Tag: How to add a shelf to furniture, adding a shelf to furniture, replace a drawer with a shelf, nightstand makeover, two-tone nightstand, grey nightstand
One of my favourite upgrades to a piece of furniture is replacing drawers with shelves. If you add a shelf to furniture it creates an entirely new look, with new function and is a really easy DIY to implement.
Today I’ll show you how I updated a nightstand for a client;
I really should have taken a photo with both drawers in, but was excited to get to work and completely forgot – you get the idea though. This is an Ikea-type nightstand with the standard two drawers on side drawer slides. If you are working with a newer (as in age, not condition) piece, you’ll probably find that the drawers are on drawer glides/slides – remove these by simply unscrewing and taking them out.
If your piece is older or a solid-wood piece of furniture, your drawer slides will probably be a wood beam running down the centre. These are usually held in place with finishing nails and are easy to remove as well.
Next measure your space – front and back just in case there are any variations from warped wood, or moisture.
Use a table saw to cut a piece of MDF to size. No need for a wood shelf unless you are planning to stain your piece. MDF (medium density fibreboard) is much less expensive and you will likely use the shelf to hold books or baskets, so very little of it will be seen in the end.
Insert your newly cut shelf and adhere with wood glue and/or finishing nails along the sides – where it sits on the dresser/nightstand ledge – and along the front lip. Countersink by lining up a square-headed screwdriver with the nail head and then tapping lightly with a hammer until the nail is below the surface of the MDF.
Fill the holes with wood filler.
You’ll have a front seam where the MDF sits on top of the nightstand/dresser lip – fill this thoroughly and evenly with wood filler. When you’re finished, you’ll want this to look seamless, as though it was built with the shelf originally.
Sand smooth and refill with wood filler if necessary.
This next step is important, so please don’t skip it – prime your new shelf.
MDF is essentially compressed sawdust and soaks up paint like a sponge. By painting it with an oil-based primer like KILZ, you will protect it from future water spills and you will save yourself the agony of warped wood if you coat it too thickly with paint. For this piece I used two coats of primer for durability, and in doing so it probably saved me having to do two extra coats of paint.
You’re done! It’s that easy! Most hardware stores will even cut the wood for you, so you don’t even have to own a saw!
Sand, prime and paint your piece (as you would with any other) and voila!
No seam along the front showing where the MDF sits on top of the nightstand base, a beautiful clean fit and you have yourself a fantastic upgrade!
Take out both drawers with the same technique and create a small bookshelf. Buy furniture at affordable furniture stores, garage sales or thrift stores and update the look in just a few, simple steps!
This piece was for a teenager and she chose the two-tone colours and I think it looks fantastic. The basket in the photo was mine (for staging), but I did hear mention of a hot pink or raspberry basket as a possibility.
How to add a shelf to furniture:
Have a great one!