Nightstand Refresh

5 Materials
3 Days

Have you ever loved a piece of furniture but your color preference changed? Maybe you changed the furniture in the room and suddenly the piece became too dark for space? Or maybe you needed something new but didn’t want to buy new furniture? If this is you, keep reading to see how my husband and I have a set of nightstands a fresh new look.

Materials & Prep

The very first thing you’ll do is gather your materials and tools. 

• Phillips screw driver

• painters tape

• Behr Chalkpaint - farmhouse white

• paint brush

• Behr Chalkpaint clear wax

• sandpaper (220 grit)

• Air nailer/stapler (optional)

• staples (Optional)

• rustoleum spray paint 

It was too cold to paint in the garage so we brought these inside to paint. Placing down a drop cloth to protect the table and carpet, then 2x4 pieces of wood to prop up the night stand to allow for ease with painting. We wiped down the piece with warm water and a cloth. **Removed the backing off the night stand.

** Here’s the optional part** if you don’t have access to air tools, you can either leave the backing on and paint it that way or if you do want to remove it to paint, Use finishing nails and a hammer to reattach the backing after painting.

Drawer prep & painting

Remove the drawer to paint. We removed the hardware from the drawer, with the Phillips screw driver, in order to update this as well. With the handle removed there were two holes that paint could drip through. We took small pieces of painters tape and covered up the holes. This way of paint did leak down the holes they wouldn’t drip onto the backside of the drawer. 

We then painted the nightstand a Farmhouse white by Behr Chalkpaint. We like the look of white furniture and it brightens the spaces of our home. Allowing the paint to dry overnight between coats is generally how long we like the paint to set before adding a other coat. 

Once we have the piece all painted, we then like to distress the paint using the “sandpaper distressing” technique. You simply use sandpaper to rough up several spots on the furniture including the edges and any dented or dinged spots. This gives character that we like. You may want to leave your paint as is and not distress. I believe it’s a personal decision of what you like.


After distressing the piece (or if you are not distressing- once the paint is dry) it’s time to wax. We used Behr’s clear wax for Chalkpaint.

Reattach Backing

While the wax is drying, use the spray paint to paint the hardware/handles. I like a dark bronze paint. I don’t like to leave the handles shiny gold. Again this is personal preference you may want to paint the handles the same color as the nightstand or black or maybe even give it a pop of color with blue, red or green. Create the piece the way you want it.

Then, while the handles are drying, reattach the backing with your air nailer/stapler or hammer and finishing nails.

Reattach handles

Once the handles are dry and no longer “tacky” from the spray paint, pull the painters tape off the inside of the drawer. Then reattach the handles/hardware and the drawer is ready to be placed back in the nightstand.


Here it is all finished. We needed a little side table next to our piano in the living room. So this nightstand will be filling that need. You could use it next to a couch, in the dining room, entryway or in a bedroom or hallway. The possibilities are endless.

The only things we needed to purchase for this project were the chalk paint and the wax. Everything else we had on hand left over from other projects.

Style it!

The last thing to do is decorate or style it. Depending on where you place the piece in your home will determine how you style it. You may want to place a lamp on top or a stack of your favorite books. I placed a few bottles and a mug on top with a bucket underneath.

I will change up my decor with the seasons and the holidays. This space will change. Again, this is where you use your creativity and decor style to choose how you would like this piece styled. It is a statement all on its own. Whatever you decide, have fun with it.

To see more of the furniture we refinish and how we decorate and style our home head to our Instagram account @beaus_and_belles !

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Pineapple Pineapple on May 27, 2020

    I don’t care for distressed furniture very much but it friends on where it would go and the style in the home. Why did you have to wait overnight for the paint to dry? I have used the Behr chalk paint and it definitely dries pretty quickly but not overnight.

  • Val Val on May 27, 2020

    Can the Behr' s wax be used on acrylic paint? I'm going to order some wooden candlesticks and thought I should protect the paint.

  • Alice Alice on May 28, 2021

    Do you need to sand the unit before painting it?

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