That '70s nightstand!

So we just moved from California to Colorado and our furniture took a beating in the moving truck, not to mention the month long storage it was in, then moving truck number 2.  Things broke, shattered, fell apart; the damage was done and so was most of our furniture.  So off I go to the thrift store to try to find some bedroom furnishings.  That's when I spotted this little baby.
I know.  What.. in the world ...was I thinking.  Well, here's what I was thinking.  It was $5.99 plus 50% off.  Plus, it was made of real wood.  REAL wood, people, REAL. Which means it will last if I can just make it look presentable.  I'm not gonna lie, I really wasn't sure.  I sent this picture to Mr. Lewisville from my iphone to see what he thought, and he said, "Sure". 

Sure? Ugh...Really...ok.  I thought he'd say no, no way, are you serious?, but instead he said, "Sure".  I underestimated how much he really needed a nightstand, and since I kept telling him I could find one and make it look nice, he took me up on my offer.  Me and my big mouth.  So I bought it for a whopping $3.  Doubt.  Doubt.  Again, what was I thinking.  I'm pretty sure the thrift store guy who helped me put the nightstand into my minivan was thinking the same thing...just in Spanish.  Aye yie yie.

But here I go.  I'm on a mission now to make something beautiful out of this thing.  I was up for the challenge,ready to roll up my sleeves and work; bring it! 
....A month later, it was still sitting in my garage.  "Um, honey, about that night stand you bought and said you'd redo?" says Mr. Lewisville
"Right, this week" says I.   So here it is, in all it's beautiful glory, and I must say, I'm very happy with the results.
Good bye '70s.  Hello beautiful.

The first thing I did was take off all the ornate details.  Clean modern lines is where it's at now.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Tools to lose that '70's drawer front.

I took a hammer and a flat head screw driver and popped off the front of the drawers. I was surprised they were just plastic front plates.  There was also that ornate detail all around the edges of the nightstand, top and bottom.  It all had to go.

Plastic drawer fronts

I'm sure at one time, people loved this kind of detail on their bedroom furniture.  At one time people also loved bell bottoms, polyester pants, and doing the hustle under a disco ball.  Not judging (ahem)...just saying.

Ornate details not so pretty

Everything came off pretty easily once I realized the flat head screwdriver just needed to be slightly in between the grooves.  A little tap of the hammer separated the drawer fronts from the actual drawers.  They were held together with brad nails that left little holes.  Enter the need for wood filling and a bit more work.

These scalloped details were made of real wood.  Again, I tapped lightly and pulled the screw driver away from the nightstand to take the detailing off. 
You can see in this picture, I've already started sanding.  There's really no rhyme or reason..... or order to my projects.

I'm not sure if there is one wood filler better than the other out there.  I just happened to have some wood filler left over from other projects.  I applied it liberally with a metal spackle thingy.  I'm pretty sure you're supposed to use a plastic applicator that won't scratch the wood and that you can conveniently find by the wood filler section at your local home improvement store.  Usually, including this time, I end up using my fingers to fill in the holes.

I sanded down the wood filler areas until it was smooth, then used my orbital sander with 100 grit sand paper for the tops and sides of the nightstand.  I can't tell you how valuable a sander is for these kinds of projects.  Love my sander!  For the crevices and hard to reach areas for my sander, I  rolled up the round sand paper and sanded by hand.  Not fun.  I didn't need perfect blond wood after sanding, just enough for the primer to cover.

   They always say to use a tack cloth to wipe off the dust from sanding.  I find that a wipe, wet towel, or any damp cloth works just as well. 

I had planned to just use spray primer to cover the nightstand, then a black spray paint.  This meant it would only take me a few minutes to primer, wait 30 minutes, then a few minutes to spray paint.  Unfortunately, I forgot I had used most of my can of primer and paint for another project, so in the middle of spray priming, I ran out of primer.  No worries.  I have Zinsser's primer on hand.  This is the best primer out there and covers over a multitude of sins; I mean mistakes.  My nightstand had primer- half gray, half white.


I had to bring the project inside since it started snowing. I opened up my garage door and sliding glass door to get some cross ventilation.  We froze.

Finally, it was time to paint!  I used black paint that I had left over from painting my son's bedroom furniture and a 2  1/2 inch angle brush.  A good brush is very, very important; so if you don't have one, invest in a brush and take good care of it.  Spray paint would have been faster and easier here, but I didn't want to go out in the snow for 1 can, then wait for it to stop snowing so I could spray outside.  No matter how impatient I am, I know I can't spray paint inside.  Breathing is important to me. 

Doesn't it look pretty already!
The last step was to use polyurethane to protect my paint job and hard work.  I've skipped this step before and have regretted it.  Sooner or later, you'll have to repaint your furniture if you don't use a poly to protect it, and if you have kids, you can bet on sooner.   For this step use those cheapy sponge brushes that you can throw away when you're done. 

Don't you just love the shine?  Nod yes.

Here are just a few of the tools I needed for this project, minus the paint color.

So now it's decision time concerning hardware.  I love this part.  Knobs and pulls make such a big difference in furniture appearance.  There are so many possibilities out there, but I decided to go with a brushed nickel knob.  Ironically, one knob cost me more than the entire nightstand.  Go figure!

So here's a picture of what I said goodbye to on the nightstand.

I'm keeping these knobs. I may spray paint them
and use them for another project.

I don't even know what to say about these???

Here's the final breakdown of my cost:
Nightstand- $3
Silver knobs- $3.79 each at Home Depot
Total: About $11.  WooHoo

I also used these items, but had them already from other projects
Sandpaper & Sander
Sponge brush
Paint brush


I like it!

I'm working on my bedroom and a host of other projects.  Come by and see what I've been up too.  I hope you will be inspired and encouraged to pour some love into your home.

Linking up to these fine blogs:
Miss Mustard Seed
Tip Junkie
Thrifty Decor Chick
DIY by Design 
A Happy Place Called Home
Funky Junk Interiors