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Customise An Ikea Pax Wardrobe

Customise An Ikea Pax Wardrobe

How to Customise An Ikea Pax Wardrobe and make it look built in.

From the time we moved house two years ago, this was on my list of TO DO’s. But so many other projects seem to take precedence, that I ended up living with this small pine wardrobe for two full years !! It was not really fit for purpose. Oh my god, even looking at the photos is embarrassing. But it will really show you the difference the ikea wardrobes made.



I  booked an online consultation with Ikea to help me design what I had in mind and buy it all in one go.

The online consultation took just 20 minutes . I gave her the size of the wall 300cm wide x 250cm high. Share shared her screen with me and showed me the options I had. I went for 4 x 75cm carcasses , 4 x clothes rails, two trouser racks, 4 x shelves for the top , drawers and slide out shelves for shoes. Oh and sensor lights. I made a mistake here and didnt take a screen shot of the design. So when all the packages arrived , I couldn’t actually remember what was supposed to go where !!!

So here is what I did to turn ordinary Ikea white wardrobes into stunning custom built wardrobe. ( well i think they are stunning) . You can of course just use this as a guide and do your version. If you ware following me on instagram , you will see all this highlighted and some reels and posts with more photos. FOLLOW here

Step One. Assembly

I assembled all the carcasses with the help of my son,  screwed them to each other and to the wall behind using 2 x 1 boards that I screwed into the wall first.

Step Two. Inner pieces

I put in all the shelves and rails etc. so I would know what holes I was using and what ones I could fill in. All Ikea wardrobes come with 3 rows of holes ,that allows you move your shelves etc, to where you want them. They are a dead giveaway that the piece is Ikea. so they all had to be filled in .  All the shelves etc had to be taken out again before priming and painting. Below is a photo of most of it in place and you can see its  the typical Ikea wardrobe.

I wanted something a bit posher than that. How do you achieve that?  By simply hiding anything that makes it look Ikea.

Now see how I turned that wardrobe into


Step Three. Trimming in wood 

I bought lots of strips of wood in different sizes. You could use MDF for this and rip it down, but i found it easier and quicker just to use these strips. I also bought a 5in skirting board for the bottom. This acts like a base board and hides the typical ikea base.



After cutting the skirting to size and making an external angle to go round the side, I attached it with NO MORE NAILS and a nail gun from Lidl. With the skirting in place I could measure the height of the upright and attached them as well as all the cross sections            ( front of the shelves )


Then I bought coving for the top. Coving is light and easy to cut and attach, for one person on their own. And if it should fall ( which it wont of course lol ) it  wont hurt you or or anyone else , unlike a heavy skirting board !! Well that was my reasoning.

I do wish however i had bought the external angle. You can buy them separately and although I managed, it was a bit stressful lol lol .

I attached this to the top with the glue supplied and my nail gun.

Step Four. Preparing the surface for painting.

I filled all the holes with white polyfilla and then primed all the carcasses and all the drawer front and shelves with a strong adhesion primer. This is a must for Ikea furniture and the surface is known as a difficult surface and your water based paints simply will not stick to it, without the right primer. I used BLOX IT from Fleetwood Paints. I had it in grey , so i used that so i could see exactly where i had primed. The white would just disappear on me. I left this 24 hours to cure before rolling on the paint.

The paint I chose for this was Colour Perfect Advanced in Eggshell. The eggshell has the lowest sheen and I love it. The colour is called Shabby Hunter Green from the shabby paint collection for Fleetwood Paints. Available nationwide.

To apply both these products I use the flawless micro fibre 4 in roller. This kept the primer and paint so smooth , it looks like it was spray painted.

Step Five . The Finishing Touches. 

Now the full unit was painted a lovely shade of green, I wanted to protect it in areas that I knew would get the most wear.


  •  The drawer fronts. These drawers are opened by putting your hand over the top of the drawer. I didn’t want to add handle to the front, so i added wood trim to the top and a silver ( sprayed gold) long handle that sits on top. This means we are never touching the actual laminate drawer but the wood trim, making it harder wearing.
  •  I used DC Fix transparent film over all the pull out shoe racks. Its self adhesive . This did not take away from the paint colour but protects the shelves from shoes dragging on it.

  • I sprayed the clothes rails gold and add the transparent film to it. Therefore allowing the gold to show through but protecting it from the hangers.
  • Down the bottom under the last shelf /drawer there was a gap . So to hide that, I simply slotted in a piece of wood trim, painted it to match and hey presto , gap gone.

I then add the lights. These are sensor lights that some on with movement in front of them. And stood back and looked at my posh wardrobes with pride. I had a quote of 3.5K to make these fitted wardrobe. I did it for about 900e .

Over 3k of you watched this on stories on Instagram, such was the level of interest, This can be applied to billy bookcases or any storage unit from Ikea. You get the fabulous storage and organisation that Ikea is famous for, but you get to make it your own.

Thanks for reading . I hope I have inspired you to give it a go. Dont forget to follow along on INSTAGRAM for more Diys.





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