Dresser Makeover Ikea Tarva – Part 2

Dresser Makeover Update

Since I got a lot of compliments on my Ikea dresser makeover (mostly from family) I decided to post a little update. I added a pretty big gold mirror which I got from a hotel liquidation sale for $7! and a little jewerly stand which I made the other day. I will post a tutorial for it very soon.

In my original dresser makeover post I was a bit vague about how I actually turned a basic Tarva dresser into something exciting and mid century looking. So here a list of what materials I actually used:

IKEA TARVA Dresser Makeover STAIN

I started with staining sides and top of the dresser. I was lazy and I put the dresser together and then painted it which means insides are bare wood. It doesn’t bother but if you want your project to be perfect I recommend staining and painting before you assemble it. Anyway I used 2 stains:

  • Varathane Walnut Wood Stain – I couldn’t find this product online, it is the brand/type as the one below (0.5 pint can)
  • Dark Walnut – half pint is more than enough

Walnut color came out looking very red, a bit like squirrel and I really didn’t like so I went back to my local Home Depot. I was told that a color will vary depending on wood, for example on pine it will very different because it is a very soft wood and oak is the best . This was a great news, the dresser is made out of pine and I was pretty close to abandoning this project!

I picked a dark walnut color (I was told this is a elegant and modern shade of walnut) and applied 2 more coats. I used a old t-shirt to apply stain and gloves. Gloves are super important! do intend to stain without gloves! The end result is neither walnut nor dark walnut but I do like. Also small cans are about $5 each so you can get a few and test it.


I got a sample of Dark Pewter in eggshell by BEHR. Sample pot from Home Dept is around $3 and it was enough to apply 2/3 coats. If you want to paint the inside you can get 2 pots and it is going to be cheaper then buying a smallest can. I also used Zinsser’s primer, it can we recoated in 1 hour which is great.


I bought Triple Thick Polyurethane and when I got home I read pretty bad reviews about this product. I couldn’t do a third visit to HD in week so I decided to go with it and it is GREAT! I don’t understand why it got such bad reviews; all you need is one coat and you are done! voi·la! I used a foam roller to apply it which speed things up and let it try and cure for 48 hours.


IKEA TARVA Dresser Makeover


Anthropology has an amazing selection of knobs but they are very pricey, especially if you are buying 12! So I decided on couple of shapes I like and researched then on google. I found a random seller on eBay with exactly what I wanted: brass mid century looking knobs for less than $1.50 each! I recommend looking around, checking local hardware stores and flea markets.

IKEA TARVA Dresser Makeover

IKEA TARVA Dresser Makeover


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