DIY - make an artchitect style chest of drawers the easy way (ikea rast hack)

DIY - make an artchitect style chest of drawers the easy way (ikea rast hack)

I have always wanted a library or an architect style chest of drawers sadly i do not have the sufficient founds for one , so i created one out of the cheapest ikea wood chest of drawers - aka rast - it must one of most favourite pieces that seem to be upcycled this days – and I am not surprised as it’s a great value for money
I would like to add that you can turn any piece of furniture into this style – and it does not have to be an ikea one – there are also 2 ways of doing it but in this post I will show you one way ( there will be a follow up post showing an apothecary style done even easier )
So lets get cracking ;)


Materials :
a furniture piece of your choice – in my case – ikea rast
cup handles – I got mine cheap from ebay china
Drawer Library File Label Tag holder - also from ebay china as they are cheaper
plywood with a thickness of 3,6 mm
instant grab adhesive  like grip fill or no nails etc  
furniture wax or stain i used briwax wax in dark oak
extra piece of random wood – I used 1 pallet board
furniture wheels or legs
drill with drill bit and screw bit
measuring tape
a little bit of dark pint – I used wall paint – you can even buy tester pot
paint brush
saw - either electric or hand held


Assemble your ikea unit and drawers but dont bother with installing the cup handles


once you get to the installatoopn of bottom board do not install it , but set it aside , as the lower bottom part off the unit will be cut off


As you see this is the loose board that should be there , but wed be using it in just a moment


So the board itself will be screwed under the unit - under the bottom drawer to be precise - we will need it here for strengthening the unit , finishing it off as well as making extra space for the wheels to attach onto it
so once you got the board put against the drawer move it away just a few millimeters to create a small gap and mark the point - for later cutting

Do this from both sides of the unit - make sure the amount of the bottom part you be cutting off is even from both sides - then cut off the bottom bit of the unit to shorten it a little


Once the bottom part is cut of , its time to attach the wood piece we saved under the unit - you would need to pre drill 2 smaller holes on both sides first to prevent the wood from splitting , then put the screws in


the other board that will be on the back of the unit is a ranom piece of pallet wood cut to size - in this photo its not screwed into the unit just as yet - i wouldn’t bother using any expensive piece of wood as you wont see it anyway so use what you got :)
and attach it the same way you attached the front piece of wood (pictured on the left side)


with both boards firmly in place it is time to attach the wheels - with a pencil mark the hole placement and then pre drill holes , put the wheels back and and screw them into place


this picture might look bizarre - but it makes a lot of sense - you will not have to worry about filling up the old handle\knob holes as you wont see it , so using a paint brush paint a dark colored line going through the middle of the unit and let it dry - it is painted this way to create a sense of depth and shadowing for between 2 ply fronts .


if you are using ikea rast unit - you will need 6 pieces of ply strips- 2 for each draw - if you are not handy with a saw and want to save your fingers and sanity - i suggest you pop in to any diy store - like b&q for instance and they can cut the ply for you - for free ;)
to save you time - here are my measurements for the board sizing - they are purposely made smaller to emulate the drawers so when they are on you cannot tell there are just random pieces of wood glued in ;)
so you will need a 6 pieces of a 3,6mm thick ply wood cut to a size
58,4 cm long
9,3 cm high

once you got those grab your instant grab adhesive and one by one apply it into a zigzag or s line onto back of the ply strip - dont go overboard with the adhesive - as ply is light ;)


judging by eye start applying ply strips to the fronts of the drawers - you be able to ‘jiggle” them a bit so you will roughly have an visual idea of the gap sizing
do this to all 6 drawers
please make sure when you attach the ply fronts to the drawers unit is standing as if it was tipped the drawers can move slightly which then in terms would not give you a right gap sizing

let the adhesive set for a bit - i did not mention the use of clamps for a simple reason you could simply put the unit on its back and your ply will not slide - me on the other hand have a very helpful dog who would mosy likely try and sit on the unit if i tipped it so i used clamps for the first 10 min ;)


Now the fun part - waxing or staining - using a product of your choice apply it to whole of the unit


finally it is time to install your choice of handles - go to town with it ;) - mind you i hated that process hahah


And you are done ! wasn’t it easy ? i mean this is rather simple diy and it creates a whole new look to a standard piece of a furniture - you could also half cut the drawer pattern onto the exising drawers instead of attaching ply - but what i found with rast is that the gap sizing can be a bit tricky and would not look as natural , and i would most likely lose my head making the gaps extra dark ;) and ply was cheap so for me it creates more realistic effect
i do hope you enjoyed this tutorial and id love to see your cratetions if you attempt to make it