PAX closet hacked beautifully to match Victorian home

We wanted an affordable closet solution — under $2000 — in our closet-less Victorian home.

However, we wanted something that would match the period architecture and trim work of the house.

Before
before
After
Victorian home closet IKEA PAX hack

PAX offered the storage we needed, but not the aesthetic. The hack allowed us to achieve both!

IKEA items used: 
Other materials and tools:
  • Crown Moulding
  • Baseboard
  • Panel Mould
  • Elmer’s Wood Filler
  • Caulking
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Nail gun

PAX closet in a Victorian home:

1. Order and assemble your PAX system.

2. Build a simple base using 2x4s and wood screws. This will lift your PAX off the ground to create space for baseboard moulding to achieve a built-in look. 

3. Lift your PAX onto the base in the location it will stay in. Secure the PAX to the wood frame using wood screws. Holes can be filled later to cover screw locations. 

4. Use MDF 1×4 pieces to frame the sides of the PAX. This helps make the PAX look like it’s built right into the wall by covering the gaps between the back of the cabinet and your wall surface. It also provides a surface to adhere your crown moulding and baseboard to, in the next steps. 

5. Attach your crown moulding around the top of the PAX. Match to existing crown in your home for a truly integrated look. 

6. Attach baseboard to the bottom of the PAX. Match to existing baseboard in your home and cope the baseboard to integrate seamlessly with the baseboard on your wall, if any.

planning the trim

7. Attach moulding to the PAX doors. Do not use nails here, as they can damage and create holes in IKEA products. Instead, use a strong construction adhesive. Do this with the doors laying flat, not installed, so the moulding doesn’t move while the adhesive cures. 

trim
baseboards
moulding

8. Use a shellac-based primer to prime the entire surface – IKEA parts and your moulding and trim. 

Victorian home closet IKEA PAX hack

9. Once the primer has dried, paint in a colour of your choice. For a high-traffic wardrobe, a semi-gloss can provide more durability and ability to clean later on. 

10. Install your handles. Drill carefully to not blow a hole through the IKEA material. If possible, hold a 2×4 at the back of the cabinet and drill through it to minimize the risk of damaging the door. 

Victorian home closet IKEA PAX hack

11. Move your clothes in!

Victorian home closet IKEA PAX hack
How much did it cost?

We figure it cost us just over $1600 including all IKEA items, moulding, paint, adhesives, and custom hardware. 

Victorian home closet IKEA PAX hack

See the full tutorial on our blog and follow us on Instagram.

~ by Kevin & Sarah Reid-Morris