Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack

Hello and how have you been?  I know I’ve been M.I.A. for a bit but its with good reason.  I’ve been busy DIYing stuff. I have about three projects going and my house is chaotic.  Last week I mentioned that the hubs and I went to Ikea and that a “hack” was underway.  Today I’m going to show you one of the things I’ve been slaving away at. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (17 of 25)

It’s the Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet. When I spotted it in the store, my mental gears started churning. I could put one in the entry to hold all of my guests shoes, I can put one in the mud room, I can put one in the kitchen to store extra stuff. My kitchen theme is a lot of turquoise with hints of gray and yellow.  The trim is all white.  This cabinet came in three colors, black-brown, gray-brown and white.


The hubs did not agree that white was the best choice and requested that we paint it gray.  I wasn’t totally opposed to gray but I needed it to have a little bit more style.  During my daily Pinterest surf, I came across this beautiful dresser below.

via Lrosedesigns

via Lrosedesigns

The first thing to catch my eye was the color and then the crisp white trim sealed the deal.  Since I already had color on my walls, I would go for the same look with a few shades of gray.  The plan was to  buy the white shoe cabinet and paint the various gray stripes on it. This sounded easy enough right?  Wrong.  One thing Ikea forget to mention was that the solid wood version is only available in the black-brown color even though they all cost $100.  This little tidbit of information required some creative thinking.  I’m no stranger to elbow grease so I decided to buy the black-brown cabinet

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (13 of 25)Sand off the lacquerIkea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (2 of 25)

Prime it with a high adhesion primer

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (3 of 25)Sand the primer to knock down the grain to get a silky smooth surface.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (4 of 25)I like how when you prime it always looks like you did it wrong but you didn’t.  Next I proceeded to mix my paints.  I bought a quart of Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer in my signature Silky white and then I bought a sample of dark gray paint.  I carefully mixed into three separate cups graduated shades of gray.  Then I painted all the trim my darkest shade of gray.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (5 of 25)I used a small piece of scrapbook paper the color of my kitchen walls to determine which shades of gray would look best.  It also served as my template so that I would not confuse myself while painting.

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (7 of 25)Every surface that would be visible got two coats of paint using a high density foam roller.  All the others got one coat.  I decided to paint before assembly because it would look more professional than painting after assembly. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (6 of 25)Painting the doors with the ombre effect was really easy.  I measured and marked the boards into four separate areas and taped off  one section of the board at a time. I painted two coats of and then removed the tape while the paint was still wet. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (8 of 25)When it dried, I taped off the other side of the board but I made sure to overlap the previously painted area by about 1/16th of an inch so that I would not accidentally “miss a spot.”  Once it’s all painted, the human eye can not detect the difference. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (14 of 25)Next I painted over the other half of the board with the next lighter shade making sure that I completely covered this tiny slither of gray paint.  Since I used a paint and primer in one, you cannot see the first layer of paint through the new.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (9 of 25)Once they were all painted, everything got a coat of water based wipe on poly.  Ordinarily I would not use poly on satin paint but my paint sample was flat paint so my darker shades of gray have more of an enamel finish while the sheen increases as the shades get lighter. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (10 of 25)I let the poly dry for 24 hours and then began assembly.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet AssemblyI assembled on the floor because my table was being used for another project at the moment.  This wreaked havoc on my knees and I will avoid ever doing it again. If you’ve ever assembled Ikea furniture you know that the instructions forbid using a power drill or impact driver. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (15 of 25)I figured, what’s the worst that could happen?  If I drilled through my board then I can just patch the hole and join using pocket screws.  I turned to torque to the lowest setting and slowly drilled all the screws into the wood.  If I had bought this piece in any of the other colors, this would be a big no-no as there is no way to repair particle board short of using Bondo. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (12 of 25)If you are observant you may have noticed that I’ve gone from following the instructions on the iPad to the iPhone because my battery died on the iPad and using a piece of paper is too much work.

Once my cabinet was assembled  I needed to secure it to the wall. I placed the cabinet without doors exactly where I wanted it avoiding any electrical outlets.  Because I know there is a pocket door frame in this wall I didn’t bother with the stud finder. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (25 of 25) I drilled holes for the anchor through the holes in the back of the cabinet then moved the cabinet. I Inserted the anchor and gave it a couple of light taps with the hammer. Then I zipped two screws into the anchor securing the cabinet to the wall.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (17 of 25)

Update: So many people have inquired about the height of the legs wondering if the cabinet will fit over their baseboards.  I’ve added two new photos showing the assembled dimensions and measurements of certain components. I hope you find it helpful.

