Wednesday, August 7, 2013

80’s nightstand redo

Hello all! How are you? Thanks for the lovely comments on my last post. ;) We are getting very excited!

Today I’m kicking off my no-spend August with a little redo for the bedroom. We’ve had short bookcases as our nightstands (you can see here) for years, but I wanted to replace them for many reasons – they were too tall for the new bed (and I was afraid I was going to lose an eye on the corner), they were SO dark in the room and the height made finding a lamp impossible. (It needed to be short but still substantial.)

SO. I started looking around. In my mind I’ve always wanted a small dresser on each side – maybe wood, maybe something I can paint. Something with at least a little CLOSED storage for me. (I learned from the bookcases.) I scoured Craigslist for months and nothing was coming up. I checked out antique shops and nothing was the right size and width (too wide). Then I started looking into a more traditional nightstand idea and looked at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx and nothin’.

Then…I shopped my house. ;) Dur. We had two that worked perfectly – I just didn’t think they would work perfectly. So late one night I spent the evening dragging furniture around the upstairs to see what would work. We’ve had an old nightstand in the family for years that has been passed around and it’s been sitting in our guest room:

80's nightstand redo

Here’s the thing. It’s not what I would pick – but it was here and free and I was determined to make it work.

The thing was a MESS. Seriously gross. I wasn’t crazy about the reddish stain and it was destroyed in a few places so I knew that was going. What really bugged me was the hardware, so I took it all off:

refinishing 80's nightstand

It was super easy to get that little jobby off – just pry it off with a flat head screwdriver then pull the nails out.

The nightstand got a VERY thorough cleaning:

painting dark wood

I cleaned in all of the little crevices – this is so important, especially when painting over dark wood. You’ll see why in a minute. Grrr.

Because the wood was such a mess I gave the flat surfaces a quick sanding to get that top layer off, then cleaned well again.

I used this BIN spray to prime the whole thing:

spray primer over dark wood

I have used this stuff for years and have a love/hate relationship with it. It is GREAT primer and I love that they offer it in a spray. But the spray can SUCKS. Every single one I’ve ever used sucks. No matter how much I shake it, no matter the angle – the spray doesn't come out evenly. It spatters, gets super watery – it’s just hard to use. But I continue to because it’s great when you need great coverage on a hard to prime piece.

OK, so I used chalk paint for the coat of white after the primer. Here’s the thing (that I already knew, thankfully) about using white chalk paint over a deep, dark wood – the pigment can react with the paint and make it pink. So I was cautioned awhile back to always prime a dark wood piece well before painting with that paint. (Usually with chalk paint you can just start painting without priming, but this isn’t always the case with a red/dark tone piece.)

So I must have missed cleaning or priming one spot well because wow, it was a mess. No matter what I did (I primed it, painted it twice, reprimed it, then painted it twice again), some of the pigment was coming through on one spot. It looked nasty. Grody:

dark stain bleeding through white paint dark stain bleeding through white paint after

Ugh. Gross, right? I was so dang annoyed. The rest of the nightstand looks amazing, so I know I just missed cleaning right there or something. So I got my BIN primer in the can out and put two or three coats over it with a brush (pic on the right) and so far it’s doing much better. I still haven’t even tried painting over it again with the chalk paint because I’m afraid it’s going to bring that nastiness out again.

That part isn’t bright white like the rest of it but I think I’m willing to live with that because I don’t want to prime again!

The holes for the old pulls were so big it was going to be a pain to fill them in, so I ended up just placing the new ones right over the holes:

nickel pulls white furniture

They were very strategically placed. ;) I’d much prefer them moved in a little bit on the drawer, but I pick my DIY battles.

I already had the pulls – got them for another project and didn’t use them there. I thought they would look so lovely against the white and I love how it turned out:

dark wood nightstand redo

I’m seriously so pleased with it! I didn’t think I would love it this much!

Next up, the lamps. I have no idea what I’m doing with them yet, but they aren’t staying brass:

80's nightstand redo

They were in the basement and I did a little switcharoo – SO much better this way!

I went with white on the nightstand for a few reasons. I’m still deciding on some accent colors in the room (I don’t want it to be all neutral), so this gives me a blank slate to work with. Plus I had the white on hand.

