Tuesday, October 30, 2012

IKEA Rast Hack - Sofa Table Style

I can't get Gangnam Style out of my head (hence the post title) - and all I know is the chorus.

Oppa Gangnam Style.

What? It's catchy!

Anyway - back to my sofa table. I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. I mean, I L.O.V.E. their stuff. We have IKEA bookshelves that we use as our entertainment center (seen here), Jason's dresser is IKEA, we have IKEA lamps in our living room, and we're planning a kitchen renovation using their kitchen planner and will probably use their cabinets!

...BUT - I hate going to IKEA. Maybe it's because I'm an introvert, or maybe it's because our IKEA is the one that all of DC heads to - but I hate it. I hate having to park a mile away, I hate having to search the parking lot for a cart since the ones inside are usually all taken, I hate that the wait to return something is usually around an hour, and I hate that the whole store is like a massive parking lot of people wandering around and leaving their carts strewn about and in the way of the flow of traffic... Whew. That felt good to get off my chest!

Moving on... my latest project was an IKEA hack. Have you heard of IKEA hacking? There is a whole website devoted to it (http://www.ikeahackers.net/). Basically it involves taking a piece of IKEA furniture and personalizing it for your space. (UPDATE: This project totally got featured on the site too! See it here.)
I've been struggling with finding a solution to the fact that our entryway has no storage or closet space to hide our shoes.  We've gone through a couple different versions of a solution, but nothing had really solved the eyesore that was our shoe collection.  Here is just a couple of our attempts - I don't have a ton since I usually just avoid taking pictures in that general direction.

I thought about a bookshelf with baskets, but couldn't really find anything that I thought would work in the space. Then I thought maybe a dresser could work instead, but most dressers were too wide and would have interfered with the front door opening all of the way. So after a lot of time spent on Pinterest and the IKEA hacking site, I decided to try my hand at a Rast Hack.  The Rast dresser is a super cheap ($34.99!), very narrow (only 11 3/4"), unfinished pine, 3-drawer dresser that has a lot of potential (see original).  To solve our shoe entryway problem, I decided that I wanted to take two of these dressers and combine them into a side-by-side version, and then add some legs. My Pinspiration (ha!) came from two favorite pins:

1. A Charming Nest.  I loved the two-tone of the wood with the white, plus her tutorial on how to create a trimmed top came in handy!
Original source
2. This IKEA Hack post. I followed his instructions as far as linking the two dressers together by drilling the holes through the middle piece, but then the rest I kind of just freehanded since I only had 2 dressers to work with (instead of the 3 he used!).
So off I went to IKEA to brave the crowds and buy two Rast dressers and bring them home to cut up - which ultimately made me feel better about the small cart fiasco involving a small child and the back of my ankles that I endured on that particular trip...

Here are a couple of work-in-progress shots:
On the middle piece, I had to shave the back lip off using on the table saw so that
the backing could be nailed flush on both sides. I had to use a 1x2" as a guide since putting the
actual table saw guide that close to the saw blade isn't a good idea!
1x2" boards for the bottom braces

Testing the drawer fit - thank goodness they fit the first try. Measure twice, cut once!
Once I had the frame built and the top "tray" added, I flipped the entire thing upside down and added 6" square legs from Home Depot. I think they were $3 a piece - and well worth it! The legs really help make the whole piece fit into our space and doesn't block the gorgeous wood border in our living room!

After the legs, I did the tedious work of filling in all holes with wood putty and sanding them flush. And then I was finally able to stain the entire piece using Minwax's Red Mahogany.  I had some leftover from my dining room table project (seen here) and since the two pieces are so close together, it was nice to stain them the same color!

Once the stain set in, I used some leftover white semi-gloss paint on the top. After layering on two coats, I used 120-grit sandpaper to "antique" the top - which basically means I rubbed off some of the paint to expose the stain underneath. It gives it an older look, instead of a store-bought freshness, and with it sitting kitty-corner to the new buffet (which fits the definition of "antique"), I wanted it to fit in!

Anyway - enough words, more pictures - am I right?

The finished product!

Sofa Table, storage
Isn't she a beauty?
A close-up of the "antiquing."

I love that the legs still allow the border around the living room to shine!

The drawers aren't huge - but I can fit quite a few pairs of shoes in them! J can only do two pairs
per drawer, but I have a lot more shoes than he does anyway!

Overall this was a pretty inexpensive project - well under $100 even with the knobs ($1.19/piece at Home Depot) and lumber for the top, and I'm completely in love with the final product!

storage, dresser, side by side

I'm going to go ahead and submit this to a "Pinterest Challenge," so feel free to ignore the rest of this post if you don't know what that is!

Other Pinterest Challengers:
1. Sherry and John's leaning chalkboard (I have GOT to find something to use chalkboard paint on...)
2. Katie's superior succulents (I actually have the perfect holder for this!)
3. Carmel's DIY Dollhouse (Can I do an adult version of this if I don't have kids?)
4. Sarah's Ampersand Art (I really, really need want a Kerg jig!)


  1. It looks great. I really like the distressed top. And the idea of shoes in a drawer is a pretty good one. Easy to see them all at once (although I have to say in our house they'd probably still just end up in a huge pile outside of the dresser!).

    1. Ha thanks! Yeah - J is still a fan of just piling them below, but at least now when I'm annoyed I can just throw them in a drawer instead of having to stare at them while they continue to annoy me! :)

  2. Oh wow...gorgeous. I love the choice of stain with the white top. Well done.

  3. I cannot believe this started out as two Rast dressers. It looks amazing now!

    1. Thank you! I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

  4. Gorgeous! Can't believe you made this from those ugly Ikea dressers!

  5. I love this, was planning on doing almost the exact same things!! Went shopping for the legs at home depot but could only find the kind that screwed into metal plates which would be visible. How did you attach these without those metal plates? Looks beautiful!

    1. Hi Kara,

      I used these legs from Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100553906/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=legs&storeId=10051#.UKpcx-Oe_8E

      On the bottom I just used a drill bit to predrill the holes and screwed them right in! Super easy! Hope that helps!

  6. What did ou use for the top? I want to do this for a table in the kitchen for homework. Cutting board idea is too expensive. please help

    1. Hi! I used two boards screwed together - one 12" and one 2" wide to make the top. I had hoped the 12" would be wide enough, but I wanted more of an overhang - which is why I added the 2" in piece. Hope that helps!!