DIY Distressed Nightstands

Before our house was even built, I began searching for the perfect nightstands. I knew I wanted white ones, but when I couldn’t find any that I liked at a decent price, I decided I would find some and paint them!

I found these beauties at a local hotel furniture store (kind of like a thrift store full of used hotel furniture). I just loved the curviness of them. I brought them home, put them in the garage and got to work.

First, I lightly sanded down the drawers and sides. I am not a big fan of sanding, so I usually don’t sand too much… just enough to get the “shininess” off the wood. The tops, however, had some scratches and scuffs, so I had to sand those a little bit harder.

After wiping them down with a damp cloth to remove all the dust, I started priming them. I knew these would be used every day and get some wear and tear on them, so I wanted to make sure the paint would stick with two coats of primer. The coats were very light and I gently sanded in between each coat to make sure all areas were smooth and drip-free.

Once the primer completely dried (I let it sit overnight), I painted a light coat of white paint. I used a paint brush for the drawers and sides since there were some little crevices to get into. I used a small roller for the top to eliminate brush strokes.

After It dried, I realized I was probably going to need at least three coats of paint since the wood underneath was so dark! If you want it to look even more aged though, you could just do a couple coats and leave the dark wood slightly showing underneath.

After three coats of paint, my nightstands were looking good!

Now it was time to scuff up the edges. This time I used a rougher sanding paper, because I wanted the dark wood to show through in some parts. I just sanded along all the edges, and more so along the top edges and corners where any table or nightstand is sure to get some scuffs.

At this point, you could be done if you like how it looks, but I wanted it to be even more distressed. I went and bought some black gel stain at my local Hirshfields. I used a stencil brush to do this part.

You dip the brush LIGHTLY into the stain and wipe it on a paper towel or towel. The key is to have hardly any stain on your brush… and then just lightly brush along all the edges. The stain really sticks to the parts where the wood is showing through, so it will be darker in some spots, which I think gives it more character. Just keep brushing it along all the edges and corners and admire your work. I went over some areas to make them a little darker.

As for the handles, I used the original antique-looking knobs that were on the nightstands when I got them. I removed them with a screwdriver and spray painted them with an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.

Even though I loved how they looked, I wanted them to go with my headboard a little bit more (my headboard has silver nailhead trim), so I spray painted the pulls with a silver metallic spray paint and then brushed on a little bit of the black gel stain in some areas to make them look more aged!

I sprayed the top of my nightstand with some polyacryclic (three coats) since I knew I would be setting glasses of water, etc. on them and didn’t want it to ruin the paint.

Once our house was built, these babies went straight up to our bedroom! Not too shabby huh!? My husband even loves them!

Check out how Heidi made her gorgeous DIY headboard and the beautiful stenciled wall in her bedroom!


2 Responses to DIY Distressed Nightstands

  1. Gorgeous! This gives me hope and new motivation to refinish our $10 garage sale nightstands. They so badly need it.

  2. What are the dimensions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>