Hacking KALLAX to a flat screen TV stand

IKEA’s popular shelving unit modded into flat screen TV stand.

Our house was built in 1957, when TVs were pieces of furniture. We wanted to be able to watch TV while sitting by the fire, but there was absolutely nowhere in the living room to put the flatscreen. (We are adamantly opposed to hanging TVs over the fireplace!)

The only place to put it was next to the room divider, however, this meant we needed a piece of furniture with *extremely* specific dimensions.

It had to a) hold the TV and b) be the right height and length to sit behind the built-in room divider.

Not too low (hard to watch TV on the floor) but not to high (can’t be above the divider).

We looked for months and months, and even if we could spend thousands, we weren’t going to find what we needed.

On a trip to IKEA, we measured this KALLAX and wow, with some legs on it, the dimensions were perfect!

We bought it and next tried to figure out how to make it look nice in the room.

We tried faking a wood stain, but this KALLAX is essentially covered with a wood-patterned sticker, so paint was called for.

walnut KALLAX to blue TV stand

Colorwise, we were inspired by some items from West Elm and Blu Dot. We added the antiqued brass legs and floating shelf (3″ thick) to raise the TV up as high as possible.

It fits perfectly, and is in line with the midcentury style of the room. The total cost was around $180.

IKEA items used: 
Other materials used:

KALLAX flat screen tv stand:

1. We assembled the KALLAX only partially, to accommodate our TV’s dimensions plus a shelf for books. We had to reinforce the bookshelf with two wood screws because we weren’t installing all the shelves, so it wasn’t as strong as it would be (the shelves support each other).

walnut grey kallax

2. Wipe the KALLAX down with Gloss-Off, following bottle instructions. Let dry thoroughly.

3. Fill in all the shelf-peg holes with wood filler. Let dry then sand flat.

4. Prime the KALLAX and the Hobby Lobby wood shelf. Some of the surfaces required two coats of primer (the walnut-effect is super fake and hard to cover with paint!). 

gray walnut KALLAX to blue TV stand

5. Paint the KALLAX and the wood shelf. We had to do several very thin coats, letting dry thoroughly between.

6. Attach the brass legs. Do not use a drill! It will eat up the KALLAX. We reinforced some of the screw holes with wood glue, as the KALLAX just sort of disintegrates sometimes.

If you were to do this again, what would you do differently?

If I were to do this again, I would buy the matte white shelf instead (we thought we could “stain” the walnut effect, which is why we bought that one).

It was a learning experience, and we might do something similar in another room to hold our records and stereo.

~ by Califia