Modern Bar Cabinet DIY: Ikea Kallax Hack

Our new modern bar cabinet diy was easier than you think to build. Using our old Ikea Kallax unit, we built a modern cabinet with doors to storage our liquor, wine, barware, as well as our coffee maker too! We were looking for a way to store our wine and coffee that was both chic and modern.

modern bar cabinet diy ikea kallax hack
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Building your own bar cabinet is a great way to save money and get exactly the look you want in your home. Plus, it’s not as difficult as you might think, and we actually had much fun with the design process!

In this article, we’ll show a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a bar cabinet by repurposing an Ikea Kallax unit.

We decided to give this bar cabinet a double duty use as a wine and liquor cabinet as well as a coffee bar for our house.

We originally used it as a TV console with storage bins for toys and games. Since our kids are going up, we now have fewer toys to hide. And it was about time to give it a grown-up upgrade.

Research Bar Cabinet Diy’s

The first thing I did was research Pinterest and Tik Tok for design ideas. I found a similar wine cabinet on Tik Tok and upgraded it with a more modern look with the cabinet doors, wrapping it with stained wood, and adding legs.

Great Way to Use Scrap Wood

We are pretty handy, and YouTube is one of our tools we use when we are tackling home improvement projects.

We used a lot of leftover wood trim from previous projects. My husband never throws out any scrap wood and I’m so glad he didn’t because we made our cabinet doors from just scrap wood!

Budget Friendly Project

So this can be a budget friendly project for you if you just use a little imagination on the design and work with what you already have on hand.

We only had to purchase the wood panel boards, table legs, cabinet door hardware, paint, and wood stain.

We did, however, invested in a Wagner paint/stain sprayer. We’ve renovated our guest bathroom last year and after all said and done, we wish we invested in a paint sprayer for smoother finish on our vanity cabinet and the shiplap walls.

Materials List:

  • Ikea Kallax Unit
  • 3 Stain Grade Wood Panel 1”x16”x8 ft
  • Birch panel
  • 2 Primed wood trim 1”x2”x8ft
  • 2 Primed wood trim .5”x.75”x 6ft
  • 4 Cabinet door hinges
  • 2 Drawer Pulls
  • 4 – Table legs
  • Stix primer
  • Latex paint
  • Wood stain (we used a combination of Zar – Champagne and Minwax – Early American)
  • Clear wood sealer
  • Wood filler
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 4 Eye hook screws
  • 1”x6ft wooden dowel
  • Plastic sheeting

Tool List:

  • Table Saw or Circular Saw with Guide
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Clamps
  • Paint Sprayer
  • Hand Drill
  • Orbit Sander

Cut List:

  • Top Panel – 61.50”L x 16”W
  • Bottom Panel – 59.25”L x 15.25”W
  • 2 Side Panels – 30.75”L x 15.25”W
  • 2 Cabinet Backs – 28.25”L x 14.25”W
  • 1×2 Rail Trim for Cabinet Doors: 4 – 28.25” L  and 4 – 11.25”L

How to Build a Modern Bar Cabinet DIY

1. Lightly sand your Ikea Kallax unit to prep for paint. We used Stix primer. It’s a great bonding primer for all kinds of surfaces, including laminate. Apply 2 coats of primer.

ikea kallax unit
Ikea Kallax unit before we sanded and primed it.

2. Paint your Kallax unit. We bought a gallon of Coat of Arms by Benjamin Moore. The painting took quite a bit of time, but we are happy we took the extra time to sand the unit properly before painting it.

3. Start by measuring your wood panels that will wrap about the unit. We choose to use these stain grade wood panels. You’ll need 3 – 1″x16″x72″ boards to complete this modern diy bar cabinet.

cutting panel for bar cabinet diy
Cutting down the wood panels that will wrap the cabinet

4. We wanted the top of the cabinet to have a lip of the sides and front, then have the back flushed with the unit. Cut your boards to your measurements.

5. Sand the boards and table legs, then apply a stain of your choice. We used a light stain to match the rest of our interior decor. We experimented with stain options by mixing Zar – Champagne stain and Minwax Early American stain to achieve the stain we loved. Then applied 3 coats of Minwax semi-gloss clear sealer, sanding lightly between the coats.

sanding wood for the bar cabinet diy

6. Attached the bottom panel first and make sure it’s evenly placed, so the sides of the cabinet panels are flushed. Once the side boards are screwed in place, attach the top shelf so its lip is evenly placed on sides and front. Make sure it’s flushed with the back of the unit.

7. Add the legs to the cabinet bottom.

Cabinet Door DIY

We never build cabinet doors from scratch and didn’t know how it would turn out. Again, we turned to YouTube for guidance and encouragement. We used our scrap wood for this portion.

1.We cut down two birch panels to 14.25″W x28.25″L and that would be our cabinet doors.

Tip: Tape the board before cutting to prevent a rough cut.

2. Cut down 1″x2″wide trim for the cabinet rails to be attached to the birch panel.

3. You can stop there, but I wanted it to have a modern look, so I added .75″x.5″ trim strips to create this design.

4. We glued down the inside trim, then apply paintable caulk to the inside trim for a seamless look.

modern cabinet door for our diy coffee bar

Our DIY Spray Paint Setup

Since this was our first spray painting project we really diyed it!

1.We covered our storage shelves and floor with plastic sheeting.

2.We took a 6ft wooden dowel and placed it between our L shaped storage shelves. Which worked out great for painting the cabinet doors.

3.Use eye hooks to screw in the bottoms of our cabinet doors so we could hang the doors to make it a quick and easy paint job.

spray painting the cabinet doors to our diy coffee bar

Final Touches

We were in the home stretch and can’t wait to complete this modern bar cabinet diy! After a couple of trips to Lowes looking for the right hardware, we finally could install the cabinet door pulls and door hinge hardware.

Final step, we added two X shelves for wine bottle storage from Walmart. We found that Better Homes and Garden brand from Walmart has the same Kallax specs, which have lots of accessory pieces that’s interchangeable.

modern bar cabinet diy

You can actually store lots liquor and wine bottles, whiskey glasses, wine glasses, and other barware supplies inside of the cabinet.

Any coffee lover’s out there? There are tons of storage for all your tea and coffee supplies in the coffee cabinet. The modern diy coffee bar cabinet is an excellent way to have your morning cup of joe in style without sacrificing any counter space.

This Ikea Kallax hack transformed our living space to fit modern decor. It’s also an awesome way of adding extra storage and style in your home!

Ikea kallax hack of a ikea bar cabinet
diy liquor cabinet and diy wine storage
ikea kallax hack

This was one of our favorite projects and we hope you enjoyed our modern bar cabinet diy. This project is ideal for those who want a modern home bar cabinet made from a repurposed Ikea Kallax unit. Let us know if you have repurposed Ikea furniture projects lately.

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modern bar cabinet diy

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