These were our boring brown nightstands before I built our PB knock-off ones. They are about 15 years old (we bought a bedroom set when we got married) and they are decent quality, but they have a few scuffs here and there. (They are particularly dusty because they’ve sat in my She-Shop for months)
I didn’t want to get rid of the nightstands because they are a matching set and while we don’t need them in our master bedroom anymore, I could do a nightstand makeover to update them and give one to each of our girls.
My boring brown to bright white nightstand makeover is pretty simple really, but if you are following along and attempting this yourself please DON’T skip any steps – as mundane as they may seem.
I started by giving the nightstands a good sanding to remove all the furniture polish and varnish that had accumulated over the years. If you are planning on painting over furniture (versus staining) you really don’t need to sand all the way down to bare wood. Just get all the nicks and scratches out and make sure everything is perfectly smooth. I started with a 120 grit sandpaper and then went over the nightstands with a 220 grit to smooth everything out.
Clean off all of your dust residue with a damp (not wet) cloth and let dry.
Next up is primer – and please, please, please don’t skip this step – it is the most important one. The wood stain on our boring brown nightstands was a deep brown with hints of red in it. A colour VERY likely to bleed through paint in a short period of time. Primer not only levels the surface of your furniture and provides a strong base for your paint to stick to, but it also blocks stains and tanens from bleeding through. I usually use Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3* because it’s strong, durable, stain-blocking and water-based (no messy oil clean-up.)
*This post contains affiliate links to products I use. See full disclosure at the bottom of the page
For these nightstands I applied two coats of primer for maximum stain-blocking (allowing each coat to dry in between.)
See that?! See the dark peeking through the primer? That will ruin your finish if you don’t use primer.
Once both coats were dry, I lightly sanded both nightstands with 320 grit sandpaper to even everything out and make it paper smooth.
I used my paint sprayer to apply three coats (again with dry time in between coats) of BM’s Advance formula paint. No tint, this is bright white straight from the can.
With the dark stain, I never noticed the detail molding under the top – the white really makes it stand out.
I kept the original hardware and done!
If you are new to refinishing furniture, please check out my 15 Things 2 Do Before Painting Furniture post – over the past 5 years I’ve learned a LOT the hard way, so let me spare you from doing the same.
How about a before and after for your (really MY) Pinterest board?
Hard to believe they are the same piece right? Boring brown to bright white – a fresh and crisp nightstand makeover that will go in any room.
I’ve done a few nightstand makeovers on the blog – you can check more out here:
- Dated pine to Hale Navy nightstands
- Brown to white nightstands with fancy knobs
- Antique nightstand – refinished
- Mid-Century Modern nightstand
- Nightstand to Lego storage table
- Remove a drawer and add a shelf to your nightstand
- Small side table to kids tool bench
I have one on turning a nightstand into a play kitchen, but I can’t seem to find the post – shoot! (it was really cute!) I’ll just have to build another one I guess. (wink)
Have a great one!