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Dimensions

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Dimensions

I could not decide which knobs to put on it.  I had some leftover knobs from the rest of the kitchen and tried them out…Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (19 of 25)I liked them but the hubs didn’t.  He opted for the knobs that were included with it so in the hopes of bringing this moment up in a discussion of who gets their way, I conceded and let him have his knobs. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (18 of 25)Here is the installed cabinet.  Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (16 of 25)I like how it has no back legs so it lays flush against the wall. Because it is so narrow, it doesn’t hinder the flow of traffic through the kitchen.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (20 of 25)

For now, I’ve decided that it will hold my excess of kitchen linens, paper plates, cups and utensils and probably anything else that I can shove in there. Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (23 of 25)Looking at it by itself, it looks kind of bare but don’t worry I’ve got a plan for that too.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (21 of 25)Here is a Photoshoped version of my vision.Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack (22 of 25)

Pretty Awesome right?  Maybe I will do the frame in white to tone down the turquoise.  Remember I’m repainting the kitchen soon so there will be a little less turquoise. Now I just have to learn how to do that awesome chalkboard handwriting.  Once I complete this wall I will have officially completed one task off my 2013 Home Improvement Goals.

Signature PNG 2


  1. says

    hi! congrats on the addition to your family =D. Was wondering how the anchors for your cabinet have held up? mine was anchored and it just pulled away from the wall so I’m wondering if I need to use additional anchors.

  2. Beatriz says

    I have the Brusali shoe cabinet and I find it really annoying that some of the shoes (flats for example) end up moving around/falling when I close the drawers. Does this happen to you with the Hemnes cabinet, and if so have you found a solution?

    • Ayisha says

      Beatriz, we don’t use the gray cabinet in our kitchen for shoes. I use it for kitchen linens. The tall cabinet we have in our foyer is used for shoes but only when we have guests. The flats do tend to fall over if there aren’t other shoes next to them. I don’t really care though since it keeps them off the floor in my foyer. We keep our own shoes on a shelf in our mudroom.

    • Lan says

      I have this problem too! I hate how my flip flops keep falling all over themselves. I fixed the flats problem by using rubber shelf liner but my flip flops don’t care for it.

  3. Michele TW says

    I have one of these cabinets. Every plastic holder on the inside of the pull-out drawers has broken/cracked at the fold where it is screwed in. Is there anyone out there who knows a good fix? It would be nice if they were replaceable.

  4. leen says

    love this!! I wasn’t a fan of the two-legged design until I came across yours. great job! quick question, if you were to use this for shoes… how many pairs do you think could actually fit? thanks for sharing your creation!

  5. says

    I love what you have done with this! I am considering buying one, but I cannot find any information about the length of the legs (wondering if they will fit over our baseboard heat). Can you tell me how long they are? Also, are they able to go uninstalled? Any idea of whether IKEA sells interchangeable legs and might offer a longer set? Thanks for any wisdom you can share!

    • Ayisha says

      Hi Kathleen, The legs cannot go uninstalled because they are all one piece from the top of the cabinet to the floor. It has holes predrilled for assembly of the entire frame. The height from the floor to the back of the cabinet is 5″. I’ve updated the post with images to include dimensions.

    • Ayisha says

      Hi Paula, The color of my kitchen is a half tint that I had colormatched to a personal item. I do however have the color formula. The grey paint started as Sherwin Williams “Dovetail” and I just kept adding white paint to the cups to get the lighter shades of grey. I’ve attached an image of the formula for my kitchen walls paint. Kitchen Paint Color Formula 2013

  6. Amy U says

    Hi there – Great post! Was looking at this for my entry way and was wondering how much clearance there is for trim on the bottom? I have higher trim so was curious before heading all the way to Ikea :) Thanks!

    • Ayisha says

      Hi Amy, I’ll have to check that out for you. One option would be to replace those (2) 2×2 pieces that make up the frame of the cabinet with 2×2 poplar boards. That would make it tall enough to clear your baseboards no matter how tall they are. You would need to match the holes up from the original pieces and transfer them to the new wood and assemble and paint.

      • Shar says

        I needed to raise the piece 2.5 inches to clear the base boards. I attached wooden goose eggs(about 2.99 from craft stores) using a banister bolt. I painted eggs and drawers in same color green, against the brown/black frame. Worked well.

  7. Ude says

    Hi Ayisha.

    Thank you thank you thank you! This was so helpful. Last week I used the anchor combo instead of the hex bolts. If I had a photo of it I would show you (http://postimg.org/image/kcmtbwp5f/). If you can see it you’ll understand what I was dealing with. That console on the table is not fixed. I haven’t moved the light switches and the box they rest in yet, but that doesn’t seem to be causing any major issues. I do know that table is not completely flush with the wall because the washers are kind of loose. When I walk close to it the table makes a sound. I’m kind of scared that it may fall over. I also don’t have a stud detector, but I think I hit the wood behind the drywall because the screws on the right were more difficult to get in.

    So after all that my wife and I might just re-position the table once the switch is moved up. I don’t know if moving the switch too high is against building code or not.

    On the I didn’t use the stem glides because that would have raised it too high causing the top of the table to hit the fourth on/off switch. Plus my wife wasn’t a fan of the stem glides so I just used felt pads. I hope they don’t compress too much.

    One last thing, I’m curious why this isn’t just a four legged table that stands alone. It would do exactly the same function as the mounted table without all of the hassle. :0 I guess the only positive is that everyone doesn’t have this in their house so it’s kind of unique.

