How to hack your IKEA Besta cabinet

The simple and classic designs of the IKEA Besta cabinet make it a piece that many have incorporated into their homes. Whether its being used as a TV stand in the living, or in the bedroom for storage, the Besta cabinet has proven to be extremely versatile. However, you might want to upgrade this simplistic design and give it a custom look. 

A great example of hacking the IKEA Besta comes from our customer Emily. She used our Buying Guide and our user-friendly How It Works page to figure out what frames would be needed in order to make her vision come to life. 

Close up of a Besta cabinet with Eleanor fronts that were painted black. A marble top and brass legs and pulls were added.
(Photo credit: Emily)

She bought the Eleanor double doors in our DIY option and then painted the fronts black. She added some final touches with our Sara black legsIngrid brass pulls, and a new top. The contrast between the black cabinet fronts and the marble top makes the piece feel more formal. 

Heres how to hack your IKEA Besta Cabinet.



Painting the IKEA Besta cabinet lets you be as simple or as creative as you'd like. With painting, there are so many different design options and colors to choose from, it's easy to find something that matches your room and your style.

Another way to hack by painting is to have different colored front panels. You can make it look retro by having one-panel pop out against the other two, or more modern by creating a sleek two-tones piece. There are so many different looks and styles you can create by changing the color your cabinet.

Here's an example of a completely painted piece by our customer Charles Bilash using our DIY Eva doors and paneling. 

 DIY Ikea Besta cabinet from Norse Interiors

(Photo credit: Charles Bilash)

Here's an example of a two-tones piece created by our in-house design team. 

Silver sage fronts on a white IKEA Besta frame from Norse Interiors


Before you start painting away, here are some helpful tips:

- The primer you used must match the type of paint you are using. A latex-based or oil-based paint is best to use when painting furniture.

- Paint the cabinet fronts before you assemble your Besta Cabinet. Let it dry completely before assembly to avoid smudging and chipping. 

- Using spray paint could be easier than traditional brush and roller painting methods. This type of paint can reduce damage to the paint when assembling.

 We have a great guide on How to painting IKEA furniture as well. 

2. Switching out the legs

Changing or adding legs to your cabinet can elevate both the style and the height. Having a brass or chrome finish on the legs adds glamour and sophistication without taking away from the rest of the cabinet. It is a subtle way to hack your Besta.

A close up of the IKEA Besta Cabinet in Pale Mocha with the Sara Leg in Chrome.

(Photo credit: Norse Interiors)

 If you purchase our Sara legs in brass or chrome, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. When switching out the legs, you have to drill holes into the bottom of the cabinet before putting the screw in.

  2. To best install the screws, when drilling place a piece of plywood against the bottom part you are drilling through. This will keep the cabinet part sturdy and prevent it from any damage.
If you are applying side panels to your cabinet, as well as different legs, make sure to put the side panels on first. 


3. A different top

A different top can make all the difference when hacking your Besta. There are so many options to choose from such as marble, glass, wood, and even concrete. Each type of top brings a different feel to the piece, so you can easily find one that fits the style that you are going for.

Ambrosia Maple Wood Top

(Photo credit: Norse Interiors)

When adding a new top, no matter what material, use industrial-strength adhesive tape for the best result.


4. Lower Besta cabinets

If you have a Besta that sits on the floor you can make a foyer bench. It's a great way to fill up empty space with something that has more than one use. On the top, you can have pillows and other decors, and in the cabinets, you can have storage for shoes, gloves, hats, and more. 

A Besta Cabinet resting on the floor being used as an entryway bench. There white fluffy pillows and other decor resting on it.

(Photo credit: Shelterness)

A similar idea, you can turn the Besta into a day bed. Add a cushion that covers the length of the cabinet, throw on some pillows and a blanket, and you have a place you can relax in all day. For the storage units, you can hold books, extra pillows, and anything else you would use to get cozy. 

Walnut triple doors and Rosa double doors
Small walnut doors with a set of separated double Rosa doors on IKEA Besta frames creating a bench. 

(Photo credit: Norse Interiors)


5. Open space storage

You can use open space as a way to show off certain decor. Not all the cabinets have to be open so you can still use the Besta for regular storage as well.

An IKEA Besta with an open space that has fire wood being displayed.

(Photo credit: Shelterness )

If you have a Besta that has legs to make it taller you can use the open space to create a desk. This hack can save a lot of space and with all the storage it will be easy to keep your desk decluttered. Here's an example from our customer Matt Cantor using our Astrid doors in charcoal black.  

Astrid doors for an IKEA Besta desk hack

(Photo credit: Matt Cantor)


6. Closet space

You can create the walk-in closet of your dreams by adding the Besta inside. You can display your shoes and accessories on the top shelf. The cabinet space will be great to hold folded jeans and sweaters (and maybe some regrettable impulse buys.)

A Besta Cabinet being used to hold shoes and clothing in a closet.

  (Photo credit: Today Is Magazine)

7. Replace the doors

Replace the doors on an old Besta sideboard to give it an entirely new look. The cane doors also transmit sound and signal, which is great if you want to hide your cable box and/or router for instance.  

Cane doors on IKEA Besta
Cane triple doors on an IKEA Besta frame (702.998.79) with black legs and Marlen knobs.

(Photo credit: Norse Interiors cane doors)

If you want help designing a custom piece using IKEA Bestas, connect with our design advisors for a complimentary consultation call to get your project started. 


You might also like 13 Best IKEA Besta Makeovers

For more tips, follow @norseinteriors

Author: Paisley McKevitt


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