IKEA hack: RAST three-drawer chest

After a few months of work (and a number of paychecks), I’m finally almost finished decorating the guest/cat room. In fact, we’re almost finished getting all the stuff we want from IKEA (it’s a lot of stuff) and I kind of can’t believe it.

One of the guest room pieces that really had me stumped was a TV unit (or similar) that would fit a 24-inch television in a 31-inch space. It seemed clear to me that finding an attractive, affordable option for a piece that would accommodate my needs would be a challenge. Thankfully, with my extensive (and rather useless) knowledge of IKEA products, as well as some online research, I managed to figure something out.

The $35 RAST three-drawer chest, constructed of unfinished pine, grabbed my attention as it is exactly the right size, and even features storage (a rare commodity in our home). After seeing a few incredible DIY projects that transformed the piece into such beautiful chests (so much so that it was basically unrecognizable), I decided the RAST was the one for me.

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RAST three-drawer chest. Photo: IKEA.

I wanted to paint the drawer fronts with gloss white paint as white as the room’s unifying color. I used spray paint to add gold highlights to a few pieces in the room so I wanted the chest to have gold knobs, too. I found the ATTEST knobs from IKEA that have a simplistic, modern vibe. I figured I could use the gold spray paint I already had for those since I’d had such great results with it before. After a bit of flip-flopping, I ultimately decided I wanted to leave the outside of the chest in its natural pine color. I though it would help add a bit of interest in a mostly white room and also fit nicely with the room’s beachy theme.


RAST three-drawer chest from IKEA ($34.99)
― white paint (I used Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint in gloss white – $16 for a 32-ounce can)
― foam paintbrush (I used a set of 1-, 2- and 3-inch foam brushes – $4)
― paint tray (I used Wooster Deluxe Metal Paint Tray – $4)
― drop cloth (I used Warp Bros. Super Heavy-Duty Drop Cloth – $10)
― 3 sets of ATTEST knobs from IKEA ($15 total)
― gold spray paint (I used Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold Spray Paint – $11 a can)

(NOTE: Although the total project cost is $153, many of these items can be re-used for other DIY projects, especially the paint, paint trays, drop cloth and brushes. Also, $50 is simply the raw materials of the chest and knobs.)


Build the RAST chest according to IKEA’s instructions but exclude the knobs and do not use the plastic nails to hold the drawers in the chest. It took me about 30 minutes to build mine.


Lay down your drop cloth. Prepare the piece for painting by wiping down the constructed RAST chest pieces (especially the drawer front edges) to make sure there are no loose splinters or wood shards. I simply wiped mine down with a wet paper towel and it seemed to do the trick.


Prepare your paint trays with appropriate amounts of white paint in the paint tray.

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Use a foam paintbrush to paint the fronts of each drawer in white paint. Wait at least 5 minutes between each coat to prevent the paint from gumming up. It took me about 3-4 coats for full coverage, except for a few knots in the wood which I had to re-cover several times.

If you find yourself having trouble with with difficult-to-cover knots, just be patient and make sure you wait a while before your put up your supplies in case it sucks up the paint (this was very frustrating).

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While waiting for the RAST drawer fronts to dry, use the gold spray paint to cover the six ATTEST knobs (I applied two coats). If you’re laying them on paper (as I did since I was on our horribly uneven patio), roll the knob around after allowing it to dry for 10 minutes to make sure you cover the entire surface evenly. They should be dry to the touch within 30 minutes (if you need to move them immediately) and fully dry around 4 hours.

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Follow the directions on your paint as to how long the drawer fronts need to dry (the enamel paint I used was completely set after letting it dry overnight, approximately 9 hours).


Assemble the piece by adding the gold-painted ATTEST knobs to the white drawers, then install the drawers into the chest following IKEA’s instructions.


Admire the results of your hard work!

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I really couldn’t be happier with how this project turned out (with quite little work, I might add). I love the look of the gloss enamel paint on the drawer fronts and it came out much shinier than I expected (it’s pretty hard to see in the photo, though). With our awkward little space finally filled (and with a bunch of other stuff I picked up on my last trip to IKEA), I’m nearly finished decorating our guest room. It’s probably the most IKEA-centric room in our home, but I clearly have no problem with that.


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