Ikea meets Vintage Printer’s Cabinet…what what!

My love affair started started when I was looking at one of my favorite websites Ana White and came across one of her readers creations. My mouth dropped and my palms began to sweat when I saw the Printer’s cabinet and I knew that baby belonged in my house. But where? I live in a  TINY apartment in Chicago where I am already maxed out of space. Oh…that cannot stop me when I see a project!

Shanty 2 Chic  can give you plans on how to make one from scratch by the way!

They sell these at anthropologie for $1,698. Because I already had the Ikea piece, it cost us just under $100. $1,698 verses $100 + fun with power tools. You know which one I voted for! 🙂

Also, because Ikea furniture is not real wood, we decided to paint the piece instead of stain it, but hey…I like it better that way, so it worked out!

Original Anthropologie dresser:

I showed it to Joe and he said, what about changing our Ikea jankity TV stand into this piece. GENIUS! I knew this guy was smart when I married him and he just continues to amaze me! So, being the impulsive people we are, we decided to make it that night. Baby in bed – check. Hardware store around the corner still open – check. Handles on Amazon Prime – check. So here is the journey to one of our favorite pieces.

I forgot to take the before and they don’t carry the exact piece at Ikea anymore, but this one is almost exactly like it. Plus, I don’t know if you check Craigslist at all, but they have these ALL the time for like $20-$50… if they knew you could transform it into something great, they wouldn’t sell it 🙂

This is it after I screwed the trim wood to it, but you get the jist.

Step 1: the doors would not lay flesh against the piece unless we added this trim around the front. So we added 2×1 trim around the outside. We did two layers of the trim to make it 2×2. We also added the piece down the front so that it could have 2 cabinet doors. We used 2 1/4 inch screws. Make sure you pre-drill so you can wood putty afterwards.

Step 2: Add the legs. We got these legs from Lowes at clearance because they are discontinuing them, so we got them for $2 a piece. I linked similar ones.

Step 3: Paint the whole dang piece! Those little cubbies were a pain in the you know what to paint! We used Annie Sloan Chateau Grey for this piece. Kind of a sage color.

Step 4: Make the doors. If you decide to use the same Ikea piece as me, just email me and I will give more specific directions on size, etc.  Basically, we took 2×2’s and we screwed on planks of wood, alternating 2×1’s and 4×1’s to give it the old small drawer look. You can see the impact on the finished piece really nicely with the alternating sizes. It is a bit tricky getting it exactly right with the door size though.

Step 5:  We cut the top, added trim to it and stained it. We used Spanish Oak colored stain, which is a rich brown black grey. Then I waxed finished it with Johnson’s Wax.

Step 6: Add the doors onto the piece. We used euro hinges from Home Depot. They can be tricky and a bit more expensive, but oh so worth it.

So here the piece laid in wait until the beloved handles arrived in 2 days. Gotta love Amazon Prime!

Step 7: We added the beautiful handles. They are super duper tricky to put on, so we got creative and painted over the little holes with paint and then pushed them against the piece and it left little marks where we needed to drill.

Step 8: We added drawer pulls to every large piece of wood on the fronts, which was 6 on each side. Then we used our handy dandy stud finder/leveler to make sure the handles were in line on both sides.

Step 9: Put your stuff back into the cubbies 🙂

Step 10: Step back and admire your work!

Let me know if you have any questions on how we made it. Also, if you like it, then share it!

Featured on Betterafter.com here and on Ikeahackers.com!


Share Post
  • Oh my, that looks so awesome! You two did a fantastic job. Love all the details 🙂

    August 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm
  • Wow!! Amazing. Wish I were young again and working with John on projects for the house ?
    You and Joe are very talented and I love reading your blog – all of it.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm
  • shazam!

    this is a winning tranformation!


    August 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm
  • I think this is probably one of the best Ikea transformations I have ever seen! It’s so clever…. and I actually have one of these cabinets!! It might be a little above my DIY capabilities but it is so awesome that I just have to try it!

    August 28, 2012 at 7:54 am
  • Simply divine! Great work! Wanna make me one?? 🙂

    August 28, 2012 at 9:47 am
  • Wow, very impressive!

    August 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm
  • Very cool!

    August 31, 2012 at 3:42 am
  • So clever!

    September 3, 2012 at 3:23 am
  • Holy cow! This is brilliant!! I am so impressed!

    September 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm
  • this was an AMAZING transformation! Excellent work!
    I have never heard of Amazon Prime.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:09 am
  • Unbelievable! Fantastic. Oooh la la. All that and more. Well done you two! 🙂

    September 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm
  • OK, this is amazing! Great Job

    September 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm
  • Fabulous! Very clever!

    September 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm
  • WOW! One of the best make overs I ‘ve ever seen! Love this :). Just saw you on Better After – new follower alert!

    September 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm
  • Quick! Make more and retire early! You guys are such a cute team, love this makeover!!!!!!1111

    September 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm
  • Wow what a great makeover. You made it look so easy!!

    September 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm
  • love it, ikea, and your creativeness…good job!!

    September 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm
  • nice work!

    September 26, 2012 at 7:04 am
  • Really a beautiful piece!

    September 26, 2012 at 11:44 am
  • That is AMAZING! I found you via Better After and had to click on the link to your blog because I honestly thought she must have posted the wrong before pic! Amazing. I am totally inspired. And jealous. 🙂 Awesome work!!

    September 29, 2012 at 7:21 am
  • Just discovered your blog via Painted Style, and this is GENIUS. I actually have one of those bookcases kicking about in our loft…. Hmmm 🙂 Looking forward to reading more of your DIYs!

    December 28, 2012 at 9:46 pm
  • Love how that came out. Pinned!

    January 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm
  • Love this! My favorite IKEA hack ever!!

    January 18, 2013 at 3:41 am
  • This is Great! Your ability to turn something into something compleatly different is amazing. But do I understand correctly, you did this in your apt? Please keep sharing your ideas.
    Barbara Ann

    January 23, 2013 at 5:23 am
  • I’m sorry, but NO ONE sells those bookcases on craigslist for $20- ever. I know because I am always searching. 2nd, why are there so many handles on the faux drawers? I do applaud you on the color and tackling this, it looks great. I just don’t understand it very well… 🙁

    January 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm
    • Hi Lynet! You should move to Chicago, I got mine for $40, but see them for $20 🙂 I put lots of handles to make it look like there were several drawers. Thanks for your opinion…to each their own ! 🙂

      February 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm
  • wowzers, awesome job!!!

    February 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm
  • Great job!!! So clever!!! Good luck with CWTS!!!

    February 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    • Thanks Holly! There is a lot of good competition. A girl can dream though 🙂

      February 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm
  • Wow, this is awesome! Great job on it! I have that black IKEA piece you showed at the very beginning, and now my brain’s thinking about upgrading it like you did…We’ll have to see!

    Found you through CWTS – good luck! I entered too :).

    February 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm
  • Freaking amazing!

    February 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm
  • Love this! I have the exact same piece – could you please send dimensions? ohandal@gmail.com

    March 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm
  • Holy freakin’ cow! This is amazing! I didn’t believe the “from this to this” shot at the the beginning at first but wow, this turned out beautiful. I am looking around at my RTA furniture right now and the wheels are turning. Thanks for showing me a new way of looking at something.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Post a Comment