Ikea Rast nightstand hack

Ikea Rast nightstand hack

In ten years of marriage, our master bedroom has always been the last room to receive any attention. By the time we crawl into bed at the end of the day we just want to go to sleep and rest so that we can get up and do it all again the next day. Our bedroom door is also the first door that we close when preparing to have company over, because…well…it’s our master bedroom. It’s the one place just for us (and at least one cat, and a kid or two if it’s Saturday morning). The progress in here might be slow, but that just makes each project that we complete in here all the more special.

New nightstands have been on our list since we built this bed almost 2 years ago. Between being busy with other projects and not being able to decide exactly what we wanted to do, we were getting no where. I have been on team “Ikea hack” for quite awhile, but it took longer to convince the other side of the bed. Putter loves building everything himself, but he doesn’t always have time to make it happen. After a few months, I convinced him that doing an Ikea hack with the Rast nightstands was a great option. Add to that a few more months since they were out of stock at our local Ikea and I’m too dumb to realize that I could have ordered them online, and here we are. It was all worth the wait though, because we were able to take these $40, plain, unfinished nightstands and turn them into something that works perfectly in our space and will continue to serve us for years to come.


It’s hack time!

Gathering the supplies

Obviously, to start this project we needed to make a trip to Ikea to purchase 2 Rast nightstands. At $39.99 each, these are a great budget friendly furniture piece that can be transformed into something that looks a lot more expensive with just a little bit of work. After you purchase the Rast, you will need to spend some time assembling. Like most things from Ikea, you have to put in a little bit of work upfront before you can get started.

You will also need to make a trip to your local home improvement store for the supplies that you will need for this hack. We purchased everything that we needed from Lowe’s. We favored Lowe’s for this project because like their selection of cabinet hardware, and we seem to have the best luck finding large pieces of wood (like we needed for the top of the nightstand) there.


The supplies

>>Tape measure

>>Trim for the drawers: we used a table saw to rip down 1/2” thick x 6” wide boards

>>Table top: we bought the biggest 1/2” thick piece that we could find because we could use the scraps for other projects. Just make sure that your piece is at least 13” x 27” so that its big enough to be a table top.

>>Trim for the bottom: we used the same 1/2” thick x 6” wide boards that we used for the drawer trim.

>>Drawer pulls: we used these from Lowes. At $4.58 they were one of the bigger expenses for this project, but you could always use wood filler to fill the predrilled holes that come on the Rast and opt for a single pull in the middle. This will cut the number of pulls that you need to buy in half. Ikea also has some great options to check out.

>>Miter saw: we used a Bosch 10” glide miter saw

>>Table saw: we used a Rigid r4512

>>Wood glue: there are lots of products available, but this is the one that we used

>>Nail gun: we used a Dewalt 23 gauge pin nailer

>>Drill: M18 Milwaukee Drill

>>Clamps: we used Bessey 24” and 36” bar clamps

On the left is the regular Ikea Rast after assembly, and on the right is the Ikea Rast after our improvements.

On the left is the regular Ikea Rast after assembly, and on the right is the Ikea Rast after our improvements.


The plans

To get started, I have created step-by-step plans that you can print off and use as a guide throughout your project. Since the Ikea Rast is an inexpensive piece of furniture, I decided not to provide the exact measurements that we used for each cut. Instead, this guide includes the thickness and width of the wood that you should use to achieve this look, but you will need to follow the instructions to measure your individual piece of furniture so that your cuts will be the exact size that your furniture piece needs. I’ve also included photos of the process below for you to reference during the process.

Ikea rast 1.jpg
Ikea+rast+2.jpg
Ikea rast 3.jpg

The Hack

#1: the sides

a5mHWnAESIyEFZArb8DoIQ.jpg

This is the side view of the Rast after assembly. As you can see, the assembly hardware is visible on the sides. To achieve a more finished look, we decided to cover this up with some trim. This is where our hack begins, and instructions for this can be found on page 1 of your guide.

Throughout this project, each piece of wood will be attached with wood glue and a nail gun.

Throughout this project, each piece of wood will be attached with wood glue and a nail gun.

Here pieces A & B have been attached.

Here pieces A & B have been attached.

Once pieces C & D have been attached on each side of the Rast, you can move on to step #2: Drawers.

Once pieces C & D have been attached on each side of the Rast, you can move on to step #2: Drawers.


#2: the drawers

Following the steps in this section, you will add the trim to the left and right sides of each drawer first, then to the top and bottom of each drawer front.

Pieces G, H, and J have been attached, now its time for the last piece (I), and this drawer will be done. Next it’s time to repeat this process on the remaining drawers.

Pieces G, H, and J have been attached, now its time for the last piece (I), and this drawer will be done. Next it’s time to repeat this process on the remaining drawers.


#3: front

After measuring to find the difference between the depth of the indentation and the thickness of piece I, cut and attach shims underneath where you will attach piece I. We are doing this to fill the gap so that the trim piece that we are attaching will sit flush with the trim on the sides of the Rest.

After measuring to find the difference between the depth of the indentation and the thickness of piece I, cut and attach shims underneath where you will attach piece I. We are doing this to fill the gap so that the trim piece that we are attaching will sit flush with the trim on the sides of the Rest.

Here all of the shims have been attached. It doesn’t take a lot of shims, you just want something that you can glue/nail into that will help to hold piece I flush.

Here all of the shims have been attached. It doesn’t take a lot of shims, you just want something that you can glue/nail into that will help to hold piece I flush.


#4: trim

After you have attached pieces E and L, you can use clamps to ensure proper glue adhesion.

After you have attached pieces E and L, you can use clamps to ensure proper glue adhesion.


5: top

As you can see in the photo of the original Rast, there is a small difference in height between the table top and the side supports. We will use shims and a trim piece M to fill this space and make the entire table top flush.

As you can see in the photo of the original Rast, there is a small difference in height between the table top and the side supports. We will use shims and a trim piece M to fill this space and make the entire table top flush.

Here you can see that pieces M & N have been attached and both pieces of furniture are ready for finishing.

Here you can see that pieces M & N have been attached and both pieces of furniture are ready for finishing.


#6. Finishing

This Ikea Rast hack looks great painted or stained, and the options for drawer hardware are endless. This part is completely up to your personal preference. I hope that you have found this guide helpful, and if you tackle this project I would love to see how it turns out!



After adding a few personal touches, this Ikea Rast nightstand hack is the perfect compliment to our master bedroom.

After adding a few personal touches, this Ikea Rast nightstand hack is the perfect compliment to our master bedroom.

Have fun with your project!

Lindsey