I’m going to take a break from the tornado of Christmas content and share a post I’ve been meaning to get out for months now! Does that ever happen to you with your to-do lists? Something just sits and sits, rolling to the next week’s list. And then rolling to the week after that…until you finally buckle down and do the damn thing. That’s me with this dresser post.
If you caught the Ikea Rast dresser makeover I did with DecoArt a while ago, I’m bringing that lil guy back today. I love this piece. It’s just a cheap Ikea dresser (actually probably the cheapest one at Ikea!), but it was affordable, easy to put together, and fun to paint.
Here it is:
I decided to put it in our new guest bedroom for now, which really isn’t a bedroom yet since it only has a chair and this dresser. But it’s a step in the right direction, right?
However, there has always been something about the Rast’s top design that bugs me. It just looks a little bit unfinished, and I think it’s the fact that the sides of the dresser come up a bit higher than the top piece.
See what I mean?
I thought that staining a piece of wood and popping that on top would be a great solution because I could use a piece of scrap wood and choose a stain color that would make the piece look a bit richer. The only thing that stumped me for a bit was how to fill in the gap that I’d create by gluing a new piece of wood on top of the dresser. Sure, you wouldn’t see it unless you really looked, but I’d know it was there. We ended up figuring out an easy solution, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!
Here’s what I used add a stained wood top to an Ikea Rast:
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- Piece of pine and saw
- Assorted sandpaper
- Minwax stain in Ebony
- Minwax Polyurethane in Semigloss
- Paint sticks (the kind you get for free)
- Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (here)
- Clamps, or if you’re lazy like me, something heavy
- Brushes, rack, tack cloth
And here’s how I did it!
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding and working with wood, and wear an appropriate mask while working with paints, stains, and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand. Do not use any tools without proper training, precautions, and supervision.)
Step 1: First I measured and cut my top piece. I wanted a bit of an overhang on each side and the front, so I made it a bit bigger than the measurements of the dresser’s top. I used fine-grit sandpaper (220 or higher) to polish it, making sure to break down the edges and round them out a bit.
Step 2: I stained the entire piece in Minwax Ebony. (Don’t know how to stain? Check out this post for all of the details.) Then I finished it using three coats of Minwax Polyurethane in Semigloss.
Step 3: After the top was done, I started tackling that annoying gap! I grabbed a bunch of paint sticks—the kind you get for free when you buy paint—and cut them to fit the length of the gap. You’ll also want to chop off the side of the stick that has the indentations on it. I also cut a few pieces to help provide support for the new top.
Once I cut all of the pieces, I stained them using the same stain I used for the new top. If you leave them unfinished, they’ll stick out just as much as the gap would.
Step 4: When the pieces dried, I grabbed my Liquid Nails and glued the pieces into place on top of the dresser. Check out the pic below. See how the wood sticks fill the gap? You don’t need to fill the entire top with paint sticks because the front is the only area that really shows the gap.
Step 5: Next I added more Liquid Nails along the top’s raised sides and on top of each of the paint sticks you just glued on. Then, I positioned the dresser’s new top and clamped it into place. (Ok, fine, I’m lazy and just put a bunch of heavy stuff on top of it to apply pressure as it dried. Super advanced. I recommend clamps if you have them.)
Once all of the glue dried, my new piece was done. No more gap, and a pretty little upgrade for the top!
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