The big reason was I pulled a pedestal table that used to be in the Bub’s nursery in as the other nightstand. It was a piece I picked up from the unfinished furniture store and painted when I was pregnant and couldn’t bear to part with it. It was already white, so to pull them together I wanted them both to be white.

At first I thought it was going to be too tall, but it is the perfect height and size! Again…I’m trying to use what we have here. I don’t know if these will stay forever (I’d like something more substantial down the line), but for now they work great for us:

 pedestal table as nightstand80's nightstand redo   

Yes, I still need to cut in that wall color by the floor. It’s on my list. A few other things need to happen first. :) And YES, that lamp cord will be dealt with. Buwhahaaaa.

So have you tried using chalk paint over a dark wood piece? How did it work for you? It will never cease to amaze me how paint and new knobs can transform furniture!

The best part – we have two “new” nightstands and I didn’t spend a dime! This no-spend month is going well, so far. ;)

63 comments:

  1. Wow! This is an amazing before & after!! I looks fabulous Sarah! Bravo!

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  2. wowwww it looks so amazing after redone. Great job.
    I have got a dresser for free with the same finish that your night stand had before redo. I am very willing to repaint it white (the white color that I saw in babies r us kid's dresser), but I don't know which paint should I get to have that elegant white look for that dresser. What is your suggestion? I also don't want to get the pinky shade either. :)

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    1. Even a plain paint in eggshell finish would work great -- I just used the chalk paint because I had it. Just use a good primer first and you should be good to go!

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  3. Love the hardware. Off topic, but is there a before and after party this month?

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    1. Yes, I forgot to mention it will be next week again! Look for it then. ;)

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  4. What a great redo!! :) Happy Wednesday! xx Holly

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  5. I just love a no-spend victory story and you nailed it with these! Great job!

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  6. Fantastic transformation. I need to keep posts like this in mind when I bypass "ugly" furniture at garage sales and thrift stores. It can be beautiful with a little work.

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  7. Wow that came out so beautiful, great transformation!

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  8. Are you kidding me? That is such a fuggo dresser, and you made it amazing! *starts digging through craigslist immediately*

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  9. That transformation is unbelievable!!! So pretty!
    xo, amy | theblissfulbee.com

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  10. Your nightstand looks so great! I am also continually amazed how paint transforms furniture. I love your no spend August, what a great idea.
    Tammy @ thecoloreddoor.blogspot.com

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  11. Perfect! Love what you did with the old piece and silver handles! It looks great with your other bedroom colors. You always amaze me.

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  12. Looks great! I am having a love hate relationship with our bedroom furniture. Hoping to change it up a bit soon.

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  13. It looks great! I'm working on our bedroom right now and trying to revamp some 80's furniture that works too well to get rid of. Can't wait to see what else you do! (P.S. I look at those lamps and think, "glossy navy") :)

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  14. Love this redo so much! I need some of your furniture painting expertise: I inherited a dresser that was poorly redone. There's a cost of white paint on it that is peeling because the original finish on the wood wasn't sanded down before painting. I want to repaint it but am wondering if I need to completely remove the previous paint job (basically get it to bare wood) or do I just to rough up the existing surface enough for the new paint (same color) to properly adhere? Does that make sense? I'd really appreciate your input!

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    1. I have the same issue. I painted furniture in our guest bedroom and I did a pretty awful job. Didn't sand and not the edges are peeling and not in a good way. Help!

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    2. Hey ladies! I've had this happen and you may need to remove the bad paint unfortunately. BUT, Aubrey, try sanding it down to see if the old stuff comes up easily first. They *may* have done some prep and it took well in some spots and not in others -- you'll be able to tell if you sand first. Geppetta, it sounds like it may need to be stripped and redone. Did you use primer?

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  15. Can't believe it's the same table Sarah!!!! Lovely! I also love the handles you chose for it, perfect!

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  16. I love it! The handles are gorgeous. I gotta admit, I REALLY like the lamps brass. It warms up the space...love it!

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  17. OMG!! I just bought a pair of brass lamps exactly like yours. I mean exactly!!! Same shape, size, everything. I still have to buy new shades yet. I paid $4.00 for the pair and am planning on painting them although I haven't totally committed to that because I do like the brass. Anyway, maybe I will wait until I see what you do with yours. PS, the make over on the nightstand looks great.

