It doesn’t have to be a nightstand: with less than $10 and two hours, you can transfer any old-looking furniture into something pinterest worthy!
Finding a pair of affordable nightstands to refinish
Makeover a pair of nightstands can be very easy. All you need is some old nightstand you’ve found in a thrift store and a can of chalk paint! The whole refinishing process took me less than 2 hours.
As a designer by trade, our not-matching nightstand in our past rental place was driving me crazy. After we bought our first house, I know I want to have a nice bedroom with matching nightstands. But then the problem came: all the nightstands I found at online marketplaces are very expensive. Most of them are around $500 each, some are even $1000 each. Ouch! As much as I love pretty and functional nightstand, I don’t want to spend over a thousand dollars on them. My bed is only $700 from Pottery Barn (I scored it at half of the price as floor sample and with an additional 20% off). You can read the story here.
I have watched tons of old furniture refinishing tutorials on youtube and has been eager to try it for quite a long time. So after scoring a pair of matching nightstand on Facebook marketplace, I was ready to give them a makeover!
Using chalk paint to transform old looking nightstand
Based on my master bedroom moodboard, I had already planned to paint the nightstands a light gray color. Back then I wasn’t not sure how the bedroom color palette will be coming together, but a light neutral color is always a very safe choice. Besides, most of the nightstands I’m interested online are in a similar tone.
I picked up this chalk paint from my local Michaels store in color Parisian Gray. I ended up using 2 cans in total. With the 40% coupon, I got them around $10 – such a steal!
The before of this nightstand makeover
To be honest, the before is pretty old looking: high gloss orange red wood tone – not my favorite. I didn’t remember to take a photo before the makeover, so here’s the photo from the seller.
Nightstand makeover Instructions
- Wipe them clean and sand slightly on the surface. The ones I got had a very glossy poly on top of the wood. So sanding it slightly gives me peace in mind in terms making sure paint would stick on top. Be sure to remove the hardware, it will make your painting job a lot easier.
- Paint the nightstand and its drawers using chalk paint. I painted 2 coats in total. This step is pretty straight forward. I used a 2-inch brush.
- After the paint drys (it drys within 1 hour!), apply antique wax to give it a slight patina look. The antique wax I used is from Amy Howard At Home. It is almost a clear wax with a tint of yellow. With a coat of antique wax, the nightstand looks more dimensional. Wax is a more natural way to add a protective layer to the furniture. They will dry and cure to form a hardened top layer.
- (optional) After antique wax layer, I applied a layer of white wax in the crevices to bring out the furniture details as well as brush strokes.
- (optional) Once the wax dried, I pained the drawer pulls with the same paint, and using sandpaper to sand the surface slightly to reveal the metal texture underneath, then attach them back to the drawer.
Additional steps you can take to add function and beauty to your nightstand
Idea 1: line drawer with pretty wallpaper
You can line each drawer with pretty wallpapers. I used contact paper I got from the pharmacy store to add interest to my drawer. Tutorial can be found here.
Idea #2: a charging station inside drawer
You can add an in-drawer power outlet to convert the drawer into a charging station for your phone and tablet. Tutorial can be found here.
I hope you enjoy this nightstand makeover tutorial. It is truly a low effort high result kind of project. Spare a couple hours and give an old looking furniture a new look!
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