This is written by Kathleen, Mike’s better half.
If there’s one thing I love about paint, it’s how quickly and inexpensively it can transform an outdated piece of furniture into a modern, new looking piece. This nightstand was Mike’s during childhood, but had seen better days with peeling finish and water rings by the time we were ready to use it in our daughter’s big girl room. With her new platform bed (DIY Farmhouse Platform Bed with Storage) built and ready to use, I’ll walk you through how to restore an old nightstand to give it an updated look.
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Here are the tools and items we used for the project:
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How to Restore an Old Nightstand
- Sand & Prime
- Paint & Topcoat
- Reattach Hardware
Sand & Prime
I loved how the General Finishes Milk Paint I used on our side table (Thrift Store Furniture Restoration) turned out so much that I decided to use it for Annabelle’s bedroom furniture as well. Since I’d be using paint, I only needed to scuff sand the nightstand with a 220 grit sanding pad to rough up the old finish. This helps the new paint to adhere and only takes a few minutes for a small piece like this. I wiped it down with a tack cloth to remove any sanding debris and then applied a coat of General Finishes Stain Blocker White Primer with a foam brush.
Paint & Topcoat
Now it’s time to paint! I chose to use a 4:1 mixture of Snow White and Antique White milk paint, which matches her platform bed. After mixing it up, I brushed on 3 coats with a foam brush, waiting the specified dry time between coats as indicated on the can. I’ve found that this paint levels itself really well while drying, and is pretty durable once cured. Lastly, I applied a couple coats of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat, which goes on quickly and easily and really takes the durability up a notch.
All that was left to do at this point was to reattach hardware to the drawer front. I considered spray painting the old drawer pull to update it, but decided I wanted a more modern look for it instead. I found a new pewter cup pull from Hobby Lobby and attached it using the existing holes.
Now all that was left to do was step back and admire the newly refinished nightstand! Doesn’t that look amazing compared to the original?
Let us know if you take on a refinishing project using this tutorial by using #woodshopmikeibuiltit!