IKEA RAST hacks: 17 remarkable ways to makeover the dresser

IKEA hacks to totally transform the plain pine RAST dresser.

The RAST chest of drawers is a great choice for all sorts of IKEA hacks. It’s almost square, made of solid pine, which is a good thing. And most of all, sold at a very attractive price point.

As of writing, the IKEA RAST 3-drawer chest is sold at $49.99 but the rumour mill tells me it will be discontinued in Spring 2022. Stocks are still available at select stores. So get one or two before it’s all gone, like the nightstand in the same range.

And start the IKEA RAST DIY project you’ve always wanted to.

IKEA RAST chest of drawers
RAST chest of drawers | IKEA.com

17 amazing IKEA RAST dresser hacks and upgrades

1. Rustic IKEA RAST dresser for the hallway

The IKEA RAST dresser had the overall look and feel Karen was going for. She knew she could add a few embellishments and change the knobs to have it look a little more antique. And finally end her search for a rustic dresser for the hallway.  

Between the dresser, the bun feet and the additional wood pieces and cabinet knobs, Karen only spent around $80. Here’s the finished rustic IKEA RAST dresser.

The most important thing to note when adding legs to the IKEA RAST dresser is to attach additional pieces of wood across the hollow bottom of the dresser. Use finishing nails and wood screws to secure these pieces to the RAST frame. Be very careful so you don’t split your wood. It’s best to drill pilot holes first. Then, attach a few more wood pieces for extra stability.  

To attach the furniture legs, use a ½ inch Forstner bit to drill 4 holes in the bottom wood pieces in the exact places you want the legs. Then, insert the leg hardware into the holes and screw them into place with the included screws. After that, attach the legs (bun feet in this case) to the hardware.  

For a rustic finish, she used a combination of Early American and Provincial wood stains on the entire dresser, including the bun feet and wood knobs. 

But something was still missing.

So Karen cut a larger wood top and screwed it to the top panel. Then, cut three pieces of molding to fit along the bottom three sides of the dresser. She cut them at a 45-degree angle so they would join neatly and attached them to the dresser using wood glue.

Finally, she applied three coats of clear gloss polyurethane.

For an inexpensive dresser, this turned out absolutely gorgeous and the hallway landing feels a little more complete.

See the complete tutorial on her blog, Decorhint.

2. DIY flat file storage cabinet

DIY faux flat file cabinet

Recreate the look of vintage architectural filing cabinets on a RAST dresser. The false drawer fronts give the illusion of six shallow drawers instead of three. Line the inside of the drawers with non-woven wallpaper for a pleasant surprise when they open the dresser drawers. See more of the flat file RAST cabinet.

3. Library card RAST nightstand hack

Dresser hacked into library card cabinet

Turn the RAST into a nostalgic library card catalog or apothecary cabinet. On top of the basic RAST drawer, you’ll need to add plywood faux drawer fronts, thin (3/4″) screen moulding to simulate a face frame cabinet look for the card catalog. After staining or painting, finish with label handles hardware and knobs. Read more.

4. Stacked RAST dresser for bedroom storage

IKEA RAST hacks - two dressers combined into one bedroom storage unit

Their bedroom needed some storage space but could not accommodate anything deeper than 12 inches. The RAST was just right for the tiny space they had. Stacking them up doubled up storage. Two drawers were removed to create open shelves. White paint on both RAST frames gave a cohesive look. See the stacked MCM dresser.

5. RAST dresser in distressed style

Shabby Chic IKEA RAST hack

Laura dresses it down with a distressed paint technique in vibrant aqua. She cut out a wave-like shape from the bottom panel and stuck it on top of the dresser. Somehow that worked to give the chest of drawers a unique look. I think it would be so cute in a craft room. See shabby chic dresser tutorial.

6. Wrap it in faux burl and aluminium

IKEA RAST ala West Elm

Inspired by a West Elm dresser, this IKEA hacker attempted to recreate the look but on pennies! She first sanded and primed the IKEA RAST chest. Then, painted the frame with silver metallic paint. The drawer fronts are covered in faux burl vinyl sheets. Top drawer pulls complete the makeover. See the faux burl dresser.

