Ikea Dresser Makeover

This is my most recent DIY project and also my favourite so far! I have been slowly working on our master bedroom since last fall (more details to come). It was a room that felt neglected in terms of décor and I wanted to make it a cozy space for the two of us. I had decided to use the Ikea RAST dresser for nightstands after seeing a number of makeover ideas for this piece on Pinterest. I thought about trying to find matching side tables/nightstands at a thrift store, but for $40 a piece and 3 drawers for storage, I chose the RAST.

We have an Ikea pick up location in London, ON but it costs $20 to have items shipped there plus the 40 min drive. I decided to have them shipped to my front door which cost $29 and only took 3 days to arrive. Well worth it to me!

This was my first opportunity painting furniture that wasn't already stained or painted. The wood is unfinished so I decided to use a combo of stain and paint. I chose Minwax stain in Classic Grey for the tops and sides of the dresser and white chalk paint for the drawers. Typically I use Annie Sloan chalk paint (will post soon about my love for chalk paint) but while roaming Canadian Tire, I came across Rust-Oleum's "Chalked" which is about half the price of Annie Sloan. I love supporting our local Annie Sloan distributor 'Diamonds and Toads' in St. Thomas ON, but having spent A LOT of money on chalk paint from there in the past, I figured I would go for the more affordable version.

I assembled the dressers prior to painting. If you have put Ikea furniture together before, you know this can be a time consuming task! In hindsight, it may have been easier to paint and stain prior to assembling the dressers but it wasn't too difficult to do it this way.

I sanded down the tops, sides and drawer fronts to make the surfaces smooth. I wiped off the dust with a cloth and painted the drawers first. I used a small foam roller to apply the chalk paint. Chalk paint coverage is great and it is very easy to work with, therefore your technique does not have to be perfect. Once it is dry, I sand it gently to get rid of any bumps and imperfections.

While the drawers were drying, I started staining. If you haven't used stain before, make sure the area you are working in is well covered. I put cardboard down in my basement and I always wear latex gloves. I used a brush to apply the stain, which is very gray therefore I used a cloth to wipe off the excess before it dried. I was going for a 'reclaimed wood' look so I didn't want the stain to be perfectly even. I turned on a fan to help with drying and to dissipate the smell. P-U, stain fumes are strong! Once dry, I used Annie Sloan dark wax that I had on hand to deepen the colour a bit. I applied this with a rag, rubbing a small amount in at a time and wiping off any excess. Keep wiping if your surface still feels sticky!

I waited overnight to ensure everything was dry and then attached the new pulls I purchased at Home Depot.

The drawer bottoms were an ugly brown board, so I decided to spruce them up with some patterned drawer liner from Dollarama :)

I picked up the lamps on sale at Wal-Mart for $12 and added shades. I intend on styling the tops more but with the lamp, TV remotes and water glasses (not shown), the surface space is actually a bit limited but perfect for the necessities. I definitely want to add some simple vases with fresh blooms.

And to finish them off, my handyman attached an outlet + two USB ports right to the back of the nightstands so that the lamp and our phone charges can be plugged in easily.

I spent a bit more on this project as I purchased the dressers new + hardware + outlets which were $25 each. I also bought the stain and chalk paint but have plenty left over for future DIYs. I am thrilled with the look of my new nightstands and for the additional bedside storage.

Stay tuned for details on my DIY upholstered headboard!

Jess xx