Friday, September 16, 2011

my first project - the $30 nightstand/chest

So on my list of 'stuff we need' was bedside tables for the guest room and I still can't believe how expensive these are to buy new.  Plus I couldn't find any I really liked anyway. So the charity shop hunt started and I found this at Goodwill for $30.
It wasn't the prettiest thing in the world - those creamy handles on the top drawer, ewww and its a bit of an odd size - I didn't really like it at all actually which meant for my first project it was perfect. If it didn't turn out well I hadn't ruined anything I liked in the first place. but if I made something vaguely pretty it was a bonus.

I knew I wanted to paint it but didn't know where to start with colours. I have a Orla Kiely duvet cover I was given for a wedding present which I love and wanted a colour to go with that and so picked the blue tone as a starting point. Several paint charts later I chose Dutch boy viridian tint (DB548 -2).
I knew I had to sand and prime (because every blog tells you too) so I sanded. And it took forever to even take the slightest edge off the layers and layers of varnish. So I caved in and bought an electrical sander for about $30. It was SO worth it - about an hour later it looked like this

You can see I took all the varnish off the main body but left the drawers with the surface taken off.
I'm not sure how much you are supposed to sand btw so if anyone has any tips please comment below...

I did two coats of primer because I figured 2 coats were better than one?? and then 2 coats of paint.

I also spray painted the hardware matt black which was the easiest part of this whole makeover...

l liked the finished chest but not the inside of the drawers. I got 2 pieces of wrapping paper from paper source which i cut to fit all 4 drawers, so they went from this to this;

And here is the before once more and the finished chest next to my lovely bedspread and I quite pleased really - not bad for a first attempt;

If I were to do it again; 

1) I would use a semi-gloss paint - the surface of the matt paint is fine but I think a little glossier finish would look better
2) I would also have used a finer finish of sandpaper - 60 is very coarse and whilst it took the varnish right off it also left it quite rough - finishing with a medium or fine paper would have been better I think.

Lesson learnt. Now what next...



  1. I adore this, it's so out of a catalogue of trendy furniture! Gorgeous paint choice - yummy!

  2. my all time favorite color. looks fantastic! LOVE the paper in the drawers. brilliant.