• Karlyn

Antique to Modern Night Stand

This night stand was a really great find! It had a few scratches but was in fairly good condition. It's extremely heavy and appeared to be crafted with high quality wood.

We found this at a thrift store that was scheduled to close the following week. The owners wanted to get rid of as much as possible so they didn't have to move it wherever they were going. So they sold it for $5!

We absolutely could not believe our luck! This night stand was perfect for my bedroom!

The Makeover

We learned a lot since our last furniture makeover. So with this particular piece, our steps were slightly different:

1. Materials We Used

To complete our project, we had all the following materials:

  • Sander

  • Sand paper with 80, 120, and 220 grit sizes

  • Primer (we used the flat white spray)

  • Paint was a light (looks almost creamy white) gray paint and a medium dark gray

  • Fast Dry Polyurethane from Varathane to protect the paint

  • Foam brush

  • Latex brush

2. Sanding

After sanding with an 80 grit sandpaper for what seemed like forever, we finally scratched the surface. Oh no, that wasn't an exaggeration. We really DID just scratch the surface. The laminate on top seemed like a really thick one and it was just NOT coming off! So we decided to leave it. We sanded it just enough for the paint to adhere to it. Instead of using a mechanical sander for the sides and the rest of the table, we decided to use a hand sander instead. This helped us get around the grooves with minimal damage.

3. Cleaning

Dust is inevitable when sanding is involved. So we made sure the surface was absolutely free from any debris before doing anything else. To be safe, we always use our water/vinegar mix to clean with. It's more natural and vinegar is known to really do its job well when it comes to disinfecting. Yes, dust is dust, but you never know what else you could have missed!

4. Prime the Surface

A few weeks ago, we painted some chairs, but didn't use a primer, because its container stated the word "primer" on it. Well ... just a few days ago, we started to see some of that paint chipping away! We absolutely couldn't believe it! This time, we wanted to make sure everything is done right! So for this piece, we made sure to prime before we painted!

5. Painting

I hate to admit it, but the most important key to a beautifully painted surface is the quality of the paint itself. I noticed that as I was painting, I saw way too many brush lines. It worried me to think that that's how it was going to dry. Luckily, we found great paint that we paid a quarter of the price for, but found to be of the highest quality! So when it finally dried, the brush lines seemed to disappear and the overall result was beautiful! The paint job on the top piece started out as a scary process. We painted it using a darker gray paint with vertical strokes. After the first coat dried, we noticed a few missing spots, which we didn't want for this piece because we weren't planning on distressing it. So we thought of adding an extra coat to get rid of these spots. As we ran our brush through the already painted surface, we realized it had not dried as completely as we thought. So each stroke started to look messier and messier. The messier it looked, the more paint we added on. Eventually, it started to look like a complete disaster. We had no choice, but to leave it alone and let it dry. We thought perhaps we could sand it off and just start again. We started sanding without realizing we were using a 220 grit sandpaper. To our surprise, the messy strokes started to look like wood grain. It looked very unique and actually quite nice. Here it is close up:

6. Apply Sealer

We used the water based Varathane Polyurethane to seal and protect your paint. It dries quickly and makes the matted surface look slightly (just a little) smoother and cleaner looking. It's also meant to make your paint last.

The End Result

Here it is ...

How Much Did Everything Cost?

Here's the breakdown:

  • Night stand purchase from thrift store = $5

  • sandpaper = $1

  • Home Depot's oops paint (Marquee) = $9 (approximately 1/6 of the can was used) = $1.5

  • Ganahl Lumber (local hardware store) oops pain = $10 (approximately 1/5 of the can was used = $2

  • Water based polyurethane = $16.48 (approximately 1/10 of the can used) = $1.65

  • Primer = $3.98 (approximately 1/4 of the can used) = $1

  • Sponge brushes = $0.78 = 2 used

  • Latex brush = $9.97

Total cost = $23.68

Our Takeaway

This piece gave us more confidence with the sander. It's as if the sander could fix so much! We also learned a new technique (faux wood grain)! The process was a little scary to think we may have had to start over, but sometimes mistakes are part of your learning process. In this case, it worked out perfectly!

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