How to make IKEA Wardrobe Sliding Door Panels on a budget

I wanted to share my IKEA hack because I thought it might give a few people with broken panels in their IKEA PAX sliding doors hope.

In efforts to save money on my wardrobe, I purchased my PAX used off of Craigslist. I saved $1,500, but had 2 IKEA PAX sliding door problems.

1. The color of the door panels wasn’t to my taste (the black EIKESDAL pictured below). They were the complete opposite of the relaxing and airy look I wanted for my bedroom

2. One of the 6 glass sliding door panels came shattered. In a way they were a blessing in disguise. I was able to use this as a negotiating tool in the first place to get the seller down from $750 to $500.

Other than that, the IKEA wardrobe had all the fun drawers and organizers that I wanted. Going out and buying a new set of sliding doors or new replacement panels would diminish my savings. So I knew I had to get my IKEA hack on.

IKEA PAX wardrobe
IKEA.com

Materials:

  • IKEA PAX wardrobe with sliding doors
  • Spray Primer (Valspar)
  • Spray paint – flat white (Valspar)
  • Thin plywood – 6 panels cut to size at the hardware shop according to the measurements of the glass panels
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Duct tape

DIY replacement panels for IKEA PAX sliding doors

Here’s how I fixed the problem with my IKEA PAX sliding doors.

First, I measured the size of the glass panel. At Home Depot, I had a thin piece of plywood cut to the same size as the glass panels. I got 6 of these.

Then I bought enough upholstery fabric to cover the panels. I went with a soft white with a subtle texture.

diy replacement panel for ikea pax

I wrapped fabric around each plywood panel, pulled it taut and used duct tape at the back of the panel to keep the fabric in place. You could probably hot glue the fabric down for a neater finish.

The next step is optional in replacing your IKEA PAX sliding door panel. But since I didn’t like the color of the frames I sprayed a few coats of primer over the “oak veneer” frames. Let them dry well and followed with a flat white spray paint, thoroughly coating the frames. Suddenly they were the airy doors I wanted.

sliding door panels ikea hack
1. Primer and Spray Paint 2. Oak Veneer frames painted white 3. Duct tape holds the fabric in place 4. Assembling the panels according to instructions

After that, we assembled the door panels and sliding doors following IKEA instructions.

We ended up with a great wardrobe at a fraction of the price! Here are more photos. We love it.

DIY IKEA PAX sliding door panels
replacement IKEA PAX sliding door panels
DIY IKEA PAX sliding door panels IKEA HACK
DIY IKEA PAX sliding door panels

~ by Kasey


Can I cut IKEA sliding door panels?

PAX wardrobe
IKEA.com

The IKEA PAX wardrobe system comes in two heights: 236 and 201 cm. I only have room for the 201 cm units. The problem is, door options for the shorter PAX are very limited.

I plan on using sliding wardrobe doors, with the system that allows you to mix and match panels inside an aluminum frame. I’d like to use the wood-grain panels that are only available for the taller PAX units.

The question is, what’s involved in cutting the larger PAX panels down to size? It’s not clear from the instructions whether these panels simply fit inside the frame, or whether they are replete with holes for pegs and cams, which would highly complicate matters.

Also, how do you cut these without shredding the veneer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

~ by Dave Daytona

The IKEA hackers community responded …

On the assembly of the panels

From the assembly instructions it’s pretty clear that the panels just slide into the frame. If you look around you will find other hacks where people have made their own Pax door panels from plywood, fabric-covered cardboard, etc — if you are feeling creative you are not limited to what Ikea sells. ~ Pondscum

It looks like each panel is joined separately within an outside frame. The frame is joined at the corners with little widgets, so to cut it down would mean having to miter cut an angle in the metal, then drill holes in the metal. A little complicated. To cut veneer without shredding, you would purchase a plywood blade for your saw to minimize shredding.

Another option that might be easier is to buy the correct size door in a plain style, then use iron on veneer or glue on veneer to get the look you want. Washi tape could be used to imitate the dividing rails. We used veneer to cover inexpensive plywood and it worked beautifully; caveat: don’t use a brayer roller, get a special tool called a wide cushion stair tool that looks like a wide flat dull spade. It works best on veneer without making marks. ~ Mitzi

I’ve only put together a Pax door with glass panels, but I believe the frames are the same whichever panels you choose. The panels are plain sheets. No holes, grooves, bevels of anything that might make them not fit if you trimmed them. ~ Huge

On cutting the IKEA sliding door panels

To keep from shredding veneer, layers of plywood and the like, sandwich the piece being cut between two other boards. You can screw the whole sandwich together on the “waste” side of the cut. I’ve also seen people try to use masking tape over the cut, but honestly I’ve never had that great of results with it. ~ Randy_S