Monday, July 13, 2015

Kallax Door Hack

This is an extremely easy and affordable way to give your Expedit/Kallax more of a custom look. I realized while shopping at Ikea that one of the Kallax door inserts was the same price as buying one of their seagrass baskets. I thought instead of having four baskets that also having a couple of doors would look great. 

I had everything on hand to make these, here's a list of what you'll need:
  • 36-38 wood shims (the ones I had are $1.57 for a pack of 12 from Home Depot)
  • wood stain
  • wood glue
  • drill to make a hole in the shim
I didn't take many pictures of the steps because I wasn't sure how these would actually turn out, and of course I love them! I'll try to describe the steps in detail, but really this is so simple and you can finish it in a few hours. First I laid out the shims over the doors to see how many I needed. 18 shims per door would have left a gap, but not a very noticeable one. I wanted to cover as much of the door as I could, so I cut one shim in half to make two thin strips and this amount covered the door perfectly. I laid them down opposite (see the picture below) so the thickest side of the shim was on the outside of the door, and the sloped sides overlapped which actually just make the wood pretty level across the door.

I tried to choose shims that were a little beat up looking and imperfect. Once I picked all the ones I wanted I went ahead and stained them. I made a custom mix with Minwax Espresso and Rustoleum Sunbleached. I didn't want to buy a new stain just for one project, so by mixing them I got a new color without spending any money. Another tip is to leave the stain on some pieces for longer before you wipe it off. This way you'll have a variance in colors and the door will have a little more depth and dimension. 

Let the shims dry, mine took about an hour, then lay them on the doors again to make sure you like the look. Take a look at where the hole is for the knob on the door, and then hold onto that shim so you'll know which shim needs a hole. I actually just shook all the shims off and made sure I was holding that one in place, then I poked through the hole from underneath with a nail to make a mark on the wood shim. I honestly think that's the trickiest part of this whole DIY! Then you just need to drill a hole through the shim so it's easier for the bolt to go through. I used a 3/16 bit to make the hole. Then all you need to do is start gluing! Glue down whichever shim you want on the bottom first, then layer the other one on top. I moved quickly with this step so I would still have some wiggle room before it set. It will set pretty quickly, by the time I got to the last row the top row was dry. So be sure to check and make sure everything is even as you go. 

Place books or something heavy on top of the doors while the wood glue dries, I waited an hour. Then I used spray polycrylic to give the shims a little protection and put the doors on! When you're putting on the doors you have several options. The Ikea instructions say to screw the hinge into the set of holes that are further back, but it's actually better to screw them in closer to you. The doors have a bit of bulk to them so they aren't going to open all the way. If you screw them in closer to you they will stick out a little bit past the Kallax (it isn't noticeable) you'll be able to open them wider. You can also sand down the side of the door closest to the hinge so less wood is rubbing against the Kallax. With this step you might want to glue the wood down first, then sand, then stain.

Above is the before, you can see the black-brown doors come with little silver knobs.

I love the after! I added copper knobs for a more custom look. You can see that the doors stick out just slightly from the Expedit, but honestly I don't notice them. I can open the doors about 60% of the way, so I wouldn't recommend putting anything too large in the inserts. I use them to store tea pots, so I don't need them to open very much.

I hope you've enjoyed this DIY! The process seems lengthy, but it really comes together quickly once you get started. 

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