Ikea Dresser Hack

Bridget & CaseyMarch 30, 2015 Comments

Our first IKEA Dresser Hack in the history of the DIY Playbook. Wow, we have a lot to talk about. Let’s first start with a step-by-step overview of what we did to dress up this $34 RAST Ikea Dresser. Then, we’ll get into what we love about the look, what we learned, what we would do differently and why we may never buy a $34 dresser again.
ikearastStanding 24 and 3/8 inches tall, arriving at our doorstep in all individual pieces, and costing only $34 (say whaaaat?!)… meet the Ikea RAST.
IMG_1290With a little extra time in the DIY Playbook’s beauty shop, check out the new, improved, mid-century inspired RAST Ikea dresser! Let’s break down the transformation, shall we?

First order of business (no progress pics, sorry!): We primed and painted all of the parts BEFORE we put the dresser together. We figured painting first would eliminate some of the tedious work of trying to paint some of the nooks & crannies.

dresser suppliesSecond order of business: the dresser’s new legs. This is the first time we bought “legs” for a piece of furniture and we LOVED our experience with them! We bought 4 of these Dual Top Plates to screw into the dresser itself. We then bought 4 of these two inch legs. Neither item cost more than $3.ikea dresserThe dual plates were extremely easy to screw into place and once you have the dual plates on, all you have to do is screw the leg into the plate. The “dual” option allows you to place the plate in a way that you could have the legs go straight down or use the other opening in order for the legs to curve outward, which is more of the midcentury look. Although we love, love, love the curved look, with such a small dresser the curved legs looked a tad odd. So we went with the straight down option for this project.

We did, however, run into a slight glitch when adding the legs. After building the painted dresser, we realized that this dresser didn’t have a “bottom” aka anything to attached the legs to. Therefore, we bought a small piece of MDF board, had it cut to size, and nailed that baby in to create a bottom to attached legs to. Of course, we had to paint that piece white after the other painting was already done. Sooo… if you do plan on doing this, we would suggest buying the MDF from the start and painting it with the rest of the project.

dresser hooksLike we mentioned before, all we had to do was screw in the dual plates and screw in the legs….
dresser feet… and this bad boy was walking! Well, not exactly, but the whole process was pretty darn easy! (We will definitely be using these again).puttyThen…. painter’s putty. We took our white painter’s putty and filled in the existing hardware holes. We wanted to add one long, sleek handle to each drawer and we couldn’t find one to fit the existing holes. The painter’s putty allowed us to cover the existing holes, but did require a second coat of paint to cover them. (Tip: Just like the MDF board, we recommend you cover the holes from the very start so you don’t have to go back and paint… again!) #rookiemistakes
hardwareNow, our finishing touches and our favorite part of the project… the hardware! We scored these amazing pulls from Hickory Hardware. You can pick these pulls up at Menard’s or order them from the Hickory Hardware website. However, we’re warning you: LOTS of choices! Just so many darn options!
IMG_1290We drilled pilot holes for each of the handles and screwed the handles into place. DONE and DONE!
IKEA Hack dresser
We are totally digging the sleek, mid-century inspired look. Thanks to the legs and the hardware, this $34 piece of furniture LOOKS a lot more expensive. decorative boxIMG_1280-001

However, we do have to be honest here. We love the look but the $34 dresser quality is exactly what you would expect a $34 dresser to be. Don’t get us wrong, if you’re looking for budget-friendly furniture that you can personalize on the cheap yet make look expensive… this project is definitely FOR YOU, and we will be cheering you on every step of the way.

Buutttttttt, if you’re looking for a quality, sturdy, long-lasting dresser, this $34 dresser may not be the perfect match for you. It looks awesome, but the quality leaves you thinking that maybe you should have spent the extra moola.

IMG_1277IMG_1270IMG_1290The takeaways here?  For $34 this IKEA Dresser hack is what it is. And regardless of quality, there’s no denying that those charming legs and that gorgeous hardware could totally fool any guest into thinking that your $34 could have actually been $340! Your secret is safe with us… #always.

Bridget and Casey SignatureIf you’re interested in seeing even more IKEA Hack Dresser inspiration, check out some of this amazing inspiration (they even come with tutorials!). 


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  • Paula@SweetPea

    Your dresser looks great, Casey and Bridget. I like the hardware that you selected for it and also the legs. After adding a top to my dresser, it seems much sturdier. I think it balances the weight of the dresser. What will be the forever home for yours?

    • Thanks Paula!! And good to know about adding a top = sturdiness. We’re not sure yet where this dresser will permanently live, but we’re excited to try it out in different spots. =)

  • Larissa Haynes

    Those sleek lines are perfect and I’m loving those little legs!! Great job! 🙂

  • So interesting to read about this… I’m working on a post for our blog about our Ikea Tarva dresser hack! We considered the Rast (so affordable) but in the end it was too small and a little rough for our purposes. The Tarva is solid wood and very “hackable” too, but I thought the drawers were smoother rolling and overall the quality was better. It’s for our toddler’s room, so it needs to stand up to many years of vigorous use. 🙂

    • Laura,
      Doing the Tarva instead was a great call! Although it was fun making over the Rast, it definitely doesn’t have much staying power. We’ll see how long it lasts around here…ha!

      xo,
      B & C

  • Zan Turner

    I love IKEA and would not have been able to tell it cost only $34 if you did not mention it (I mean with the finishing touches). Looks great! But I find it expensive to order online. So we just go there since we live real close to the one by Woodfield mall in Schaumburg. Did you have to pay shipping?

    • The finishing touches definitely helped spruce it up!

      We typically head to the Ikea in Bolingbrook to save on shipping costs.

    • Guest

      Got it. Thanks!

  • We’ve looked at the dressers in store as potentials to make over at our next house (still years away). You did a great job on this, it looks great! But my husband said the same thing about the quality…don’t know if we’ll end up purchasing them someday or not. But I love all the hack potential!

  • Nancy ArtsyChicks Rule

    Love the clean lines of this! Great job!!!

  • Thanks Ann!

  • Browsing about this morning and I’m glad I came across this post. I went to Ikea for the first time a month ago and I felt pretty “meh” about the quality of a lot of what we saw. But these dressers caught my eye. I liked that they were cheap and ready for me to customize.

    Thanks for the heads up that the quality is indeed, not stellar. I think I’m still going to buy them as a for now type thing. Why are nightstands so expensive!? I want something bigger like these because the smaller ones feel drawrfed by our king-sized bed and the size of our bedroom. But everything I find is $200+ each!

    • We totally feel ya… it’s definitely cost effective and good place to start! Why not, right? It’s so darn cheap!