How to lighten the IVAR unit with BEHANDLA glaze paint - IKEA Hackers

How to lighten the IVAR unit with BEHANDLA glaze paint

See what a little glaze paint can do.

IKEA IVAR although originally designated as a garage/storage shelving as a system offers great flexibility in terms of size options and adjustable shelf placement.

ivar unit in living room

Related: See these ideas before you customize the IVAR cabinet


We wanted to place it in our living room but the pine was too yellow. I was pleased I have managed to enhance quality by sanding and painting the unit and colour match it with other furniture in the room.

IKEA items used: 

Other materials and tools: 

Applying BEHANDLA glaze paint to IVAR: 

Sand all elements. (I sanded by hand with 240 grit sandpaper but I would recommend using a sanding machine like a random orbital sander.) After sanding, use a slightly damp cloth to clean and remove all saw dust. Let dry.

Then paint. Apply a thin coat of glazing paint evenly with a paint brush along the grain of the surface.


Related: A beautiful design idea for IVAR cabinet doors


Use as many coats as needed to get the desired depth of color. The finish will become deeper and more opaque with each additional coat of glazing paint. In between coats, let it dry thoroughly. (Takes at least 6 hours.)

Lastly, assemble the IVAR according to the combination you want.

What was the hardest part about this hack? 

Hand sanding elements was not an easy task. Looking back at it I would definitely recommend doing it using a sanding machine.

IVAR with glaze paint
What to pay special attention to?

The quality of timber differs although all elements are made from soft pinewood. The support elements are much better quality than shelves, also come from the different country origin. If I remember correctly shelves being sources in Russia and supports in Sweden.

~ by Matt Sohusky