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  18. I love it! I wouldn't expect it to look so good either! I may be looking for old, dark nightstands like that in my near future. ;)

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  19. Kudos to you! Love the fresh "new" pieces! I always forget about that pink problem, too, and have to go back and re-do. Boo to that!
    xo Heidi

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  20. How do you keep the paint finish from feeling tacky? It doesn't sound like you lacquer it in anyway...

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  21. I remember reading about the pink but had forgotten, thanks for reminding me. I love your new end tables, they look great white!

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  22. In your post about your master bedroom redo, I had suggested that two mismatched white bedside tables - one pedestal and one with a drawer - would be perfect. Then look what you went and did by shopping your house! Plus you've inspired me to paint MY bedside tables which look suspiciously like the one you pulled from your guest room, but without the spindles. I'm amazed at how beautiful yours looks now that it has a fresh coat of paint on it. Now I just need to decide what color to paint mine...

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  23. We are in need of nightstands--I wish I had some as pretty as that sitting around to give a makeover to! They look great! I've also been shopping Craigslist to no avail recently. :/

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  24. I love the nightstands, especially the white! But I am with you in the frustration of the paint discoloration. I have painted two gorgeous pieces that did the same thing to the paint. I think I almost cried on the first one since I was planning on selling it. I had just used ASCP Old White straight on the pieces as always and was stunned to find this happen. I furiously painted over it again and again. Eventually it did fade. On the another piece I distressed the paint off in those areas. Made it work but not idea.

    Recently though, I found this on AnnieSloanUnfolded.com/faqs
    "Q. I am painting a stained piece of furniture with Old White Chalk Paint® and a yellow stain has appeared in my new paint layer. How do I cover it?

    A. This is known as “bleed through” and can take on either a yellow or pink appearance. It is particularly noticeable when painting with a lighter color of Chalk Paint®. There are a couple of reasons this happens: The piece was previously finished with an inferior stain that is not colorfast (typically found on pieces from the 1930s and 1940s), or you are painting over a species of wood with open grain and the tannins stored in the grain want to drain up into the new finish (oak is notorious for this). Apply one or two coats of clear shellac by rag or brush to block the staining effect, and then apply another coat of Chalk Paint®. If you have already applied a coat of Chalk Paint®, there is no need to remove that layer; you can apply the shellac directly on top."

    I haven't tried this technique since (thankfully) it hasn't happened again, but I was glad to know (especially after reading your post) that I'm not the only one who experiences this! Hopefully this will help in the future!

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  25. Love it!! It makes me look at 80s pieces in a whole new way. :-) We have a massive dresser that is an old medium oak (blah) that was handed down from my mother that I can't bring myself to paint...thus, we deal. This inspires me to rethink the whole shebang!

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  26. Have you tried the can version of BIN primer? It works very well. It's almost impossible to get out of brushes, so I always use a foam brush.

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    1. Hey Megan! I just saw this one -- yes the can is what I ended up using to fix it. :)

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  27. I had also read that for a dark piece you are covering with a light chalk paint, you could use a clear spray shellac. If you are frustrated with the spray and drips of the Bin, might be another option.
    I have an end table, high boy dresser and long low dresser that look EXACTLY like your nightstand, including all the hardware, and you've given me confidence to have a go with the paint. And yes, my parents bought the set in the 80s.
    Don't suppose you remember where you found the new hardware?

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  29. Oh it looks great! I had the same thing happen to me with my kitchen table chairs. The stain kept bleeding through. Oh it was so frustrating, they aren't perfect now but I don't even care to touch them again :)

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  30. Why use chalk paint? why not go with something eles so you don't have that reactionary result. I know you have a reason, which is why I ask, I see so many bloggers in love with chalk paint, but it looks like so much work.

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    1. Just saw this, sorry! It is actually so much easier to use -- no priming (usually) and it goes on so easily, easier than regular paint in my opinion. The darker, more saturated colors only need one coat too, so that's a big bonus for me. It's more expensive but you use a lot less so I feel like it evens out. :)

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  31. Very nice Sarah! Loving your "no-spend" month - I think you should do it again in the future and challenge us all to partake and link up! (From a fellow Dave Ramsey...er)

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  32. Very cool! I would have passed that nightstand by -- I never would have guessed that it could look so beautiful. Amazing paint job!

