I had a problem after the first coat when I thought it’d make a lot more sense to put the shelves in and paint them in situ. As I slide them into place the paint just peeled away from the surface coming off like a latex film. To be honest this little lesson set me back at least a full day and I won’t be skipping primer again any time soon.
Next it was time to fit the plinth around the bottom of the unit. As the PAX units are designed to be free standing there’s no need to build a frame for them to stand on and you can attach your decorative mouldings (skirting board) directly to the outside of the units.
I used my new Mitre Saw for this (and the Cornice) but with previous Hacks I just used a mitre block. The saw was a pretty big investment for me but it’s saved me so much time and it’s so well made I just love it. I know you can spend three or four times as much on a professional saw but this for me is perfect. I’ve spent so much time using the past few weeks my daughter recently described it as my new favourite toy.
Anyway back to the point you need to cut your corners at 45 degrees to get a nice finish both for inside and outside corners. I simply screwed the skirting to the unit with counter sunk holes and then filled them with filler and sanded smooth before painting. I’d actually made my second big mistake at this point but I didn’t know that yet.
As you can see in the left of the earlier picture I had already made the doors using beading to re-create the look of panel doors as these cupboards and doors had been in our bird room as I described in part one. If you want to look at the procedure for making them you can see it (here) in the hall cupboard IKEA Hack.
The inspiration for making doors like this comes from my Dad who in the 80s made fitted wardrobes and beds for all of our bedrooms from scratch using Melamine in the days before IKEA invaded the world. He used sheet Melamine for the doors and decorated them with beading so about five years ago when my wife decided she really didn’t like the early 90s IKEA birch effect cupboards in our office room I thought I’d give it a go too.
As this unit was going to be quite big and because we wanted a grand look we also chose to add some appliqués. These cost next to nothing from a decorating shop and I simply painted them with a gold wax and then toned it down a little with a translucent black glaze.
When I tried to hang the doors I realised my next error as when I’d attached the cornice and the plinth I’d been a little bit too tight so I couldn’t actually fit the doors. As a result I had to cut 5mm off of the bottom of each of the doors to make them fit. Not the end of the world but in future I’d hang the doors first to ensure I’ve got enough room.
So that’s my mammoth double post on making an shoe cupboard for our bedroom. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration and learn from my mistakes along the way!
Thanks for reading the Shabby Side of Chic.