This is where the makeover began. This old nightstand had chipping paint, stickers that wouldn't come off, and stains in the drawer. Obviously, the first step was cleaning!
Updating a Nightstand With Milk Paint
I got this old nightstand for free! It was clearly I rough shape - layers of dirt and spiderwebs, scratches, peeling paint, old stickers. Yuck. I had recently purchased some Rustoleum Milk Paint for the first time (it was on sale!). I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to see how well Rustoleum's milk paint worked on old furniture.
I wanted to stain the top so I did a thorough sanding - first with 80 grit, to get all the paint off and then I went over it a second time with 120 grit sandpaper. The second sanding really cleared off anything that remained and smoothed it out nicely. I wasn't worried about seeing the wood grain in the rest of the nightstand so I just did a quick sand with 120.
The first coat of the Rustoleum milk paint goes on fairly thin so I new immediately that I was going to need two coats. The finish is matte and textured with brush strokes. If you wanted the old chipped paint, vintage look, a little sanding would definitely get you the look you desire. I wanted a full coverage, matte, textured look so this product worked great for this nightstand.
I covered the top with Minwax Jacobean stain - I've used this stain many times and I absolutely love the color. After the first coat completely dried, I added a second coat to darken the color. The second coat also help hide any blemishes.
When the second coat of stain was dry, I protected the top with Varathane semi-gloss polyurethane. I did two coats with for extra protection and shine.
Sidenote: I bought this for another project that is for outdoor use so this polyurethane is for exterior projects, but it really gave this nightstand a great shine.
I sealed the rest of the nightstand with a furniture wax from Michael's. I would brush on the wax and wipe off any excess with a clean rag. Once the whole piece was covered, I let the wax cure for 24 hours and then gently buffed everything with a clean, soft cloth.
I also scrubbed and painted the drawer handle with a Rustoleum hammered spray paint in the color Chestnut.
And here is the final look!
Before and After