Dresser DIY: Meet Tarva

Hi guys! It’s been kind of a while, huh? Sorry about that! I’ve been busying myself with work, hanging out with my boyfriend, making our new place cozy, and lots and lots of Sims playing- I just got the latest expansion pack. Oops! So much for a productive break, hah!

My last post touched on my January focus- trying something new every week. I have kind of been sticking to that. I have been doing more creative writing, which I haven’t done in a while. I tried out yoga- just once though; I didn’t have a mat and hardwood floors plus bad knees didn’t equal much fun or relaxation. I made it through about 10 minutes of a 20 minute beginner video on youtube. However, I want to get a mat or use some towels and try again soon! I also have tried meditating. I redownloaded the Headspace app on my new Nexus and completed the first day of their free 10 day challenge. I haven’t done any other days yet, but I really would like to, it was an enjoyable experience. When January is over and I figure out a focus for February, I’ll make a post recapping everything.

With all of that aside though, the post I bring y’all today is one I have been meaning to write for a while now!

When Seth and I first moved in, one of the first pieces of furniture we had bought was a raw pine dresser from IKEA named TARVA.


We have this weird little quirk of calling our IKEA furniture by name, so this lil’ guy is still TARVA in our household. However, he is a brand spankin’ new Tarva, with a whole new look.

We got the raw wood version because it was $99, and gave us the freedom to customize the colors! We did some major DIY on Tarva and this is how he looks now, sitting beautifully in our bedroom.


I’m not going to do a step by step DIY tutorial for this post for two reasons.

  1. We did everything completely and totally wrong. Honestly, we were struggling through the whole process! It was wet and rainy outside, so we did all of the painting and staining inside in our empty living room, with the windows open for ventilation, which is a huge no-no, I’m pretty sure. We also used old socks to spread the stain instead of even a rag, because we had none. We also quickly learned the importance of having a wide variety of sandpaper grits. Oops.
  2. The pictures I did have of the mess are on my old phone. I recently got a Nexus and ditched my iPhone. I have been meaning to switch all my photos over onto my computer from my iPhone, but I am lazy, and there’s more important things to be done these days, so I haven’t yet. Trust me, though, they were utter chaos, haha.

So instead of that, I’ll just give y’all a rundown of what we did.

First, we chopped the legs up. In the original Tarva picture, you can see the legs are just rectangular. We wanted a more modern look for our dresser, so Seth got handy (literally- he used a basic handsaw) and tapered the legs so they looked more angular.


We then stained the legs, the skirt at the bottom of the dresser, the top of the dresser, and the insides of the drawers with a dark mahogany stain.


It’s a little hard to tell from my photos, due to the crappy lighting in my bedroom today, but then we painted the rest of the dresser a lovely mint color. It looks really good in our bedroom, with the gray walls and white accents and the crown and floor molding as well as doors, windows, etc. It looks very pasty in these photos, but I assure you it looks 1000x better in person, and a lot more minty! Closer to my first photo of the “after”- which I tried to edit to bring out the minty-ness.

All that was left as this point was the knobs. The knobs that came with the dresser were bulky raw pine knobs, and wouldn’t have even looked good has we stained them. So we decided on gold accent knobs. We went scouring Lowes and Home Depot, and finally found the perfect ones!

They weren’t quite gold, they were more a tarnished brass-y gold, but they were perfect. They gave the whole dresser a very vintage feel, and they looked great with the mint- and they were cheap, considering we needed 10!


Overall, it was definitely an adventure giving our sweet Tarva a makeover to suit our home! It was our first real DIY project, and it turned out to be a lot harder than we expected, but a fun story to tell, none the less.

And now, our bedroom wouldn’t feel complete without it!


Have you done any fun DIY’s? Have any of them gone completely opposite of how you expected? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Dresser DIY: Meet Tarva

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