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How to Create a Stunning Modern Bar Cabinet: A DIY Ikea Kallax Hack

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosures for more information. Are you looking for a chic and modern way to store your liquor, wine, barware, and coffee? Building a modern bar cabinet DIY...

modern bar cabinet diy ikea kallax hack This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosures for more information.

Are you looking for a chic and modern way to store your liquor, wine, barware, and coffee? Building a modern bar cabinet DIY may be easier than you think! With a repurposed Ikea Kallax unit, you can create a stylish and functional cabinet that fits your exact needs.

Researching Bar Cabinet DIYs

To get started, dive into the world of design inspiration on platforms like Pinterest and TikTok. We found a similar wine cabinet on TikTok, and with some upgrades like cabinet doors, stained wood wrapping, and added legs, we were able to give it a more modern look.

Utilizing Leftover Wood

Being handy is a plus for this project, and if you have leftover wood from previous projects, you're in luck! We used scrap wood to create our cabinet doors, which not only saved money but also added a unique touch to our DIY bar cabinet.

A Budget-Friendly Project

Creating a modern bar cabinet doesn't have to break the bank. Use your imagination and work with materials you already have on hand. We only had to purchase a few items such as wood panel boards, table legs, cabinet door hardware, paint, and wood stain. Investing in a paint/stain sprayer, like the Wagner brand, can also elevate the finished look of your project.

Materials and Tools

Here's a list of the materials and tools you'll need for this project:


  • Ikea Kallax Unit
  • 3 Stain Grade Wood Panel 1”x16”x8 ft
  • Birch panel
  • 2 Primed wood trim 1”x2”x8ft
  • 2 Primed wood trim .5”x.75”x 6ft
  • 4 Cabinet door hinges
  • 2 Drawer Pulls
  • 4 - Table legs
  • Stix primer
  • Latex paint
  • Wood stain (we used a combination of Zar - Champagne and Minwax - Early American)
  • Clear wood sealer
  • Wood filler
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 4 Eye hook screws
  • 1”x6ft wooden dowel
  • Plastic sheeting


  • Table Saw or Circular Saw with Guide
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Clamps
  • Paint Sprayer
  • Hand Drill
  • Orbit Sander

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Modern Bar Cabinet DIY

  1. Lightly sand your Ikea Kallax unit to prepare it for painting. Use a bonding primer like Stix primer, which works well on various surfaces, including laminate. Apply two coats of primer.
  2. Paint your Kallax unit with a high-quality paint like Coat of Arms by Benjamin Moore. Take the time to sand the unit properly before painting to ensure a smooth finish.
  3. Measure your wood panels that will wrap around the unit. We used stain-grade wood panels for a luxurious look. You'll need three 1"x16"x72" boards to complete this modern DIY bar cabinet.
  4. Cut the boards to your desired measurements. We chose to have a lip on the top of the cabinet that aligns with the sides and front, and a flush back.
  5. Sand the boards and table legs, then apply your chosen stain. We mixed Zar - Champagne and Minwax Early American stains to achieve the perfect shade. Finish with three coats of Minwax semi-gloss clear sealer, sanding lightly between each coat.
  6. Attach the bottom panel first, ensuring it is evenly placed so that the side panels align flush. Then, attach the top shelf, ensuring its lip is evenly placed on the sides and front, with a flush back.
  7. Add the table legs to the bottom of the cabinet for stability.

sanding wood for the bar cabinet diy

Creating Cabinet Doors

Building your own cabinet doors may seem intimidating, but with the right guidance, it can be a rewarding endeavor. Here's how we did it:

  1. Cut two birch panels to 14.25"W x 28.25"L. These will serve as your cabinet doors.
  2. Cut 1"x2" wide trim for the cabinet rails that will be attached to the birch panels.

modern cabinet door for our DIY coffee bar

  1. To add a modern touch, attach .75"x.5" trim strips to create a unique design.
  2. Glue down the inside trim and apply paintable caulk for a seamless look.

Our DIY Spray Paint Setup

For our first spray painting project, we took a DIY approach:

  1. Cover your storage shelves and floor with plastic sheeting to protect them from overspray.
  2. Place a 6ft wooden dowel between your L-shaped storage shelves for hanging the cabinet doors during painting.
  3. Use eye hooks to screw into the bottom of the cabinet doors, allowing for easy hanging and quick painting.

spray painting the cabinet doors for our DIY coffee bar

Final Touches

You're in the home stretch! After a few trips to the hardware store, you can install the cabinet door pulls and door hinge hardware. To maximize storage, add X-shaped shelves for wine bottle storage. The Better Homes and Garden brand offers interchangeable accessories that fit the Kallax specifications perfectly.

modern bar cabinet DIY

Inside the cabinet, you'll find ample space to store liquor bottles, wine bottles, whiskey glasses, wine glasses, and other barware supplies. If you're a coffee lover, this cabinet offers plenty of storage for your tea and coffee supplies, providing a stylish coffee bar without sacrificing counter space.

Ikea Kallax hack of an Ikea bar cabinet DIY liquor cabinet and DIY wine storage Ikea Kallax hack

This modern bar cabinet DIY project not only adds extra storage and style to your home but also allows you to personalize your space to fit modern decor. Let us know if you've taken on any repurposed Ikea furniture projects lately—we'd love to hear about them!