Mis-Matched Nightstands Makeover

nightstands before & after

Hi Friends!  After suffering through -25 degree temperatures and 3 snow days this week, in good news we celebrated my daughter’s 14th birthday.  I still can’t believe I’m the mom of a bona fide teenager!  She isn’t moody (most days) and she doesn’t thrive on drama, so life is good.

I bought these nightstands off of Facebook Marketplace for $35 for the pair.  The seller had planned to spray paint them white, but she only got one done.  There were some repairs needed that may have caused her delays.  So once she decided she didn’t have time to complete the project any time soon, she listed them and I came in and swooped them up.  It can be hard to find a matching set of tables, and they usually sell really well for me.  You can see some others I’ve done here.  These other ones pre-dated the blog, but I refinished them for my own master bedroom.

nightstands after

But back to the project at hand, here is what I was working with.

mis-matched nightstands before


One of the bun feet had split in half, but the seller gave us the missing half, so we just glued and clamped it back together.  Also, one corner on the bottom was quite damaged.  We filled it with Bondo and wood filler, using paint stir sticks to create a little form to hold the fillers in place while it dried.  After a little sanding, it was like new.  Can you tell where any of the damage was?  I hope not!

Close up of nightstands

The features I loved most (and thought would shine after paint) were both the bun feet, and the raised panels in the doors.  So I made a plan to strip the tops, paint the rest light gray and replace the knobs.

the nightstands project plan


To strip, I applied Citristrip with a chip brush in a thick layer to the tops.  Then I covered it with plastic wrap, and left it overnight.  With a plastic putty knife, I scraped off the paint on one and stain on the other.  I did this process twice, but the tops still didn’t really match. 

There was white paint down in the grain that wasn’t lifting out.  So I watered down some Butter Cream, and rubbed it down into the grain of the unpainted top.  Now that they were relatively similar, I wiped on some Tobacco Road and Up in Smoke water-based stains, letting them mix together a bit.  Then I let it dry.  To add a little more depth and weathered wood look, I dry-brushed some Buttercream on top.  To seal it, Gator Hide did the trick.

nightstand tops

The bases took 2 coats of Driftwood, using my favorite large round brush.  I definitely struggled with the decision whether to distress these.  I usually love it as a finishing touch, but with one table having the white paint underneath, I wasn’t sure they would match enough with distressing.  So I quit while I was ahead, and then added these artisan-looking knobs from Anthropologie.

I wanted to add a fun little pop of color to the insides, so I used a deep purple color called Aubergine.  The picture turned out a little dark, but the true color is in the floating circle.  What do you think?  I think it is a good mix of fun and classic and a great combination with the light gray.

nightstands interior

Here are the products I used on this project:

I spent a little time updating my Shop My Faves page this week, so if you have a minute, pop over there and check it out!  Here’s one last look at the transformation of these nightstands from mis-matched to a farmhouse pair.

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