Ikea Hack

The minute I saw this ikea hack on Design*Sponge, I knew I was going to tackle it. This is the first apartment we’ve had with room for a nightstand on each side of the bed, so we were on the lookout for some, and this was such a cheaper and a way cooler looking alternative to everything that was out there.

I started with two Ikea Rast dressers. They are solid, untreated pine and only $40 each. They’re perfect socks and underwear nightstands, especially because all of the rest of our clothes hang in our closet, so we have no dresser. The instructions said to sand them a bit first, but I’m going to just admit to you that I did not do that because I couldn’t find my sandpaper, and it didn’t seem to matter. If you have these dressers already and have been using them, I would definitely sand them first. I did, however, wipe them down really good because they come a little dusty with wood chips. The instructions also said to put everything together before painting them, but we decided that painting before putting them together would be easier. I learned my lesson that I should have put them together first because every inch of the apartment was covered in pieces drying, and when I put it together parts that I didn’t stain showed, so I had to re-stain some of it afterward.

I used Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut. Eric used the stain that has polyurethane pre-mixed in it, but I couldn’t find Dark Walnut in that, so I used one coat of this stain and then the next day I coated it once in clear poly gloss that we already had. This took WAY more time, but I really wanted this specific dark walnut color. The can says you should use two coats of poly, but they looked fantastic after one and the smell was making me DIE so I just stopped at one. Have you ever polyurethaned anything in an apartment before when it’s 40 degrees outside? Get ready for an interesting evening.

For the drawers, I didn’t prime them because honestly I just really didn’t want to buy an entire thing on primer for a couple of drawers, so I just put two coats of high gloss white enamel on them with a roller and that worked perfect.

For the knobs, I actually have one of the knobs Eric used on his dressers in my kitchen, but I find that because they’re so bulky, they come unscrewed easily, so I opted for smaller round knobs made by the same company, found at Home Depot. It would have been useful for me to write down which knobs these were for you, but of course I forgot to! They were also cheaper than the knobs he used, at only $3.50 each. I think you could great creative with which knobs you use, maybe some cute ones from Anthro if you want to splurge a little more. I could see cute milk glass or jadeite knobs here.

So in the end, they look amazing. I don’t think you’d ever know they were from Ikea. It was completely worth all the work and SO worth the cost. It took me about two days to do it with drying time, and in the end about $120 for each dresser total (correction) with the cost of the original dresser and the supplies. Thank you Eric for this awesome project idea! I also love that they now match my vintage desk and side table.

my planter is by Pigeon Toe Ceramics, the ampersand sign was a little gift Janet put in my Three Potato Four order, and my lamps are vintage I got off Ebay. All my bedding is by DwellStudio.