Drab and Outdated Oversized Nightstand... Turned Into Old World Charm

9 Materials
5 Hours

So I've had this oversized nightstand sitting in my garage collecting dust for quite some time. I walked past it one day on my way to pulling out a bigger, more interesting piece to start working on. I walked back over to this little chest and suddenly got a vision for it! I ditched the larger piece I was going to work on and started formulating my steps for this neglected piece. Here's what I did...

I forgot to take a pic before I took the drawers out. But I removed the drawers and completely cleaned and sanded the entire piece. Dont skip this step, it's important to get all of the old finish and grime off.

This is my go to cleaner. I wipe down before and after I sand. I usually use an 80 grit sandpaper but you can use whatever works for you.

Next, I give it a nice thin coat of primer. I like to use a primer called "Stix". It's a bonding primer and made by Benjamin Moore. Let me tell ya... this stuff literally sticks to everything!

Here's where the fun begins! I mixed about a quarter of a cup of Joint Compound into my Cup and a half of base coat of paint. I picked a dark gray for this step.

I then applied a coat of this mixture to the entire piece. I then took an inexpensive chip brush and just pounced it onto the wet mixture to create some texture.

After the last step dried, I applied another coat of paint in a lighter gray to create contrast. When it dried I used my 80 grit sandpaper to sand it back to reveal the darker, textured bottom coat. This creates a more realistic look of aged and weathered paint than just distressing does.

I then put the drawers back in a taped on this amazing stencil from Victoria Larsen stencils. It was the perfect size for this piece.

I used the same color of dark gray paint that I used for the base coat.

I pounced the paint on with a stencil brush. I like the look of the pounced paint on a piece that I am giving an aged look to.

The piece came with outdated "batwing" drawer pulls. I did not like them for this look at all so I ordered these pulls that fit the look and style of this piece. I spray painted them in a flat black paint and when they dried I dry brushed a very little bit of the lighter gray color onto them.

Here is a close up of the stencil and the texture.

I put two coats of a matte polycrylic top coat on to seal.

All finished!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Robyn Garner
    on Sep 7, 2019

    REALLY interesting technique! The effect is far more authentic to aged and weathered wood. Question: Is the finished piece smooth or does it have "pebble-y" feeling from the joint compound?

    I'm very textural and touch everything. I prefer a very smooth feel to furniture.

    Thanks so much for sharing! 😎

    • Bella Nouveau Furniture
      on Sep 8, 2019

      Thank you. I have studied old furniture and try to match the look as best I can.

      You can feel the texture when you run your hand over it, but it still has a smooth feel, not rough. Does that make sense?

  • Lovesunique
    on Oct 8, 2019

    Pretty! Why not paint wicker?

    • Susan QC
      on Sep 2, 2020

      Down in the comment section a person asked about painting a wicker nightstand. I was confused, too, until I searched around.

  • Barb
    on Sep 2, 2020

    Your joint compound looks like a powder??? Never seen it this way...it's always been mixed and like mud.

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