Two weeks ago one of my coworkers made a pilgrimage to the Atlanta IKEA for new baby furniture, and generously offered to pick me up anything of reasonable size I had my eye on. I try to keep IKEA out of mind these days, since it’s so far out of reach. But once the offer was made, I did a quick inventory of the house to see what type of inexpensive item would be a good idea right now.
I immediately thought of some kind of dresser, since they come in flat-pack boxes and they’re notoriously cheap at IKEA. Although after toting one around from apartment to apartment during college, I learned the lesson that you really do get what you pay for, i.e. they fall apart. But there’s been a corner of the downstairs bedroom that’s been neglected and in need of storage for almost THREE YEARS now since we moved into this house. (WTF, where did the last three years go?) You can see in this old post, that it’s been home to two big cardboard boxes and two old kitchen chairs.
I did some googling and pinterestry to find the RAST 3-drawer chest which sells for the low low price of $34.99. But it’s made of real solid wood, and although kind of tiny, it’s $35! Plus, a quick google image search shows the incredible versatility of this piece if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into it.
First things first, I got out the included allen wrench and put the little bugger together (minus the ugly wooden knobs). As with all the other IKEA case goods, it’s easy to put together if you approach the process with enough time and patience.
And I stained the outside with Minwax “red oak” wood stain. I thought it would be a departure from my usual “dark walnut”, which was used on the coffee table and the bathroom shelves, but it turned out very similar. Just a tad bit warmer/redder when viewed side by side.
I like to use these cheap foam brushes to apply the stain and also the polyurethane. They allow for easy, even coverage, and they’re cheap enough to throw away after. (P.S. don’t buy these brushes at Home Depot or Lowe’s, they’re half the price at the craft stores.)
I also picked up some slick brass knobs from Home Depot for $1.50 each. I know, with all these supplies we’ve certainly crossed the $50 mark on this thing, but now it’s custom, right?
When I first got it into place, I realized how remarkably small it is. It’s about the smallest dresser you could find. Almost miniature if you were trying to store actual clothes in it. But I just wanted storage for odds and ends, and keeping clutter away, so it works just fine.
Plus, being a small bedroom, a deeper chest of drawers would have taken up too much space, preventing clear passage around that side of the bed.