This is the desk as I bought it. The two bottom drawers on either side were not the same size - the one on the left looks like two drawers, but it actually pulls out as one giant drawer. The right side drawers are all separate. So I knew right away, I was going to remove those drawers and make them open shelves.
Transforming a Desk Into Two Night Stands
I found an old, broken sewing machine desk at a local thrift store for $12. The sewing machine was missing and the top piece that covered the sewing machine when it was under the desk was missing, so it didn't even work as a plain, old desk. I thought if I could remove the broken middle part of the desk, I would have two end tables or night stands, and so began my next project.
The first step was to remove the middle section of the desk and the trim. After using a straight edge to mark the lines where I needed to cut out the middle, I used a circular saw to do the cutting. I also used a circular saw to remove the top trim. For the trim that was wrapped around the body of the night stands, I just kind of chiseled off those pieces.
I used wood filler to fill in all the holes and any big scratches, dents, etc. Then I used 120 grit sandpaper to do a quick sanding over everything.
My painting plan was to blend two different colors using a color wash technique and dry brushing. I started with a tan color, added some water to dilute the paint, stirred it really well, and then applied it as the base coat. Once I had one section done, I used a clean rag to lightly wipe away any excess - because it diluted with water, it was thin and a little more "drippy" than regular paint.
Then I used a dark gray paint for the dry brushing. I would get a little paint on the brush and then dab it on a paper towel. Then I used light, quick brush strokes to apply the color. I worked in small sections because I wanted to blend the paint before anything dried. To blend the paint, I used the same rag that was used to remove the excess tan color and I wiped over the gray streaks.
For the new trim, I wanted black metal to go around the top. So I picked up some aluminum corner moulding and used a miter saw to cut it at an angle, to create a frame that would fit around the top of each night stand.
For all of the metal pieces, including the trim, corner braces, and handles, I used a self-etching primer and then a textured spray paint for metals in a black color.
For the top coat, I used furniture wax. First, I brushed a layer of clear wax over everything. Then, to add a deeper, darker finish, I added black wax. I lightly brushed the black wax on top of the clear wax, then used a microfiber rag to blend the black wax into the clear wax.
I used liquid nails to apply the black metal trim. Then, as an added style piece and to make the trim extra secure, I added corner braces on each corner.
Here is the finished look.
The goal was to create night stands that would mimic the rustic/industrial style of a headboard. It isn't a perfect match, but I think they fit together nicely.
Before and after