Ikea Hack: Tarva

Sunday, February 17, 2019
This weekend we pulled the trigger on a lengthy trip to IKEA in search of finding a new “big girl” dresser for Miss Olivia.
I have had my eyes on the Tarva Series from IKEA for quite some time (thanks, Bonnie) so I went in the store with a little more control than normal and a mission to accomplish. The dresser itself came out to about $149 (total bummer because it was on sale last month running for about $99) which is still significantly cheaper than the route we were originally going to take. The next morning we made a trip to Lowe’s to obtain paint, primer, paintbrushes, dresser knobs, etc. Yes! That’s right, this unfinished wood dresser was always going to be a DIY project for us. Olivia’s room colors are coral + turquoise, so we gave her the option to choose a color that she wanted us to paint her new dresser. In Olivia fashion, she initially said both. Then she changed her mind and said she wanted pink. So we went with coral and I tried my hardest to match her room decor to the colors available in valspar paint.
We ended up going with a power punch peach (if I’m not mistaken) and even though it wasn’t coral, the color was pretty spot on to what we were looking for. We ended up getting a paint sample of the color we chose and that total came out to just under $4. We got a satin paint/primer for the areas of the dresser that we planned to keep neutral and white and that ran us about $17 for just under thirty fluid ounces. ** Paintbrush tip** for a project like this, you want to make sure to use a nylon polyester paintbrush. The bristles are designed for easy paint release and this type of paintbrush can be used with all types of paint. The valspar nylon brush we bought cost about $10 but the Purdy brand is the best because no matter how many uses, if you wash it out right after a project, it will last forever. Picking out the knobs seemed to be the highlight of our trip and Olivia decided on some super stellar knobs! They look like tasteful crystal balls (quite similar to what Ava has on her dresser). Those were pretty expensive, since we had to purchase ten of them. They ran about $4 a piece.
After getting all the materials we needed, we started opening up the dresser boxes (yes, they came in two boxes conveniently labeled box 1 and box 2) to finally knock out this project. The first thing Justin did was paint the actual face of the drawers… and while in the middle of painting we both realized we forgot to paint with primer first (I was SO bummed). With any unfinished wood primer allows for the paint to soak into the grain just a little more gracefully. All was not lost though, we just ended up painting more coats than we would have if the primer was applied first. So we’d paint the face of the drawers, let them dry completely, and then paint them again. SO. TEDIOUS. That is the only thing we really accomplished on the first day.
The next day Justin assembled the actual dresser drawers and made sure to put the knobs on. Oh. My. Goodness. I could totally see Olivia’s dresser come to life and this was the point that I got most excited. I think after that Justin and I both decided that I’d take a backseat to this DIY. I love the idea of a DIY, but for the most part, I love just seeing the final project. I’m so dang thankful that Justin is both equally great at taking direction and a DIY mastermind! After he assembled the drawers, he painted the parts of the dresser that we wanted white (he actually stayed up until after 2am painting his baby girl’s dresser). Once those parts of the dresser were ready to assemble, Justin followed the directions and assembled everything else.
The final product left Olivia in complete awe. She loves her big girl dresser and we were so thrilled to give our little girl a piece of furniture that was custom tailored to her room. All in all, I don’t have any complaints. For our first #ikeahack I’d say that we did very well.

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