7. Silver leaf dresser

silver leaf dresser

There’s something decidedly grown up about this RAST dresser. The silver against the black outer frame and crystal drawer knobs makes this an elegant, timeless piece of furniture. See the silver leaf RAST hack.

8. IKEA RAST rustic industrial nightstand hack

Rustic makeover for IKEA chest

As I said, solid pine is a good thing. Covered in a rich wood stain, the RAST shows what it’s really made of. If you prefer, use a rasp, hammer or other device to create little divots in the wood for an aged, “reclaimed” look. View more of the rustic modern RAST bedside cabinets.

9. IKEA dresser with map overlay

Map decoupage on IKEA RAST dresser

If you don’t like the wood, there are hundreds of ways to cover it. Again start with toning down the light pine wood frame with a dark stain. Cut maps to suit the size, with enough margin to wrap round the drawer. Stick down with PVA glue and finish with a coat of clear matte varnish. Lastly add antique brass pulls and brass corners. Tutorial for RAST map decoupage

10. Old World Glam Dresser

IKEA RAST hacks - Dorothy Draper style chest of drawers

This has got to be my favourite IKEA RAST nightstand hack. Nancy got inspired by the Dorothy Draper chests online, so she made a stencil of the inlay and cut them to be the same size as each drawer. She then secured the stencil onto the drawer using painter’s tape. Next, came some careful painting with gold paint. And voilà! See more of the DIY Dorothy Draper chest.

11. IKEA RAST hack with linen

IKEA RAST dresser wrapped in linen fabric

The RAST chest looking crisp and smart with heavy-duty linen. The nailhead trim and gold drawer pulls complete the transformation. The perfect socks and underwear drawer? Read more.

12. IKEA RAST mirror furniture

Mirrored dresser

Add mirrors to the dresser to reflect light. By reflecting its surroundings, the IKEA RAST disappears into the background. Read more.

13. Hallway storage hack

IKEA RAST hacks - painted black for hallway storage unit

A solid chest as extra storage cabinet. As the RAST chest is compact, it’s works very well for small spaces like the entryway or a hallway. Pictured here in 2 coats of glossy black paint. Instead of the wood knobs, the hacker used short nails to fix the label pulls in place. The drawers are labelled for stuff that are needed in the entryway. See more of the hallway storage chest.

14. Add on hairpin legs and new hardware

hairpin legs on wood stained chest frame. and long silver pulls for white drawer front

How different the RAST drawer looks with its bottom panel removed and the side panels shortened. Attach hairpin legs to the underside. Cover up the original knob holes with wood filler. Drill new holes for long drawer pulls for a mid century modern vibe. See the RAST with hairpin legs.

15. IKEA RAST takes on Campaign style

Campaign furniture style IKEA RAST dresser hack in bright pink and brass hardware

Louisa love Campaign furniture but the antique pieces are so hard to come by. She decided to hack the IKEA RAST, giving it the Campaign style with a modern, bright-colored twist! Follow her Campaign dresser tutorial to make your own.

16. Kids room storage with numbers

IKEA RAST chest hack for kids room with stencilled numbers and cut out holds

An IKEA RAST hack that looks perfect for a kids bedroom or playroom. All you need is the IKEA RAST 3-drawer dresser, chalk paint, Minwax Grey water-based stain and stencils of the numbers. Smart drawer cutouts instead of knobs. Simple twist, big difference. See the RAST playroom storage hack.

17. IKEA RAST dresser hack with open shelving

IKEA RAST hacks - two dressers combined into one hallway storage unit

The RAST felt a bit too heavy so she took out one drawer each and replaced the empty space with a shelf. (It appeared that EKBY LAIVA was perfect fit. If that’s no longer available, measure the gap and get a piece of wood cut at your local hardware store.) Paint the shelf to match the RAST chest and then fixed it with a few L-brackets. Add basket to store scarves, gloves, socks, whatever! Read more.

And that’s all 17 IKEA RAST hacks. I’m sure there are still many more ways to makeover the plain dresser.

Which one of these amazing ideas is your favourite? Or you have a few IKEA RAST hacks all ready to share? Send them in.

For more IKEA RAST hacks, view this collection.