Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cover Panels to Match Your Custom Ikea Kitchen on the CHEAP

We have received quite a few emails asking about cover panels for the exposed sides of Ikea boxes.

There are a couple of ways to go about covering up those white boxes -

  1. Once your kitchen is complete, measure the exposed sides of the Ikea boxes and order cabinet doors from Barker of the appropriate size. This gives you the option to match the cover panel to your door style or you can order plank doors to match.
  2. Buy furniture grade plywood to match your new doors and cut it to size on a table saw.
We opted for option 2 because we wanted a plank style cover panel and buying furniture grade plywood saved some serious $$$. A quick look through Ikea's website shows they use 1/2 inch stock for their cover panels.

Stock Ikea Bjorket Cover Panel
For those of you looking for white cover panels, your job is pretty easy. Just head on over to your favorite big box store and pick up some half inch MDF and paint to match your doors. If you are taking advantage of the other wood species offered by Barker Doors sourcing some nice 1/2 inch furniture grade plywood is not too difficult. Head on over to Home Depot Pro Desk and ask them to special order PureBond plywood in your selected species. It might help if you print THIS out for the sales associate or give them the Special Order SKU: 226-917 and Vendor Number: 60069126. Note: PureBond is available as a special order from most Home Depot locations, but if you cannot order it in your state, search for a wholesale distributor.

PureBond plywood was about $90 a sheet in alder when ordered it and matches the alder Barker uses perfectly!

Once you have the plywood cut to size and finished to match your cabinet doors, you are ready to edge band the exposed cut edge to make your new cover panel look like a solid piece of wood. The best way to do this is to use FastCap FastEdge peel & stick edge banding. This stuff is awesome and is way easier to use than the iron on stuff. FastCap sells their edge banding in finished and unfinished real wood veneer, and in a PVC variety to match real wood.

I highly recommend using the PVC variety because it is sooooo much easier to apply. They have 41 different colors in PVC and they will ship you a sample wheel for free. It can be ordered here. We started with the wood veneer edge banding tape and had such rough edges that we grudgingly switched to the PVC stuff. The funny thing was the American Maple PVC color matched our alder cabinets better than the real alder edge banding!

You Tube was helpful to learn how to apply the FastCap edge banding:

Once your cover panels are edge banded and finished to match the cabinet doors they are ready to be attached to the Ikea cabinet boxes. I did this the same way Ikea suggests - by using a 1-inch screw and attaching the cover panel to the box by screwing from inside the box into the cover panel. A few clamps make this process a lot easier!

Installed Custom Ikea Cover Panel


  1. What core of Purebond did you use on your cover panel? I'm considering the "Kay core" for its dimensional stability when the cabinets inevitably get wet.

    How is the edge banding holding up after 2 years?

    And did you order your Purebond veneer finished or finish it yourself? The color match is excellent!

    1. I ordered the Purebond with the normal core; off the top of my head, I think it was 5 layers. We ordered it unfinished and applied polly ourselves.

      We actually had a gallon jug of vinegar leak in one of our cabinets, one of our solid wood doors warped and the cabinet box needed to be replaced, but the cover panel was ok (didn't get too wet).

      The edge banding is holding up fine. I would recommend the PVC banding as it is easier to trim and matches the real wood just fine. Make sure you hit the edges with sand paper and some alcohol to get rid of any of the glue residue.

      The color match is so good because Barker uses Purebond for their panels!