Ikea hacks are having a moment in DIY home décor and with a store within driving distance, I had to try my hand at my own hack. With my handy husband by my side, we turned a simple dresser into a vintage-looking apothecary cabinet.
Tools and materials
- Ikea RAST 3 drawer dresser
- 9 cabinet pulls (3 in. Oxford Antique Windover pulls from Hickory Hardware)
- 4 casters (Windover Antique Caster Assembly from Hickory Hardware)
- Paint (PPG Break-Through in black and brown)
- Painter’s tape
- The first thing we did was assemble the dresser leaving off the drawer fronts to the drawers because in order to give the dresser an apothecary cabinet look, the drawer fronts needed a slight modification.
My handsome handy husband clamped a piece of wood to 1/3 of the drawer width to the fence of the saw blade to give a consistent cut. Then he set the depth of the blade so that it would only cut about halfway through the wood. This way he was able to get a consistent cut depth and distance on each of the three drawer faces. To give more of a gap between the faux drawer fronts, he moved the piece of wood he had clamped to the fence down an additional blade width and passed the blade through again. This gave about a 1/4” overall space between the faux drawer fronts. This could also be accomplished with a table saw or router as well.
- Since the bottom of the dresser is open, he added scrap wood (1×3) so there would be a place to attach the casters. He then added short pieces of a 1-1/8” hardwood dowels to attach the casters to the scrap wood. We drilled the casters to the dowels.
This shows upside down view of the dresser with scrap wood and hardwood dowel pieces attached.
- To give the faux drawer fronts depth, we taped off the lines and used black paint in the grooves.
- After the paint was dry, I filled the holes on the drawer fronts where the original hardware would have been placed.
After the wood filler was dry and the excess sanded off, I then painted the entire dresser with the brown paint.
Before the brown color was completely dry, I went over the entire thing again with the black. I made sure to have very little black paint on my brush and just lightly brushed over the brown. You can see the drawer on the left is just the brown paint, and the other two have the black layer.
- After everything was dry, the drawer pulls were attached.
We also added a piece of butcher block to the top of the dresser to give it a more substantial and finished look. I added a few extra coats of the black paint to the butcher block top so it didn’t blend in completely with the rest of the dresser.
The result is a vintage look apothecary cabinet that fits perfectly in the space and was completed in just a few hours!