Materials: 2 RAST dresser and a piece of white-washed wood from the IKEA as-is section
In preparation for my new place, I bought two of these IKEA RAST dressers. I had seen them on Pinterest redone in amazing ways. I also was enticed by their low price of $34.99. I was so excited as I put them together. I had envisioned them as a set of dressers for my casual clothing until I realized they are only 27″ high. I am horrible at translating how tall 27 inches but basically I had to sit down on the floor to open the drawers. The drawers are also fairly shallow so one folded shirt would take up half of the drawer. I had to find a way to re-purpose these dressers since IKEA does not take returns on furniture that is already built. I decided that I would use two dressers with a piece of wood on top for a desk. I also decided to add a piece of wood across the bottom so that I could attach casters to the dressers. This would improve the height issue and make them easy to maneuver if needed.
First, I assembled both sets of dressers and lightly sanded the pieces that were on the outside. The nice thing about the RAST is that they are made of pine not MDF. Now it was time to choose the stain color. I chose Miniwax Wood Finish in Classic Grey. In this picture it looks very gray but on the dresser it has a blue tint. I prefer the blue tint. The instructions say to wait a minute or two between when you brush on the stain and when you wipe the stain off with a rag/cloth. I was staining in Charleston, South Carolina in the summer so there was no need to wait. I would immediately remove the stain and applied a second coat if I desired a darker color.
Here is where I had to go off script and figure out my own path. The RAST was too small for a desk and I wasn’t sold on just adding legs. Adding casters to the bottom was the perfect solution because it raised the dressers to an acceptable height and also allowed them to roll around. To attach the casters I had to first add a piece of wood to the bottom of the dressers. The RAST has no bottom shelf and the wood also provided some stability. I choose pre-cut pine boards and then simply measured the width and depth that I needed. I attached the wood to the dresser with wood screws and next attached the casters.
In the second picture (right), the blueish-grey color is more apparent. I made sure to wipe down the wood so that the grain was visible. This gives the desk a farmhouse/antique feel. Instead of using the knobs that were provided by IKEA, I purchased 12 from ebay. These ceramic knobs are a bright white with light grey crackling. They were fairly cheap at around $2 a knob but they came from India and took about three weeks to arrive at my house.
There is an IKEA across the street from my job so I am constantly browsing the As-Is section. I was able to locate a long piece of white-washed wood that would be perfect for the desk top. The piece only cost $5 and I have no clue what the wood was originally designed for.
Here you can see the final product. I attached the wood to the wall with shelf brackets — two on each side and the front is supported by the dresser. I chose not to attach the wooden top to the dressers so that I can reuse the pieces later for a different function. The desk works perfectly and has more than enough room for all my craft projects.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.