my diy nightstands

April 25, 2016

DIY / home


I troll Craigslist’s furniture section on the regular, however, it is rare that anything worthwhile pops in tiny Tallahassee. So, imagine my surprise when I found this pair of mid-century modern nightstands on sale for just 75 bucks for the pair. I immediately bought them, and they sat. They sat for about 6 months until I stripped and sanded them. And they sat for another month until I painted them. All in all, this was probably the world’s longest DIY project, but I’m so happy with the results, I thought I’d share….



The faux finish was a no-go and it looked so heavy on the wood, so I bought Goof Off to melt it away…


Okay, this part was kind of fun. Although incredibly toxic, it was exciting to watch the paint bubble up and then scrape it away. MAGIC!


And then that lighthearted feeling faded a bit and so began the sanding phase. I’m not gonna lie, this part sucked. Sanding by hand, sanding with a power sander, sanding some more by hand. The wood was not in the best condition and the top was straight up veneer. Mad props to my mom, btw, who sanded (and painted, and provided counsel) throughout the entire process…


It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough. At this point, I was ready to let the beautifying begin! And then…


Voila! At one point, I gave up photographing the process. Sorry! I can tell you that after all the sanding, I wiped down both nightstands really well to get rid of any dust. Initially, I wanted to stain them white, but the condition of the wood wasn’t going to make that possible.

So my plan B was spray paint. I bought Valspar Color Radiance spray paint and it was a game changer. It’s a no-drip formula so my finger wasn’t covered in paint, and it has paint and primer in one. It dries quickly and covers beautifully. I did two coats, just to be safe, and followed with a clear coat also in matte finish. And no, this is not a commercial for spray paint, I was just really impressed. : )


The knobs are from Anthropologie and they match my dresser. I think they look nice with the mid-century lines of the nightstands.


Another selling point was the shelves. I love a shelf moment, so the thought of accessorizing these stands on top and bottom, seemed perfect. Here’s my current stacking situation, although I’ve been known to switch things up every now and again.



And how sweet are these flowers? I love having fresh flowers around the house, and there’s something especially uplifting about waking up to them on my nightstand.


And for an extra pop of cheer, I lined the drawers with patterned paper. In a perfect world, the liner would have been scented, but the blue makes me happy, every time I open the drawer.


In all, these beauties took me 8 months to finish. Part of the delay was my lack of space, but they were worth the wait. In the end cost was still less than if I bought them outright, and the best part is knowing they’re one (err, two?) of a kind.


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