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IKEA Besta Hack: Mid Century Modern Sideboard

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This IKEA besta hack transformed the plain cabinet into a fabulous mid-century inspired sideboard for our dining room.

If you love IKEA hacks you might be interested in these tutorials: Shibori dyed Henriksdal slipcovers or dip-dyed curtains. 

coral and white cabinet with gold starburst detail on knobs

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For my dining room makeover, I needed a smaller scaled buffet or sideboard cabinet. Unfortunately, finding a 48″ buffet wasn’t in the cards. Most buffets from that era are much longer.

So I decided to make my own using the IKEA Besta cabinets. These cabinets are a perfect size and are easy to customize to get the look you want. 

Can I paint over IKEA furniture?

With proper prep work, you can paint over anything. Lightly sand the surface and then prime the piece.

I recommend a good, shellac-based primer to ensure that paint will stick to the slick surface of IKEA furniture. Read more about primers for furniture here. 

IKEA Besta Hack: Mid Century Modern Sideboard

Supplies Needed:

Prepare the Besta Cabinet

  1. Assemble the IKEA Besta cabinet according to the instructions. (I also attached the plastic feet to help maneuver the piece around. Legs will be attached at a later stage.)
    mess from ikea installation
  2. Attach the IKEA Besta doors according to the instructions. You will have a million pieces left over when you’re done. It’s fine.
  3. Prime the cabinets to ensure that paint will stick. I bought the cheaper version of the Besta, so the surface was almost like it was covered in paper instead of the normal shiny melamine. Primer never hurts though. This primer self-levels, so it’s best if you lay the cabinet on its back for this part.
    priming ikea furniture
  4. Install the legs. Luckily, most legs will screw right in.
    installing legs for besta cabinet
  5. Measure out your design and mark it with a pencil. I made marks at 12 1/4″ at the top and bottom and in the centers 8″ in. Then I connected those marks using a straight edge. 
    draw design on besta doors

How to Paint Perfect Crisp Straight Lines

  1. Paint the inner portion white. Don’t worry about staying in the lines. It will probably need 2 coats.
    painting besta cabinet
  2. Once the paint is dry, apply frog tape to the lines. I used delicate surface tape to make sure I didn’t destroy the painted surface. (I also got a head start on painting the body of the cabinet coral.)
    painters tape masking off design on besta cabinet
  3. Use the WHITE paint to create a seal on the tape. This prevents any bleeding and gives you perfectly crisp lines.
    painting straight lines using painters tape without bleed
  4. Once the white paint is dry, paint the second color over the rest of the cabinets. I also painted the inner edges of the cabinet since you can see a tiny bit of it.
    using painters tape for straight lines
  5. Apply a second coat. You might need 3 coats for certain colors/paints.
  6. Remove the tape (while the paint is wet) to reveal perfectly crisp lines!
    crisp straight lines after using painters tape

Place the Starburst Decal

  1. Use a Silhouette or Cricut to cut out a starburst pattern that is cut in half.
  2. Use transfer tape to apply each side of the starburst decal to each side.
    ikea besta hack with starburst decals
  3. Drill a hole through each door in the center of each starburst and install the knobs.
    close up of mcm starburst decals
mcm inspired ikea besta buffet

So what do you think about my IKEA besta hack? I’m in love. My IKEA besta sideboard provides so much storage!

coral mcm ikea besta hack
coral ikea besta against turquoise wall

Here’s how it looks in the room so far. 

Download a Split Starburst Cut File

Click here to get the starburst cut file for this cabinet. 

Want to see how the room turned out? Check out my colorful, modern dining room reveal!

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  1. Emy this Ikea Hack turned out so cool! I love the retro pattern and the fun colors your design always inspires me! Your room is looking great and I can not wait to see it all finished up in 2 weeks !!!

  2. Very pretty!!! Just curious, where did you get the picture on the wall behind the buffet in the first pic? Would it happen to be painted on velvet?

    1. Yes, it’s velvet art. One is vintage that I got from a thrift store year ago and the other I bought overseas at a market and had framed. I love my velvet art. 🙂

      1. Oh I wish I could attach a pic. I have two that belonged to my Mother. One is very similar to the one you have framed She had them as long as I can remember. Seems like she told me that my grandmother bought them for her in Florida from a man’s that painted on velvet near the beach.

  3. I love this! Did you paint the entire unit white after buying it white? Is the original white Ikea uses lacking?
    I also love your wall color. Do you recall the paint color?

    1. I primed it where I was going to paint the color color so that the paint would stick. The white was fine, but the doors I bought had a pretty flat finish. The wall color is Sherwin Williams Cooled Blue.

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