The Unrecognizable Rast

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The Rast has been hacked again and again, and with good reason: It’s a solid-pine piece furniture, cheap (at $35), and bland enough to beg a personal touch.

So, when I was looking for a dresser for my bedroom, I needed something that was shorter and narrower than my footboard, and rather shallow, since my space is limited. I looked all over the internet and what I found was disheartening. Everything was either too tall, or the drawers were too deep, or the piece looked like it was made of little better than cardboard.

Enter the Rast, stage left!

Two Rasts side-by-side would fit perfectly in the space at the end of my bed, and would be just slightly narrower than my full-sized footboard.

Ikea Hackers and other bloggers have featured a number of Rast hacks, and I primarily used three to accomplish mine.

The first, from The Turquoise Home, I used for trimming the drawer fronts and sides, and for adding baseboard to the bottom.

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The second, from Take the Side Street, I used to model my tabletop.

The third, from Nik here on Ikea Hackers, I used as a guide for connecting two into one solid piece.

All three of these hacks offer wonderful step-by-step instructions.

For my hack, this is the basic method I followed:

2 Rasts
~40 linear feet of 1″ pine lattice trim
8 linear feet of 9/16″ x 1-3/16″ pine trim for the top
8 linear feet of 9/16″ x 3-1/4″ primed pine baseboard
21/32″ x 17-1/4″ x 6′ Knotty Laminated Pine Panel
1/4″ thick plywood, scrap or small 2′ x 4′ piece
6 new drawer pulls
4 3″ corner braces
wood filler
1 sample pot of paint (I used Behr Silky White)
primer (I used Kilz)
wood stain, 8 oz. (I used Minwax in English Chestnut)
Minwax semi-gloss polycrylic protective finish, 1 quart
Drill, screws, nails, hammer, nail setter, fine-grit sandpaper, saw, wood glue, foam paintbrushes, rags, miterbox, etc.

1) Before assembling the drawers, I trimmed out the drawer fronts with the lattice trim using wood glue and brad nails.

2) Then I filled the pre-drilled holes for the included drawer knobs with wood filler; sanded the drawer fronts; and primed, painted, and poly’ed them.

To minimize my brushlines, I mixed my paint with Floetrol, painted in thin layers, and used disposable foam brushes. I covered my whole piece of furniture in 3-4 coats of Minwax’s polycrylic (which won’t yellow like polyureythane will) to protect the paint and the stain. That might be overkill, but this piece of furniture will be used every day and I’m not always very careful.

3) I assembled my drawers, following the Ikea instructions and using wood glue everywhere, then drilled new holes and attached my new hardware.

4) Then I assembled one of the frames of the drawers (without using wood glue so that I could take it apart later) to see how it went together. I assembled the other, using wood glue, and leaving out the vertical side-piece that would have abutted the other dresser.

5) I removed the center vertical board from the first dresser that I assembled and drilled all of the holes all the way through to both sides. I sawed off the thin lip on the back of the board where the dresser’s backing would rest and be nailed in. I didn’t want that lip getting in the way when the backs from both dressers were to be attached to the single center board. Then I attached the drawer runners to both sides of the board, and reassembled the first dresser, using wood glue this time.

6) I used a combination of wood glue, the pegs included for assembly, and the 4 corner braces to secure the top, front, and back pieces of the second dresser to the center piece, joining the two dressers into one. (See steps 1 and 2 from Nik’s hack.)

7) I added the lattice trim to the sides, creating a “frame” that would fall above the 3-1/4″ baseboard and below the trim at the top. (I planned for the bottom of the trim to be even with the bottom of the top boards, and even all around.) I used scrap lattice to build out the area below and above the frame in order to have something to attach the baseboard and trim to, which would bring them even with the lattice trim frame.

8) I used scrap wood, and pieces sawed from the one unused center vertical piece to build out the front pieces on the bottom, to bring them even with the front of the vertical pieces. (Step 1 of the Turquoise Home tutorial.)

9) I used scrap lattice trim to build out the front edge of the top boards, to bring them even with the front edge of the vertical pieces. (Step 3 on the Take the Sidestreet tutorial)

9) I measured the pieces I would need for my baseboard, cut them with my miter box, and attached them around the bottom using wood glue and screws.

10) I turned the dresser down on its face to attach the two pieces of composite board on the back with wood glue and nails.

11) Then I made sure all of my screws had been countersunk below the surface and all of my nails on the lattice trim had been set below the surface with my nail setter, and used wood filler to fill all of the holes.

12) I sanded everything down, primed, painted, and poly’ed the whole dresser frame, except the insides and the top boards (which would be covered with my new, solid pine top).

13) I measured and cut the pieces of trim for the top lip, mitering the corners, and stained them before attaching them to the dresser frame. (Fewer chances to spill or drip that way.)

14) I had had the guys at Home Depot cut my laminated pine board to my measurements, 13″ x 50-3/4″. These measurements gave me just enough over-hang over the top of the trim I used, but if your trim is thicker or thinner than mine, you may need different measurements.

15) I built the top up with the 1/4″ thick plywood so that it would clear the tops of the vertical boards, be even with the tops of the trim, and offer a more stable surface for attaching the top board.

16) I stained the top board and attached it to the dresser using wood glue and screws.

17) I gave the top stained trim and board 4 good coats of poly, inserted the drawers, and called it a day!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Rast hack, and that maybe it’ll inspire you to do your own, just as all the others inspired me!