The Little Nightstand That Could

Since moving into our new house 6 months ago, I don’t think I’ve gone longer than a few days without having some sort of project for the home. Since I can only work on these tedious, time-consuming, manicure-destroying jobs when my daughter is napping or when my husband is home and can watch her, these projects can really drag on. Currently, I’m working on a nightstand for my bedroom. It’s going to be absolutely beautiful, but I’m sure the Emperor said the same thing about the Taj Mahal for years before his prophecy became legend. For now, you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you know me, you know I’m also juggling several other small projects as well. I like doing this sort of thing, I keep telling myself. Really, I think I have to convince myself that it’s fun. Otherwise, I might discover the real truth; the only reason I DIY so much is because I can’t afford to splurge on everything my little heart desires. So, it’s fight or flight, DIY or succumb to drab. I choose to fight, and sacrifice my free time and pretty fingernails. It really is a great alternative to just buying a brand new piece. First of all, it’s obviously frugal. This particular project is going to cost me about a tenth of what it would had I just bought a brand-new, finished product from the store. Also, it’s so satisfying once it’s finished. When someone says “ooh, I love that [fill in the blank],” I can proudly say that I actually made it myself. Because of those reasons, here I hunch in my chilly garage with primer under my fingernails, an itchy, paint-stained dropcloth below my legs, and primer-infused sawdust in my lungs…all to fuss over my latest obsession.

My little nightstand started off frighteningly ugly. I found this little diamond in the rough on craigslist. It had beautiful lines, but a horrendous paint job. I can fix that, I thought. As we speak, the stenciled fruit and distressed drawers of yesterday are now wood-filled, sanded, primed, and waiting for the shimmery second step out in my drafty garage. I can’t wait to update you! (P.S. If by chance I don’t ever update, that means that something went terribly wrong. Please don’t ask if that happens though, since I’ve already spent hours on my finicky baby outside, and will surely be heartbroken at nary the mention.)

So no final pictures of my born-to-be-beautiful nightstand today, but here are some of the befores and durings. I do hope to be able to update with pics of the finished product in the next couple days!


Here’s my craigslist find when I first brought her home. Proud mommy tears! If you’re anything like my husband, you might be wondering what in God’ green earth I was thinking exactly, but really it was simple. I see good lines and dollar signs from all the money I’m saving by doing it myself! At even the notion of saving money, my husband was on board. First of all, it was super cheap. Unfortunately, this isn’t even real wood. This is usually a huge turn-off since I knew I wanted to paint it; however, not a lot of brand new furniture is all wood anymore, unless you’re spending a lot of dough, and I also knew that I was going to be adding a primer (magical ingredient necessary to make the paint stick) and doing a textured faux finish. In my experience, it can actually make the project more difficult if you’re fighting with a wood grain to get your technique to come out correctly. It’s still not ideal, but I’m okay with saving money and working with the fake stuff.


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All I can say about this paint job is ewww, and I happen to like fruit quite a bit. However, this has got to be some of the least appetizing fruit I’ve ever seen. I briefly contemplated letting the ugly chest sit in my kitchen to help suppress my appetite, but I thought better of it and began the beautifying process immediately.



Here, maybe you can see what I see; potential. I think the lines are perfect for the style of my bedroom and the look I want to achieve. Those lines are possibly going to make the sanding/priming/painting process a little bit more intricate, but I’m up for the challenge.


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Here we are with one full coat of primer complete. I think I need another coat in some places before starting the painstakingly intricate super fun process of metallic, textured paint. EEEE!


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Here’s the before picture of what I’m going to have underneath my nails tomorrow! Martha Stewart has a line of paint products at Home Depot to help you achieve different techniques. With this little project, I wanted a look similar to silver leaf, without wanting to gauge my eyeballs out the way that actual silver leaf seems to do to me. This is called Precious Metal in the color Tin, and the brush I’m using is just a small textured roller that will hopefully give me a look close enough to silver leaf. Well, we’ll see! I also have a glaze I’ll show you soon that I’m going to finish with, then I’ll have a short how-to on the knob remodel as well.

Click here to see the final product and step-by-step how to!



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