A Nightstand’s Story: From Curbside to Bedside

by Katy on October 5, 2010 · 32 comments

Ā Ā 

The "before" shot of my curbside nightstand. It's certainly a sturdy piece of furniture, but is uglier than a stampeding "Black Friday" mob. I do like the detail at the foot though.

The top surface of the nightstand was less than impressive.

The post-sanded nightstand. Please excuse the photo, the sun was kind of harsh at this point.

The post-primer step. So far so good.

Here is the nightstand after two coats of semi-gloss latex paint I gleaned from my mother's basement.

The top surface of the nightstand looks super crappy. I waited between coats, and even thinned the paint a little bit. I think it turned out this way because the sun came out while I was painting the last coat, and it was drying as I was painting. I would have thought I was immune to this possibility here in Oregon. (I guess I should have worked on this project in June, when it was cloudy every lovin' day!)

Here is the nightstand with some Goodwill baskets thrown into the cubbies. It is not perfect, but it's a thousand times better than before. The ugly knob is still in place, but only because there are three (?) drilled holes behind the face plate, which means I couldn't use the cute beveled glass knob I had in mind. I may paint it black.

I am slightly frustrated that this piece of furniture is not as impressive as The Frugal Girl’s masterpieces. But I am not going to start over again. This nightstand will be going into our spare bedroom, which is a week-and-a-half away from becoming the not so spare bedroom. This is because we will be hosting a Japanese teaching assistant for six months, and I highly doubt that he will spurn our hospitality due to my poor painting efforts.

I am putting a full effort into decluttering the house this week in preparation to having this addition to our family, and apologize if too many of my posts focus on the subject. Ā (I guess I’m nesting?!)

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim October 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

I think it turned out rather nice! Certainly a big improvement. I can’t paint to save my hiney, so it looks really impressive to me šŸ™‚

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leslie October 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

I love this- even the big knob! Way to go šŸ™‚

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Katy October 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

Mmm . . . I’m grooving on all the smiley emoticons.

-Katy

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Katy October 5, 2010 at 10:11 am

šŸ˜€

-Katy

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Beverly October 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

Wow that looks great. Very impressive that you can look at someones garbage and turn it into something so beautiful.

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Marjorie October 5, 2010 at 10:55 am

I like the “ugly” knob. Great detail. Nice work.

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Kristen@TheFrugalGirl October 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

I think it looks great, Katy! Big improvement.

And next time, you’ll just know that you should use the fabulous Painter’s Touch paint that I love. šŸ˜‰ It makes painting WAY easier.

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Katy October 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

Thanks. I’m usually quite the skilled painter, so this kind of got under my skin.

-Katy

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Susanne October 5, 2010 at 11:35 am

Stop criticizing your excellent work!! It’s lovely and I LOVE the big knob – do not paint it black, it looks perfect the way you have it. Amazing how those storage containers fit right in – I find there’s everything right with this job!! Thanks for sharing.

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Kimberly in So Cal October 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm

You did a great job ~ I love it! I’d go to a glass store and get a piece of table top glass to put on top of the nightstand to protect it, and that would minimize the paint issues on top as well. The knob is great and vintage.

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Katy October 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Ooh . . . that’s a great idea!

-Katy

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Katy (another Katy in Portland) October 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

And even put a piece of fabric between the glass and tabletop.

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Sandy March 17, 2015 at 8:37 am

I was going to suggest the glass! I’ve found I like the glass better if I put silicone(?) Disks between the furniture and the glass, then the paint doesn’t stick to the glass.
This night stand is lovely, just as it is! If you get tired of it, I’ll give you my address….;-)

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Practical Parsimony October 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Katy, I think you are tougher on yourself and the paint job than anyone will be. It looks great. I am inspired. I love to paint, but hate all the steps that come before. What kind of primer did you use? Is it sprayed on or brushed on?

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Practical Parsimony October 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I reread you post. I know the paint was free, but the semigloss might be the problem. Maybe satin would have not looked the same way on the top. Considering the top had seen lots of water damage, anything you did to it was a great improvement. Maybe water damage that was not evident before painting showed up afterwards. I would still use the free paint. Good job. Nope, people won’t judge you by your paint job.

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Mrs. Roy October 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

The nightstand looks great! Don’t worry about the top. You can always use a doily or a runner that would fall over each side or a wicker placemat or just let it be – you will probably be the only person who doesn’t think it’s perfect!
You can get thin medallions to go behind the glass knob. They come in brass or wood that you could paint. We just added some to some ugly bi-fold doors and really dressed them up.
I love the baskets in the open spaces. It looks like it came that way from day one.
Good job!

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Chris Danner October 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I think it came out great. Re: the top – you can always repaint it later, although I like the glass top and fabric idea. Re: the knob – could you fill the existing holes with wood putty?

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Kristen@TheFrugalGirl October 6, 2010 at 2:23 am

That’s what I’ve done when I paint furniture. Often I don’t want to use hardware the requires two holes, so I just fill in the old ones and drill a new hole in the middle.

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Katy October 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

I plan on filling the extra holes, but wanted to get the post up first.

The is the “middle” part of the “before and after.”

-Katy

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Darla October 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Paint the knob black – the shape is already glorious. The problem is the color – white? Have you thought about a green? Not lime, but sage or darker – forest is too dark. My 2 cents. And no one will notice the top buy you!

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Katy October 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Darla,

I painted it white so it would match the trim in the bedroom. šŸ™‚

-Katy

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Leanne October 5, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Beautiful! I think the knob is perfect for it, it’s the right style šŸ™‚

My daughter went into her first place last month, and she did a similar thing. She told old pieces from our house, and hand-me-down from the neighbors, and a nightstand from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and painted them all to match. Her bedroom looks great, almost better than her one at home!!!!

I have resolved to not buy any more new “hard” pieces of furniture, only the soft stuff, like couches. The rest of it is much nicer when it’s had a bit of experience šŸ™‚

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Kathy October 6, 2010 at 9:22 am

Aren’t we all a little too critical with our own efforts? Considering all the work you had to do all the sanding, I feel exhausted. You put me to shame. I probably would’ve gone to the great extreme of a little furniture polish all over followed by a doily across the top. Really extreme? Spray painting the knob gold.

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Lisa October 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

It’s amazing what a little paint and elbow grease will do! Great job!

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CindyK October 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

This looks great! You’ve inspired me — I have a child’s glider rocker I trashpicked that I need to finish painting and then adorn with new cushions I’m making from fabric in my stash. Now maybe I’ll get off my butt and do it. I think you did a fantastic transformation job — and kept something from going into a landfill and something else from being created from virgin materials. Congrats!

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sandy October 7, 2010 at 8:32 am

Keep a screwdriver in your car in case you see something on the street that has a knob you like, but you don’t want to take the whole thing.

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Katy October 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

I do keep a screwdriver in the car, and now I know why! I actually did remove the vintage beveled glass knobs from an otherwise worthless desk a few years back, and have them on my built-in buffet!

-Katy

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Debi October 15, 2010 at 7:01 am

Love it!

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Jane in Seattle March 17, 2015 at 7:09 am

What a neat find and a good refinish. I inherited my parents bedroom set. Mi fortunately. My dad had burned holes in the top of the nightstand, I put a mirror on top of it. Glass can get pricy if you have to have the edges polished. I pulled the mirror from the trash. LOL.

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Susan March 17, 2015 at 9:19 am

Just love that.

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Debra P March 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Lovely! Trash picked furniture is my fave, followed by cheap thrifted furniture.
And as i tell my *one* quilting student- done us better than perfect. I’d make a quilted runner for the top….

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Debra P March 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

*is

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