Pair of Drab Nightstands Get a Country Chic Facelift

Do you have one of those things in your house that has been in dire need of a facelift for years? You walk past it, grumble under your breath, but it never makes it to the top of the priority list? If you’re anything like me, you have more than one (more like 87.)

Finally, finally I’d had enough of two dull, top-damaged nightstands in the master bedroom. No character, no class. Luckily it didn’t take much to whip them into farmhouse chic shape.

Nightstand before
Sad, disheveled side tables.

First, a good sanding took off the flaky finish on the top. In doing this, I found that while the nightstands are heavy, they are not solid wood. The legs are, but the top appeared to be a layered mix of dense veneer and wood. This made the third step a bit trickier.

Nightstand being sanded
Already looking better without the flaking finish.
On went two layers of a creamy white paint (I had some Dutchboy eggshell latex in ultra white laying around) onto the legs and underside of the tables (yeah, no one is going to lay on the floor to look at the bottom of these, but I like completeness.) Gotta have that rustic appeal, so a bit of distressing was next.

Nightstand first coat of paint

Now for that pesky wood-like top. I knew I wanted a two-tone, shabby chic look, so I picked out a nice, dark wood stain by Minwax called Espresso — yummy. The flat surface took the stain perfectly; the beveled rims did not. On the first table I re-sanded and reapplied the stain to get a more uniform uptake. The second table went much more smoothly after that initial trial and error. The edges still aren’t perfect, but I just can’t get worried about that, as my husband would say.

Nightstand stained
Painted, distressed, stained, and waiting for sealer.
Since we use these tables for keeping glasses of water handy, they needed some protective finish. I used my go-to sealer, Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Gloss, and put on three coats.

Nightstand refinished

Ahh, so much better! Now these side tables no longer look like garage sale castoffs, but homey, stylish pieces. They’ve been in use for several months now and the finish is holding up to water spills wonderfully. The new look of the nightstands really helps our cozy bedroom feel more cohesive and grown-up. One facelift project down, 86 to go. 😉

Country Chic nightstand facelift banner


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