Here's How To Flip A Basic IKEA Chest Into A Stunning Piece Of Furniture

If you want something done right, do it yourself. Or rather, if you want custom furniture that becomes the star of your home, hack it. When you tackle a redesign project, you can create a one-of-a-kind piece that sparks both joy and pride. DIY projects are a great way to create the space you want exactly as you want it to look — often at a much lower price. For example, you could take a budget-friendly wood chest from IKEA (under $60) and flip it into a stunning, original piece.

Since the home giant opened its doors in the 1950s, IKEA has been the go-to spot for designers on a budget, as well as easy-to-customize furniture. From college students to seasoned DIYers, IKEA hacks have become a popular way to get stylish furniture and décor at an affordable price. Hacks range in complexity and function. For this particular hack, you can achieve it with IKEA's RAST three-drawer chest, some paint, and woodworking supplies like a saw, sandpaper, and wood glue.

How to get an upscaled nightstand with this IKEA hack

​​For this furniture flip by Home With Stefani, you'll need the IKEA RAST, a 1 ¾-inch piece of plywood and another piece measuring 2 inches by 2 inches by 8 feet, 220-grit sandpaper, wood glue, wood filler, primer, and furniture paint. This furniture-flipping project also requires a miter or circle saw, a cordless drill, 5/16 and 7/64 drill bits, #8 1 ½-inch flat-head Phillips wood screws, a screwdriver, and drawer handles. For safety, you'll need goggles, a mask, and noise protection.

To start, assemble the chest according to IKEA instructions, but leave off the last drawer and its supports. Turn the finished unit upside down. Saw your plywood to match the base. Cut the two-by-two into four 3-inch pieces for the legs and apply wood glue to the tops. Firmly attach them to the corners of your plywood for the new base. Flip the plywood over and use the 5/16-inch drill bit to secure the legs with a wood screw. Add wood glue along the two bottom sections of the chest. Press the base down with the legs facing upward. Using the 7/64-inch drill bit, make four holes in the bottom of the chest, each within an inch of a leg.

Hide hardware with wood filler and let it dry before sanding everything. Next, thoroughly brush on the primer. Sand the chest again to create a better surface for the paint. Apply a coat of paint and another if necessary. Lastly, attach the drawer pulls.

Additional ways to customize the IKEA RAST

After flipping the IKEA RAST chest into a nightstand like Home With Stefani, you could take yours to the next level, in whatever design direction you prefer. For instance, consider using painter's tape to create a bold color-block pattern with multiple paint shades. Or, you could go modern with asymmetrical triangles or create a gradient of stripes in similar hues. For more intricate patterns, opt for the versatility of peel-and-stick wallpaper. You can apply wallpaper to the faces or insides of the drawers, the open bottom area, or the entire DIY nightstand.

Further, should you favor nightstands where the empty shelf is on top, you could skip the first drawer of the hack and instead install the plywood piece in place where you would've attached the drawer tracks. Secure the underside of all four corners to the nightstand with L-brackets. For functionality, you can drill a 2-inch hole in the top and the back of the first drawer and install a 2-inch desk grommet. Installing the hole will hide any cords or charging cables, preserving the overall look of your new custom furniture.