Ikea RAST Hack - my nightstand's brother from another mother

Last Wednesday, I told you all about The Pinterest Challenge and my plans to turn a plain old Ikea RAST dresser...

into something pretty like this...

from here.

I've been wanting to tackle this project for months and months, but just kept dragging my feet.  Actually, on a previous visit to Ikea last month, I went there with the intention to buy the RAST, but ended up leaving without it because it looked too small.  But then, I kept having dreams about it, and thought that even though it was small, it would be perfect for what I wanted and needed out of a nighstand--a place to store books, chapstick, hand lotion, my awesome sleepmask and pjs.

Anything was better than my current setup, right?

That's pretty much pathetic.  A pile of pajamas on the floor, a basket of a hot mess under my awesome table tray and sleep masks everywhere. 

So, when the Pinterest Challenge came along, I knew exactly what project I wanted to complete.  I started by purchasing the RAST dresser from Ikea for $34.99. 

And then turned it into this...

I like it, but I don't love it.  I knew in my heart of hearts that this color combo might not work because of the boxiness of this dresser.  But my main goal was to match the dresser, at least a bit, to our other nightstand, which I completed for the last Pinterest Challenge

I thought it would be best if our nightstands looked like they were related. 

Maybe brothers from another mother?

The one on the left is clearly the more sophisticated of the two.  And the one on the right has an inferiority complex.

I know now that this color combination looks better on furniture with curves.  The dresser below, found at Inspired By You, was so pretty and was actually the final push I needed to just go with this color combo.

Found here.

But it has curves, curves, curves.  And a bit of elegance.  Something that my RAST is lacking, which makes it have a hard time pulling off its current outfit.  But, I'm going to give it a try, and if it doesn't look great once in place and styled up, then I can always just repaint the fronts white and my nightstands can settle on being step-brothers.   

Anyway, the project was super fun, and I'm happy that I have a new nightstand.

Here's how I completed my RAST hack if you'd like to know.

The cast of characters:  

All of which I already had (except for the stain) from the last nighstand makeover.

First, I put the dresser together, which was actually not a hard process at all contrary to Ikea furniture reputation. 

Next, I primed the drawer fronts...in my kitchen.  

Very professional setup.

I did not sand the piece before priming, because I didn't want to.  And since it was smooth, dull, new wood, I really didn't need to. 

After the one coat of primer dried for an hour, I put on one coat of color.  I let that dry for 2 hours and then put on a second coat.

Then, I stained the dresser frame.

The guy at my local hardware store recommended that I use an old clean t-shirt for the application of the stain instead of a brush.  Conveniently, that same afternoon, Alessandro decided to hulk-style rip one of his undershirts because it was "blown out," in his words, so I had some prime staining material at my disposal.


To stain the piece, I dipped a piece of Al's newly ripped t-shirt in stain and rubbed it in the direction of the grain along the sides and top of the dresser.  I let it sit for 15 minutes, then lightly rubbed it in the same direction with a clean piece of t-shirt to remove any excess stain.  Then, I waited 4 hours and applied a second coat of stain, repeating those same steps.

The stain had to dry for 24 hours before it could be coated with the Polycrylic, which would make it shiny and provide a protective coating, so in the meantime, I applied the Polycryclic to the dresser drawers. 

I let the first coat of Polycrylic dry for 2 hours, then lightly sanded the area, wiped it down and applied the second and final coat.  Then I let those bad boys dry overnight on the kitchen table.

After the drawers were dry, I installed my knobs, which are these from Lowes.  After letting the dresser sit for 22 hours (I was impatient and ready for bed), I layered on a coat of Polycrylic, allowed it to dry for 2 hours and then lightly sanded the piece before applying a second final coat.  

I was really down to the wire for this project, so everything still needs to dry a couple of more days before I can put the nighstand to use, but it's still finished, and again here's the final product:

Whew.  Glad that's done.

If you participated in the Pinterest Challenge, I'd love to see your project!  And if you have any suggestions for me on how to get my nightstand to look, well, better, then please share.

And don't forget to link up your projects with the hosts of the Pinterest challenge Bower PowerYoung House Love, and this season's co-hosts, The Great Indoors and Hi Sugar Plum.


  1. Great job! I love seeing a good furniture redo.

    P.s. Stopping by from Living In Yellow's linkup :)

    1. Thanks so much, Ashley!

  2. Fun project! Gutsy...Maybe next time I'll do something more labor intensive. Hopefully I'll be finished or close to finished with school for the year, so I'll have the time to dedicate to it.

    FYI: At Hobby Lobby, they carry many knobs and pulls. They're all unique and fun. I bet you'd enjoy perusing the section. Often, you can find a 40% off coupon online. You will definitely get coupons if you sign up on the website.

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    2. Thanks, Katie!

      Trust me, I had my eyes on Hobby Lobby for knobs...but they were closed on Sunday when I wanted to go : (

      I will sign up for the emails though...didn't know they have coupons like that. Thanks!

  3. P.S. Here's the link to my project: http://walkslikerain.blogspot.com/2012/03/pinterest-ultimate-time-waster.html

  4. This turned out great! I love the pop of color! :)

    xo Catharine @ Your Modern Couple

    1. Thanks so much, Catharine. I set it up today and I like it better!

  5. I love it! Is there anything you can't do? :) Great job sister!

    1. Thanks, sis!

      I can't sew...yet! But hopefully I'll be able to soon after I get a sewing machine : )

  6. Great job! I haven't had the guts to tackle a piece of furniture, but I'm working my way up to it. :-) Thanks for linking up to the Winter Pinterest Challenge!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

    1. Well your project was much more gutsy than a furniture painting that's for sure! Great job on such a clever use of mason jars, and thank you so much for stopping by!

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