Painted Nightstand

January 10, 2016


One of the first furniture DIY projects I ever did was this little nightstand. A huge pet peeve of mine are nightstands that offer no practical storage. This had great bones to it with a pull out drawer as well as open storage space underneath. That being said, it needed some serious love.

While I love symmetry, the risk you take when hunting in thrift shops is that there will only be one when you may prefer two in a perfect world. I decided to buy this with the hopes I could find one for the other side that was the same height with a design that would compliment the style. The other solution was to make sure I got matching lamps, which gives the appearance of overall symmetry. Please excuse the strange and distorted fisheye – the bedroom is very short and I was literally in the closet trying to get a shot that would show both nightstands. You get the idea though.

The first step was to strip off the old finish. So many of the products are filled with harsh chemicals, so I used this more safer more natural product from my local home improvement store. It took a few coats, and a few rounds of stripping, but the process of scrapping it off is sooooo satisfying.


I started to see this beautiful inlay woodwork and kept stripping until the wood felt smooth and not tacky. This means that no more varnish or stain is left. I used a striping cleaner to wipe any residue off, and I did a quick once over with a fine grain sandpaper. A flexible plastic putty knife was also really helpful to get in along all the grooves.

I hadn’t been sure what I wanted to do with the table until I saw the beauty that was revealed underneath. I knew I wanted to showcase the gorgeous inlay detail and original hardware, but I also wanted to add a little bit of color and glam.


I decided to give the piece that vintage “french country chic” look using chalk paint and gold gilding wax.


I talked about the wax in my post about the secretary desk and as I mentioned, use it ALL the time. To give the chalk paint a weathered feel, I watered it down a bit and used a very stiff bristle brush. This allowed some of the wood grain to show through. You can also achieve this my lightly sanding after the paint has dried. I used Annie Sloan in Louis Blue.


I used the gilding wax in the leg grooves which beautifully mimics the wood inlay of the drawer.


The last step was to apply a soft wax to the entire piece – it protects and seals both the wood and paint while keeping it natural looking. I didn’t want a glossy finish, so this was the perfect product to use. For upkeep, I’ll repeat once or twice a year.

Hope this inspires you to tackle a thrift store or garage sale diamond in the rough!


xx – Kate, Wynn and Roo

Bed & White Bedding – One Kings Lane

Stripe Bedding – Ikea

Lamps – Homegoods

Rug – eSale Rugs

Magnolia Garland – Ballard Designs

Mirror & Nightstand  – Vintage

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