Saturday, July 23, 2011

One Nightstand...

sorry kids, not that kind of one night stand....what kind of blog do you think this is?  nope...i'm talking about this nightstand.

Lovely huh? 

The short backstory on these nightstands is that I've had them since I was little, and my parents had them before me (presumably from a garage sale....) so they've taken a beating been well loved over the years. And they have the scars to show for it.  ( I had to sand off the "I love David" etched inside one of the drawers from one of my pre-teen moments of angst...just to name one scar). also, i have no idea who David is.  Sorry man, guess you weren't memorable.  

Anyway....since it's summer and I'm one of those overpaid underworked teachers in Wisconsin, I do have a little freetime over the summer months (when I'm not working my second job...that i have just for fun) so I decided to tackle reworking the old nightstands.   

Because I was too impatient to sand all the details of the nightstands I opted to paint them instead of refinish with stain.  And, I've just redone our bedroom in whites, yellows, greens, and blues, so white nightstands sounded like they would look great.  

I am new to painting anything so I googled how to do it and came across this lovely tutorial on the blog Young House Love and added a few of my own steps.  (like....adding some color and detail with some scrap book paper and mod podge.)

Here's a quick step by step of how I turned these worn out, sad looking nightstands, into something unique and pretty awesome looking (according to me).  

Step One:  I removed all hardware...stared at it for a minute, got over the guilt and pitched them in the trash. (trust one would have wanted these, except old ladies.) (no offense old ladies.)

Step Two:  I lightly sanded the smooth surfaces so the primer could easily grab hold. by lightly i mean i just scratched up the surface with a 120 grit sandpaper for about three seconds.  

Step Three:  I coated the nightstand in oil based Kilz primer (the stain resistant one, since the stain on the nightstands is very dark, and I didn't want to have to use too many coats of paint.)  The primer will not look even, and that's ok.  Trust me, the paint goes on smoothly, and covers well.

Step Four:  I painted the nightstand with a water based semi gloss shade of white.  I opted for something just off of white.  So it's not STARK white, but still very clean looking.  I used a brush for the first coat to get into all the detailing.  On the second coat (and very thin touch up third coat) I used a high density foam roller to get a smooth finish.  It worked great.  I really like Valspar paints because they dry quickly.  I literally finished the painting part of this project in an afternoon because the paint dried so quickly, I could put the next coats on faster.  (perfect for my impatient personality.)  Sidenote: sorry about the crappy quality of some of these pictures.  I didn't have my camera, so I had to use my iphone camera, which apparently blows.

Step Five: I bought all new hardware, came home, swore a lot about it, and went back to the store for different hardware.  I ended up having to fill the two holes with wood filler, dry, sand, and repaint the drawers because no one makes pulls the length I needed anymore.  I ended up with these cool drawer pulls.  I love them, and I love that they don't match.  (we will pretend it wasn't because World Market didn't have enough of the kind that I originally wanted so I had to mix and match).  

Step six:  I waited for everything to dry completely for a day or two, then covered the ugly details on the nightstands with a fun colored scrapbook paper.  I cut the paper to fit over the details, painted a generous amount of mod podge onto the areas where the paper was going to go, placed the paper over the mod podge and smoothed it out with my finger.  The trick to no bubbles is to wait until it's totally dry before applying the top coat of mod podge over the paper.   If you do get bubbles, just cover your finger in mod podge and smooth over the area.

So here's the final project....

Not bad for the cost of paint and 3 trips to the store for drawer pulls....And generally pretty easy.

oh and one last pro tip....don't get oil based primer in your hair, unless you're thinking of going for a shorter look.


  1. Look, I know that I'm late to this party but what you did was absolutely fabulous! Although I have repainted a desk/bookcase before, I couldn't see how that ugly brown nightstand(and yes I was thinking dirty) could look nice. But it does! Good Job! Now you inspired me to get to work on some other pieces.
    Your Friend, m.
    p.s. I'm late because we've been on vacation for a week. m.

  2. So, I've probably read this post like 4 times now... Does that make me a creeper? It puts our sad little "sand and repaint the headboard" project to shame :/ But I'm going to need you to get putting up all the information of these larger than life projects that I won't get to do till I'm in a house. I like living vicariously through your awesomeness!