Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas DanceA little over a week ago, I showed you the almost finished makeover of our loft family room. As promised, I’m back to share all the details of my Dombas Ikea Wardrobe Built-in Hack, which is the storage saviour of the space! Sometimes you get really lucky. Such was the case with the IKEA Wardrobe I purchased. It was the exact size I needed for our loft wall, and the perfect solution for storage up there. The Dombas wardrobe is large- 55 1/8″ wide, over 70″ tall and 20″ deep. It is priced at just $129 CAD- but is very plane jane, so of course an IKEA wardrobe hack was in order. In our mudroom we built cabinets from scratch- doors and all, but this was a great time friendly solution and fit the size we needed.

Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Dance

I knew I wanted to dress up the doors, and I also wanted to maximize the storage by building an additional base to hold crates. You could skip that step if you don’t need the additional space, but I will cover the basic process for the base as well.

Tools
  • Chop Saw
  • Narrow Crown Pneumatic Staple Gun
  • Sanding Sponge
Supplies for Doors and Sides
  • 1×2″ MDF trim
  • pine tongue and groove
  • 3/4″ staples
  • Liquid Nails or Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Paintable Sillicone
  • Paint in color of choice
Step 1: Assemble the Cabinet Box

Plan on this taking about an hour for two people. It is quite straight forward if you follow the instructions.Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Dance

Step 2: Trim Layout

Lay your panels out and determine the layout for your trim. I decided to have one smaller rectangle at top and two equal rectangles on bottom.
Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Dance

Step 3: Cut and Adhere Vertical Trim

Once you’ve determined your design and cut the side pieces to length, lay them out wrong side up and make sure they are flush with the top and bottom of the door panels. Apply adhesive, then flip and fasten using staples or brads. Be sure to check the pieces are flush along the outside edge of the door panel as you staple.Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Danceikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-6ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-8Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Dance

Step 4: Cut and Adhere Horizontal Trim

Cut and fasten the horizontal pieces, taking care to mark your heights so that each piece lines up properly. My top piece measured down 16″ from the top of the door. I then split the difference of the remaining opening below to make even rectangles.Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Danceikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-11

Step 5: Fill and Sand Holes and Joints

Aside from having accurate cuts, this step is what will determine the quality of your finished door panels. Take time to fill all the holes and joints, sand and repeat if necessary. MDF is very easy to work with, but does create dust. ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-12To create a fully integrated panel, silicone the inside edge as well as the outside joints. ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-15ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-14

note: I recommend sanding the vertical edges between the far right and centre door, so that they can open and close smoothly. The added depth to the door panel creates friction. It can mostly be adjusted with the hinges, but will need some sanding.

Step 6: Paint

Brush the inside corners of each panel, then roll using a small sponge roller. I finished this cabinet in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White.

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Optional Base

You could add a small base with feet to this wardrobe, or leave it as is. I wanted it to have a built in look with low storage for my kids to access, so Matt and I built a simple base using a 2×4 frame, and lined it with plywood. We then trimmed out the front and sides.

We attached the base to the base of the cabinet and the wall. The entire unit also has top wall anchors to keep it secured and prevent it from tipping.

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Finishing

To create a seamless look between the wardrobe and base, I chose to clad the side panel with vertical pine. I had just the right amount left over from our mudroom cabinet built ins. Isn’t that handy?

Step 1: Trim Side Panel

Apply a vertical piece of trim, I used 1″ by 1/2″ trim as I had it on hand. Fasten with glue and staples.ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-18

Step 2: Attach Pine

Measure and cut your pine to length. Next, fasten pine to side panel using glue and staples or brad nails.

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Step 3: Fill Holes and Prime

Fill holes using wood filler. For a finished look caulk seams and joints. Wait to dry then apply a coat of primer.ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-22

Step 4: Paint

I finished the side panel and trim in the same Simply White as the rest of the cabinet. Cladding the side really took this cabinet from looking like a piece of flat pack furniture to a custom built in. As you can see I love the texture of the panelling, and think it adds a ton of visual interest to the white room.ikea-wardrobe-hack-this-mamas-dance-23cottage-family-room-reveal-this-mamas-dance-3

I will now be looking at flat faced cabinetry in a whole new way. I love the storage of this piece, and after a few customizations, I love the look of it too! I have to tell you, I had this crazy idea floating around in my head, and I wasn’t quite sure it would work- but I am here to tell you it was easier than I anticipated, and so very worth it!

-Miss Ash

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Turn a Basic Ikea Dombas Wardrobe into Custom Built-Ins| via This Mamas Dance

Ikea Wardrobe Hack

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