Update Wood Night Stands

ethan ellen night stands angled

If you’re looking for a unique neutral textured finish, this “Chalk Paint Nightstand” tutorial is for you!

Recently an old friend reached out to me looking for a pair of nightstands for her master bedroom.  She also had me paint her existing headboard not using this technique, but still neutral colors.

So you can start to get an idea of how the furniture in her bedroom will work together.  

headboard full front

I didn’t have any nightstands on hand, but I quickly sourced this cute little set of Ethan Allen nightstands on Facebook Marketplace. 

She loved them!  She asked for a layered gray finish, inspired by this cedar chest I’d done several years back.

cedar chest after

They were in great condition, and they have such a cute little shape. But you have to see past that old brown stained finish to what they could become.

ethan allen night stands before

Here are the supplies I used.

Resource List:

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:

Chalk Paint Nightstand

Step 1 – Dry Brush Darkest Color

This finish is super simple because you don’t even need a base coat.  After cleaning, you just jump right in with your first color. 

The technique uses a very dry brush.  Dip about ½” of the bristles in the paint.  Scrape the brush off on the side of the paint pot, and then wipe the brush off even more on a paper towel. 

You can use any 3-4 colors you like with this technique too, so just think of all the variations you can get.  My look is neutral, but depending on the colors you could go bold, colorful, rustic, etc.  And it’s a far easier technique for a beginner than learning blending!

With very light criss-cross motions, apply the darkest color (Gravel Road) around the piece.  The strokes should be vertical and horizontal, like a cross shape.  This will not provide full or even coverage. 

ethan allen night stand front view

ethan allen night stand 1

Step 2 – Dry Brush Lighter Layers of Color

For my second color, I mixed a 50/50 blend of Gravel Road and Manatee Gray.  I used the same dry brush criss-cross technique to apply the second color. 

I hit some of the areas that were bare wood and overlapped the Gravel Road as well. 

Since it’s such a small amount of paint, you don’t even have to wait for it to dry to move on to the next color.  My third color was Manatee Gray. 

Lastly, repeat the same process of criss-crossing with a dry brush for the lightest color Fluff.

ethan allen night stands top

By the time you reach the final layer, you’ll see the colors coming together in a cohesive finish.  If you want to go back and add any of the darker colors back in, you can. 

ethan allen night stand detail

Step 3 – Sanding & Sealing

I gave the nightstands a light sanding with fine sand paper to make them smooth to the touch, and I sealed them with 2 coats of Clear Coat Satin.  Those cute silver pulls came from Ace Hardware. 

If you liked this project, you may enjoy these other nightstand projects as well:

If you enjoyed this Chalk Paint Nightstand tutorial, head on over to Shop my Faves and pick out some paint and products for your next project!

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