Furniture Feature - Rebel Junk Meets Rast!

Raise your hand if you're a total IKEA junkie! It's ok. You're in good company. Whether you enter the land of bring-your-own-bags and slightly vague assembly instructions with a plan, or you hit the perfectly-styled rooms and rows with an eye for design and hope in your heart, it's always going to be a couple (ok, a few) hours of inspired delight. 

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One of my favorite things to grab while I'm there is naked furniture. You know the ones. Bare, unfinished wood just begging to be made over with some personality and flair. Today's project highlights that bastion of IKEA hackery: the Rast dresser. It's simple, it's economical, and let's be honest. It's a little boring. But not today! Not a fan of the big blue and yellow warehouse, or of this dresser in particular? No worries. These techniques will work for other pieces in your arsenal any day!

SO the Rast. It has been upgraded, upcycled, and hacked to kingdom come. It's really the perfect foundation for a DIY beginner. For this particular project, I wanted to spruce them up a bit to be used for a little girl's room. Which basically means I wanted something simple and pretty, but fairly hardy. I went with Rebel Junk Paint in Cloudy Day. It's a beautiful, VERY light gray color. Really exactly the color you think of when it's just overcast, but not super gloomy. Very neutral in undertones, this is the perfect gray for just about any color palette. 

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To add some flair and personality, I wanted the drawer faces to have some color, but I didn't have a huge amount of time to spend hand painting a design. At the Coeur d'Alene RJ Market, I had picked up a few sheets of wrapping paper from Amber of Averie Lane. Have you met her yet? She's incredibly talented, and her prints and patterns are PERFECT for a sweet children's room. 

Really, those were the two biggest parts of the project. I snagged some gold spray paint for the drawer pulls, some poly clear gloss to seal the paint, and Mod Podge in matte to adhere and seal the paper. 

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Now... let's talk about this paint. Rebel Junk Paint is everything I want from a chalk finish paint. It's a smooth application, heavy on the tint, and it dries FAST. Like... two-year-old-sitting-on-the-drawers-I-just-painted-and-she's-still-clean fast. I didn't have to use any sort of special brushes. In fact, I used cheap-o brushes I picked up at the grocery store... and still, no bubbles, no uneven application, no weird brush strokes or anything. It took me about a pint to do both these dressers with two coats!

I gave the dressers and drawer faces each two coats. I didn't sand or prime them because for one, it's bare wood. Not stained, not painted, not even sealed. Just bare and perfectly ready to absorb that first layer. Second, this paint is relatively highly pigmented, and because I was using a light gray, I didn't really need to worry about any wood coloration coming through. Two coats. That's it. It took me just about an hour because by the time I finished the last drawer faces, the dresser bodies were dry enough to start on the second coat. 

For the next part, I measured and cut my paper to fit the drawer faces. Enter: Mod Podge. A tip for using this method to adhere paper to wood: go light on the Mod Podge. Think of it like an adhesive. You want that sticky feel without any excess drippage or lumps and bubbles under the paper. Trust me. Less is absolutely more. Also, start your application in the middle. lay your paper down, and start smoothing in the center, working your way out to the sides. Don't be afraid of it. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles you see, and then go back and smooth them again. Once it's dry, go to town with Mod Podge on the top. I poured a bunch (probably more than was necessary) and just spread it with a paint brush. This coat on top really seals in the paper, and gives it a nice matte finish. 

I just used a little shorty can of gold Krylon to paint the knobs. If you were doing any more than twelve tiny little knobs, you'd want the bigger can. Really. I used every last drop. But they're SO perfect!

 

Once you've got all this done, the last step is to seal the  paint. I used a Varathane clear gloss polycrylic. You could do some distressing and use a wax if you wanted, but like I said... these are for kids. I tend to err on the side of durability and ease of care when tiny hands and all the things they spill, drop, and bump into are involved!

That's it, guys. Put it all back together and admire your handiwork. I am just obsessed with these little dressers, really! Have you done a project like this? Is there one in your future? Share with us! We would love to see your DIY skills, and of course we always welcome any tips or tricks you have!

Head to our website to get your hands on some Rebel Junk Paint, and be sure to pop on over to Averie Lane and see her goodies! You can find Amber at many of our Markets as a vendor as well!

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