    I appreciate your help. Your site is very well put together. How many hours do you average per week maintaining it? I want to start a WordPress blog and I figure I need 5-10 hours prior to launching it and maybe 2 hours a week if I post content on the blog once weekly. It probably varies depending on the focus.

    Take care.


    • Ayisha says

      Hi Ude. Once you secure the top board to the cabinet, you wont have the noise when you walk past it. I believe the purpose of the cabinet only having two legs is so that it rests flush against the wall taking up minimal space. I too have this same unit in my entry and it only sticks out about 8 inches from the wall.

      I spent months planning my blog. I made the mistake of starting as a WordPress.com site and had to then switch to a self hosted WordPress.org site. I spent about a week setting up and customizing the theme to my liking. Maintenance of my blog is less than an hour per week (not counting the time it takes me to write a post.) I really wanted my blog to reflect my personality so I spent a lot of time customizing but I’m sure you could get started in no time with a little research. Kristi@ http://www.addicted2decorating.com/
      has a ton of info on setting up your own Self Hosted WordPress Blog.

  8. Ude says

    What size screw did you use to mount the table to the wall? mine were missing from the box Also, my moulding is higher than most moulding in newer homes so the back of the table doesn’t rest flush with the wall. I thought about putting half inch blocks on the legs of the table to raise it a little highrr so the back of the table rests flush against the wall. What do you think?

    • Ayisha says

      Hello Ude. Your screws were not missing from the box, they weren’t included. Ikea does not provide any of the screws necessary to secure your items to the wall because there is no telling what material your wall is made of.

      My first suggestion to you is to use a 2 1/2 inch hex bolt directly into a stud. If there is no stud where your holes are then use a screw & anchor combo.

      These would be a good choice available at Home Depot.


      If you choose the anchor combo, I would place a washer on the head of the screw before securing to the wall. Most screw heads are too small and will pull right through. Another option would be to use a carriage bolt after pre-drilling holes in your studs.

      My second suggestion would be to skip the half inch blocks and use these threaded stem glides.


      Pre-drill the hole for the threads and then hammer them in. Then screw the glides in. This will give you about an inch of extra height.

      I hope this was helpful.

      • denizen says

        Ayisha, thanks for recommending: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Shepherd-1-1-2-in-Feltgard-Plus-Round-Felt-Threaded-Stem-Glides-4-Pack-9909/100193891#.UfbziMu9KSM

        We also have moulding that’s fairly high and the Stem Glides was the perfect solution. I almost resorted to buying a saw and cutting the back part of the shoe rack, but I am very glad that I ran across your post and comments.

        I used 2 inch #8 screws, washers & anchors combo for mounting it on the dry wall.

        What do you use for stud finder? I just bought a MultiScanner i520 OneStep, and I thought I found the stud, and when I drilled there wasn’t one, so I just used the screw/anchor. I am wondering if I should have purchased a different stud finder.. or maybe I am not using it correctly.

        Love your blog, and it saved me a lot of backache of cutting the back part of the shoe rack. (I don’t have any high powered wood cutting tools, and I wasn’t going to go out and buy one just for this.)


        • Ayisha says

          Hi Denizen, I have a hand me down stud finder that doesnt work very well with my walls. My drywall is really thick so they arent as effective on the thick stuff. When i opened up a wall, I found that my studs are 16″ on center. Since electrical outlets are normally mounted to the left side of a stud, I measure 16″ from the left edge of the outlet to find my studs. This method has never failed me.

  9. says

    I just found your blog from Young House Love book projects. What color is on the walls? It’s beautiful. It could really work in my downstairs, which gets very little natural light. I want a color that brightens it up.

  10. says

    Wow, this looks amazing! I wanted one of these for our current apartment, but we have chair rail in all the living spaces, which means that this wouldn’t be able to sit flush to the wall. (Boo!) I also think it’s so weird that a lot of the Ikea furniture comes in wood when you get black/brown or grey/brown but it’s laminate if you get another color. So strange….

    • Ayisha says

      Thanks Sarah. Yes, every since I noticed this difference I began checking every piece in every color option to see what if it’s made of wood. I just think it’s not fair to pull a bait and switch on your customers. Have you considered removing a small portion of the chair rail with a Dremel so that the cabinet will fit? Just a suggestion if you ever decide to take that leap and buy the cabinet.

  11. terry says

    Just found this post while I was searching for hacks of the IKEA shoe cabinet. You’ve done a beautiful job! I have such admiration for people who have the patience to paint patterns and designs. I’m heading to IKEA in a few to buy two of these cabinets, but I’m curious about something. The floor model of this cabinet appears to have holes in the plastic side pieces for the drawers, but yours do not. Are your plastic sides solid as they appear in the photo? I’ll be checking more of your posts soon, as you really are talented. LOVE that all mirror near the table, by way!

    • Ayisha says

      Hi terry, the drawers that tilt out have unique notches that keep the drawer from falling out but essentially the plastic pieces are completely solid. I’ll email you a picture. Oh and thanks for the compliment. I got the mirror at Homegoods for around $20. It was a while ago but every time I go there I always see something very similiar.


Your comments please...