10 ways to make plain IKEA PAX doors more attractive

Question: I have 2 of these monstrosities in my front room. What funky ideas do you have for me to decorate the IKEA PAX doors so they put a smile on my face?

How can I make these cupboards into something more attractive?

IKEA PAX doors ideas

~ by Susanne

Hi Susanne

Glad you asked. I had fun researching 10 ideas to turn the IKEA PAX wardrobe doors into a feature rather than a “monstrosity” as you call it. ?

The ideas range from easy to more challenging ones. So, pick the idea that suits your style and skill level. That said, go ahead and attempt something fabulous. If you do screw up the doors, you can always pick up new ones at IKEA.

I’ll start with the easy ones first.

#1 Change the hardware

One the simplest upgrade is to add a new set of door handles or knobs. Remove the plastic handles you have and go for statement handles. Abigail Ahern made these with strips of wood, painted a hot pink. It’s not hard to make a set (if you have the tools) but you can also buy extra long wood handles like these on Etsy. Leave them natural or spray paint if you prefer.

IKEA PAX doors ideas

Photo: Image by Graham Atkins Hughes via Design Sponge

Not into long handles? Brass pull rings are pretty too.

brass ring pulls

Photo: AndChristina.com

#2 Adhesive wallpaper or contact paper

The days of messy wallpaper paste is over. Peel and stick wallpaper has transformed so many walls. It definitely will transform your PAX doors.

IKEA PAX doors ideas - wallpaper

Photo: Seasons In Colour

Choose a design you like. Get as many rolls as needed. Thoroughly clean the surface of the PAX door and let it dry. Then cut out the wallpaper a little larger than the measurement of the PAX door. Stick from top edge and work your way down, pressing the paper firmly with a plastic card or squeegee. Lastly, cut off the excess edges with a Xacto knife or fold them onto the sides of the door.

#3 Make a fabric cover

This may be perfect for your front room. Depending on the fabric you choose you can totally turn it into an eye catching feature in the room.

According to the tutorial in Around the House, you’ll need fabric, sheets of MDF (foam boards may work too) and Gorilla Glue. Cut the MDF according to the size of the PAX doors, with an inch margin all round. Wrap the fabric around the MDF and glue the fabric down at the back of the boards. The final step is to glue the fabric panels on to the PAX doors. Make sure to use heavy duty construction adhesive.

IKEA PAX doors ideas - fabric

Photo: Around the Houses

#4 Upgrade with mirror

This mirrored PAX door would have been a walk in the park if you had BERGSBO doors. You could have mirrors cut to the size of the squares and set them in place with adhesive.

IKEA PAX doors ideas - mirrors

Photo: Jenny Komenda via Domino

To recreate a similar look on flat PAX doors, I would suggest LOTS mirrors. Stick the mirrors onto the door and finish with a strip of wood trim around the mirrors. Painting the doors and trim first would be great too.

#5 Cane weave on doors

If mirrors aren’t your thing, how about cane webbing? Or even burlap for a rustic, natural look.

#6 Add texture

A padded wardrobe door can look and feel luxurious. An easy way to do it would be to use embossed panels like this. Besides padding, you can try acoustics foam panels.


Photo: Apartment Therapy

#7 Add trim

If you like the vintage vibe, this hack is perfect for your two PAX wardrobes. Kevin and Sarah turned theirs into a built-in with lots of delightful touches. Such as the trim on the doors which elevates the stock IKEA PAX doors into awesomeness. See the hack here.

IKEA PAX doors ideas - trim
#8 Farmhouse style

If you are good at calculating angles, then try this criss-cross farmhouse style doors on for size. You’ll need thin strips of plywood and a table saw, at the very least, to hack this. See her tutorial.

farmhouse style wardrobe

Photo: Jenna Sue Design

#9 Chevron doors

Technically, this chevron design is on a PLATSA door but I don’t see why it wouldn’t apply to your PAX doors. Steph and James ripped MDF into strips and then used a mitre saw to cut the 45 degree angles. They glued the strips on the doors and finished them with paint. See the tutorial.

chevron doors

You can tailor the design to your taste. Instead of chevrons, you can have them shiplap style, as diamonds or squares. Have fun designing it.

#10 Paint a mural

On my list this is definitely the hardest, because I can’t draw to save my life. Stacey painstaking reproduced the mural on the doors by hand. Not for the faint hearted. However, there are easier ways to do this. Vintage Revivals has a superb tutorial on transforming a mural design into a paint-by-numbers kind of art. Very cool.

IKEA PAX doors ideas - mural

So, Susanne, which is your favourite way to hack your IKEA PAX doors? Let us know and share your finished project with us.

Happy hacking,


Jules Yap