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  33. OMG, I saw that lamp cord and went WHAAAAAT? This is the blog of the woman that made me realize exactly how much I pathologically *hate* visible electrical cords, and she's leaving hers OUT? *Shivers and gnashes teeth* Then I saw where you said you'd be "dealing with it" - complete with evil laugh. *Whew!* So glad, because that will allow me to actually get some sleep tonight!

    The nightstands look lovely, the repainted one looks like a completely different piece of furniture, so job well done! They look very fresh and clean. Can't wait to see what you do with the brass lamps. They have a very pretty shape, and I'm thinking a silver finish of some sort would look amazing on them!

    Best,

    Kimberly

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  34. I love it! Great job! And I love the brass lamps in there. I think they are an awesome contrast to the cool neutrals.

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  35. Super cute! Didn't know that about white chalk paint and dark furniture...good tip.

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  36. i LOVE the redo! It's beyond! those pulls are PERFECT! I know you don't do a TON of shabby chic in your house, that you stick to more of a masculine feel (i do too, which is prolly why I love your blog so much) BUT I love the whimsy of this nightstand it's just great. I would paint those lamps like a light mint color I think that'd be super soothing to look at...you could even just keep those white shades with it...but a matte mint would be just like heaven. anyway glad you got that "spot" out...great job

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  37. Looks great Sarah! I love it :) xo Kristin

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  38. Great makeover! I am thinking a light turquoise color for the lamp base. Can't wait to see them!

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  39. I'm drooling! Love how this came out! So happy I got to finally meet you at Haven : ) keep up the awesome work!
    Xo
    Alison

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  40. Your nightstand upcycle looks fab. :) It reminds me of Sarah Richardson nightstands she has used previously. As for the lamps....what about wrapping them in a natural twine for texture (securing with hot glue of course, along the way)?

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  41. Loving this new redo....it looks gorgeous!
    Daisy~

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  42. Beautiful transformation! You're always inspiring!! Thanks

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  43. Wow -- it's crazy how some fresh paint just made that piece look current!!! Sorry about the PIA paint job, but it looks great now!!

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  44. Looks amazing!! What a transformation!! Love it!!

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  45. Love it! Why do you use chalk paint as opposed to regular latex?

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  46. Love the new look. Seriously. The 80's nightstand with the silver hardware turned out so pretty. One day I will be brave enough to paint the solid wood furniture set I scored online for my daughter that is STILL just sitting out in my garage waiting to be resurrected. You're my hero!

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  47. OMGoodness, that brass lamp gave me a little bit of a heart attack before I read you were going to change it. I know it's "back in style" but I just can't stomach it! :) Your bedside table turned out perfect! Love the coral on the shelf with the aqua vase.

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  48. HI - Love the way the nightstand turned out. It never fails to amaze me how simple paint can transform a piece. I recently took a ASCP class. The instructor gave us a tip about painting over certain finishes, like the one you dealt with. She said to paint a coat of shellac before using the chalk paint. It seals the gross stuff (totally technical term) that bleeds thru the top coat. I haven't tried it as yet but she had a lot of times before and said it works. Worth a try!

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  49. Amazing transformation!

    I've been reading, but on my phone so haven't been able to comment. Just wanted to say hi!

    Happy weekend!

    Jenny

    http://simcoestreet.blogspot.ca/

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  50. I love a good thrift store makeover, this turned out amazing!

    http://withasparklex.blogspot.com/

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  51. Your nightstand turned out beautifully! You took a blah piece and turned it into something fabulous!

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  52. The transformation of the night stand is amazing. It IS difficult to believe that it is the same piece before/after, as others have noted. I'm wondering what your curvy brass lamps would look like if you put black shades (with gold lining) on them? Well, they're not inexpensive, but if you don't like the new black lined with gold shades, perhaps a good-sized drum shade. I'd prefer to see you paint or paper over them than ruin the finish on a perfectly good pair of brass lamps with paint. I'm one of those rare souls who likes brass, I guess :)

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  53. Whoa, nelly! You rocked this makeover! I love the new look of the nightstand. Such a gorgeous transformation.

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  54. Very nice redo; looks great.

    I hope you will address the hiding the lamp cord thing, because
    I'm not sure I know how that works. Feeling stoopid...ha

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