DIY Nightstand Makeover

5 Materials
3 Hours

If you remember a few months ago, I shared a chest of drawers makeover that I would be completing as part of our master bedroom makeover. If not, you can see it HERE. Well, since then, I have decided to go in a different direction. Surprise right!? I decided that I wanted all of my furniture white and distressed because our bed was black iron. With that being said, the chest of drawers is going to my daughter, who will get the old furniture as well. There will be a upcycled dresser makeover coming next so stay tuned for that. Today, I wanted to share with you my nightstand makeover.

This is what they look like now. We purchased these along with the chest of drawers and the iron bed from a friend as a package deal.

Nightstand Before

The color that I will be using is Dixie Belle’s Cotton, a bright white. I will also be adding new hardware to give the set a farmhouse look.  

Dixie Belle Cotton

The first order of business was to remove the drawers and the old hardware.  

Everything was cleaned with my vinegar and water spray (1-part vinegar, 2-parts water). The bottoms were cleaned, as well. You can see how I clean the bottom of my furniture HERE.  Make sure to allow the furniture time to dry after you clean it.  I take a clean lint free cloth and wipe it down just to make sure all cleaning solution has been removed.

Now, for the next step. I normally do not do this if I am painting a dark color onto a piece. However, I have found that with pieces that have been stored in some type of storage that is not temperature controlled for some time can cause damage underneath the finish. Things like heat and moisture. Things underneath that you may not see with the naked eye. When using white paint bleed through can occur and it is just frustrating. So, to keep that from happening, I am spraying each nightstand and the drawers with two LIGHT coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye Clear Shellac. (It is recommended to use the shellac outside or in a very well-ventilated room because it does smell). 

Spray Shellac

Spray one light coat over the entire piece. Remember to keep your spray can moving. I spray, release, spray while moving the can at the same time. I find this keeps me from spraying too much in one spot. REMEMBER, light coats are better than trying to do a thick coat. It can cause a huge mess! It drys pretty quickly depending on your weather conditions. I wait about an hour and then spray a second coat. Once the second coat has been applied, I let the nightstands sit overnight to dry.  I know it's hard to see, but this is the nightstand with one light coat.

One Light Coat of Shellac

The next day, it’s time to paint! I started the paint job with the drawers. Make sure to stir your paint before applying. I also always give it a frisk shake before I open it. I also keep my Wooster Silver Tip paintbrush dampened with water using a spray bottle. This allows the paint to go on smooth, and you will have fewer brush strokes.  

I applied one coat of paint to the nightstands and the drawers.  

Here is one nightstand and a drawer with just one coat of paint.

After about 2-3 hours of drying time, I apply a second coat. Since we used shellac, it only took two coats of white to fully cover. And, no bleed through!

The next day after the paint had time to set, it was time to distress. I took a piece of 220-grit sandpaper and sanded around the edges of the drawers and the nightstands themselves.  

Use a piece of tack cloth to remove any sanding dust. Then, add your topcoat to seal. I used Minwax Finishing Paste Wax applying one coat.

I found these oil rubbed bronze pulls on Amazon. They come in a pack of 10. I attached them to the nightstands.

See how changing something as simple as a pull gives the nightstand an entirely different look?

I can't wait to get these in my bedroom. The next project will be a used dresser I found for FREE! Yep you heard me correctly, FREE so stay tuned for that.  

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Christina Faye Repurposed

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Lynn
    on Apr 18, 2020

    how much paint to do an end table ? why didn't you use boss as a primer ?

    • Robyn Garner
      on Apr 23, 2020

      btw - you can make your own chalk paint in any color latex paint for way cheap using Plaster of Paris. Google the recipe.

  • DC
    on Apr 19, 2020

    If you shellac it first, is the paint over ir easily removed if scratched?

  • Pamela
    on Apr 21, 2020

    Looks great..1 question. After cleaning and drying. Why do you use shellac instead of a primer?? Then paint. I always did the primer. What is the difference or advantage of the shellac? Curious..

    • Christina Faye Repurposed
      on Apr 21, 2020

      Hi Pamela thank you. I have found that even with primer (when using white paint) you can still get bleed through. I have experienced this quite a few times. I would have to add 3-4 coats of the primer. With Shellac, most of the time one light coat works! Hope this helps :)

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