Kyle’s back with a second DIY project! If you missed his first one last, check it out before you continue reading.

My second project while the wife was away visiting family was to prepare and paint two TARVA nightstands from IKEA. We briefly considered the super-popular RAST dresser, but in the store the TARVA’s construction seemed much more solid and I kind of liked the second open shelf under the tabletop. We had been living without dressers and putting our books and glasses on plastic drawers, so this would be a huge improvement.

Like our INGO table, these are plain pine and desperately need either paint or stain. First I put together the dressers following the sometimes-cryptic IKEA instructions. One lesson I’ve learned is to use generous amounts of wood glue for IKEA furniture, which is as well-know for it’s flimsiness as it is for it’s spare-but-fashionable Scandinavian styling. I only had to frantically rip apart two wood-glued pieces during construction, but soon I had the two completed.

I started by painting the middle section including the open-air shelf, to see if I wanted to leave the legs unpainted. I also left the top plain-pine thinking it, like the kitchen table, would look good with exposed wood. I painted about two layers of the same satin acrylic paint/primer to achieve a solid and full coat. For the tops I first tried applying a layer of clear polyurethane, but I didn’t really like the look and when I texted a sample to the wife, she confirmed what I suspected – all-white would look best. So I slapped on a few coats of white on the top surface to complete the job.

I let both dressers dry until the next day since I didn’t want paint sticking to any books or sheets and by the time she was home they were both ready. I’m still a little anxious that the painted surface may not be durable enough, but I can always add another layer of paint if it starts to wear down.  It’s nice to finally have a place for both of our lamps and books  - and to have another home project in the books.

Have you ever started a project only to change your plans halfway through? What changed your mind and how did it affect the project or results?

Thanks, Kyle, for dropping by and sharing your DIY projects! I’m hoping to keep the Workin’ Wednesday category going with projects of my own…or yours! If you’ve done anything cool lately and would like to be featured as a guest poster, shoot me an email.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman