before and afterDIY

Before & After: A Basic IKEA Cabinet Gets A Stylish New Look

by Maxwell Tielman


The act of retrofitting and adapting IKEA furniture for new uses, otherwise known as the “IKEA hack,” has achieved massive popularity in recent years. This popularity, however, does not come without its own kind of notoriety: as with many a craft endeavor, the universe of IKEA hacking has become diluted with the novel, the impractical and the overly-disposable. For every few misguided hacks, though, there is one absolutely brilliant one—a beautiful combination of economy, ingenuity and creativity. One like the fabulous repurposing of an IKEA Rast cabinet by Ferren Gipson. Discouraged by the lack of wallet-friendly, mid-century nightstands on the market, Ferren took matters into her own hands (quite literally!) and transformed two of IKEA’s most basic pieces into a pair of stunning and eye-catching nightstands—not bad for a final budget of £80! Check out all of the photos, plus Ferren’s design notes after the jump! —Max


“My husband and I wanted to replace our beside tables,” Ferren says, “which were a ghastly abandoned DIY project from years ago. I was on the hunt for mid-century tables, but they were proving expensive and hard to find. In the end we decided to makeover two Ikea Rast dressers.”

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“We assembled the dressers, leaving out the drawers. I filled in the pre-drilled holes for the knobs, and gave the front of the drawers a coat of black. Then I gave the main cabinet two coats of the teak stain (about 30 minutes between each coat). Two coats gave them a nice, reddish tone without covering up the grain too much, so I decided to stop there. The longest part of the process was waiting a day between coats for the glossy black paint. The paint I bought took ages to dry, but it went on thick, with great coverage. I only did two coats of the black because I didn’t want to cover over the wood’s texture (and I was tired of waiting). After the drawers were dry, I glued the leather straps in a loop, then glued them to the tops of the drawers. I followed that up by nailing them in as well. I glued the straps first to help prevent them from rubbing when we open and close the drawers.”

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“I’d not seen an example of anyone painting their Rast in a similar color combination, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. In the end, I thought it looked beautiful! The leather straps turned out to be a similar shade to the teak stain, which was serendipitous, as it was leftover from a previous DIY.”

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