Since moving into my studio apartment, I have been looking for the perfect dresser/entertainment center combination that has existed in my head. Needless to say… I couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere. So, I built one! I had a tight budget and timeline for this project, so I decided to take two pre-cut Ikea dressers and hack them into one epic media center. Even the paint job was a quickie! Thanks to my friends at Wagner, I was able to finish this dresser in two days! Ready to see how easy it is to customize a dresser? Let’s do this.
When you have a tight budget and a small timeline, making something custom can be a huge challenge. So, to help me combat my limited timeline and shrinking pockets, I decided to work smarter, not harder on a custom dresser build. Luckily, Ikea did all of the hard work for me by boxing up pre-cut pieces to 3-drawer dressers. All that was left was to assemble and customize!
Now, Ikea has a system already in place that is really similar to the piece I customized, but the problem is that the system comes with large shelving units which don’t leave any room for a TV. So, I decided to ditch their system and make my own! Here’s how I did it…
* This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here.
What You’ll Need:
1. Assemble your two Ikea dressers. To help them remain strong and in-tact, I recommend using wood glue while assembling.
2. Once your dressers are assembled, it’s time to cut the pieces for the 3 frames. You will need to cut your 2 x 2 x 6′ pieces into the following sizes:
(6) Legs @ 35 ¾””
(9) Braces @ 16 ½”
3. Drill pocket holes into each end of the 2 x 2 pieces.
4. Sand your pieces before assembling. This will make it easier to stain later.
5. Next, assemble your 3 frames with pocket hole screws and wood glue. Follow these guidelines for spacing recommendations:
6. Once your frames are assembled, use clamps to hold them in place while you attach them to the Ikea dressers from the inside with 2″ wood screws.
7. Once your frames are attached to the dressers, measure and cut your plywood top piece to 19 ½ x 67 ½”.
8. Use iron-on edgebanding to hide the raw edges of the plywood.
Don’t attach the top yet! You will attach the top piece to your dresser after everything is stained!
8. Next, stain! Now, staining isn’t usually my favorite part, but this project was an exception thanks to Wagner!
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to stain a bulk piece in record-breaking time, then you HAVE to try the Wagner Flexio Paint Sprayer. In all seriousness, I was able to stain the entire dresser in exactly one hour! No joke. Here’s how easy it is:
First, prep your area by spraying on top of tarp or in a spray tent. Next, add your stain to the spray chamber, power up your sprayer, and spray in a continuous back-and-forth motion at a 90 degree angle. The Flexio comes with a speed dial, so you can adjust to find your happy place while spraying.
Once you are done with a small section, use a rag to wipe away the excess spray. The spray gun helps to keep the color even and beautiful!
Yeah… I have a total crush on this thing…
9. Once your piece is dry, attach the top to the frames with 1″ brad nails and wood glue. Look how beautiful it is!
10. Bonus Option: I forgot to grab a photo, but I reinforced the bottom of the dresser with metal braces for extra support (since we placed a large TV on top). Here are the braces I used: (2) T-Straps (for center support). The braces were attached to the front and back on the underside of the center beam and both dressers.
I love literally everything about this build from start to finish. It’s multipurpose for my small studio, it was custom built for right around $300, and it only took me ONE weekend to build and stain this piece thanks to my amazing friends at Wagner!
Whether you are a beginner or expert woodworker, this is a great project for you (especially if you’re on a time crunch and have a small budget). What do you think, would you choose to hack it?
Want to save this project for later? Make sure to Pin It!
If you decide to try this Ikea hack, I’d love to see it! Make sure to tag me in your projects on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! In the meantime…
* This post is sponsored by Wagner.Although I am receiving compensation for this post, all opinions and design choices are my own. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.