Nightstand Makeover


Nightstand Makeover

This nightstand has been in my family for decades. It was my great-grandparents’ in the 1930’s, and then they passed it on to my grandparents, who then gave it to my parents, and has now been passed on to me and my family. Now, this thing had been sitting in storage for a long time; not being used, collecting dust, and also serving as a nice little house for various types of spiders. When I dug it out, it was in pretty rough shape. I mean, literally falling apart. And being as though I hadn’t done a project like this in a while, I was pretty eager to give this old piece a much needed face-lift!

Before I start, I’d like to include my materials list for anyone who may be interested in doing a project of their own!

What you’ll need:

  • Metal scraper
  • Wood filler
  • Wood glue
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Electric sander
  • Hand sander
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • 1/4″ thick plywood
  • Clamps
  • Circular saw (I’d highly recommend using a table saw to do your cuts, but this is what I happened to have on hand and did the job fairly well)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint (I used Behr paint and primer in one which worked wonderfully!)

Here are a few before pics…

Not too cute, right? Well, after examining it under better lighting, I came to find that the wood itself wasn’t what was chipping and cracking; it was actually the veneer on top of it. To me, this was both good and bad news. I wouldn’t have to replace any of the wood, but I would have to scrape all of that wood veneer off! 🙁 For this, I just used a metal scraper and hammer and basically just pried it off!

After I had scraped a majority of the veneer off, I took the electric sander and smoothed out any remaining spots. As you can see in the picture above, the metal scraper dug into the wood in some spots. To fill these, I used wood filler and spread it into the chips with a putty knife.

The end result looked like this:

After a couple hours, after making sure the wood filler was completely dry, I took the sander to it again and took off any excess filler. (When using wood filler, be sure not to push too hard while sanding, as it may cause more of the filler to come off than you want, causing the holes you just filled to become visible again.) After going it over it a few times, I used the hand sander to buff out any spots that I missed. The filled and sanded surface came out super smooth!

Next, I measured out the sides and had Michael cut out the plywood in order to fit. Although the sides came out pretty smooth after the veneer was all scraped off, I decided it would be best to reinforce them since they were extremely thin.

To put the sides on, I squeezed a ton of wood glue onto the existing plywood (at least 10x more than what is pictured) and clamped them together overnight. I did this for each side separately. To be sure that they wouldn’t come apart, I placed an old car battery on top each time.

Once the sides were all glued on, I had Michael take out the saw again and cut out the new piece for the bottom and the back panel. After they were both nailed into place, it was time to paint!

I used the roller for the sides and the top and the paintbrush for the trim and to touch up. Two coats did the trick. After the paint was dry, we screwed in the new handle and it was finished! (Luckily, we didn’t have to drill new holes for the handle :D)

Here it is completed:

If you look close, you can see that the top still looks a little bit uneven, due to pushing to hard with the sander, but because I was putting it in my bedroom anyway, I didn’t bother refilling and resanding. (Plus, I think it gives it a little personality! ;))

Redoing this piece was a lot of fun and it has also given me the motivation to start working on more DIY projects that I’ve been wanting to get around to.

I just love how perfectly it goes with the coral on my bed!

Until the next project!

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