Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Refinishing Craig's List Nightstands

Since I am the proud owner of a house I have the garage space to really get crafty. I have been in the market for some time for nightstands to match the dark wood dresser I have. Very few items quite looked as I hoped and the ones I fell in love with were $100/nightstand. With the countless hours I have spent pinning my life away - I decided that I could probably make what I wanted just as well.

I searched Craig's list and finally came up with some light wood nightstands that were in pretty good condition. $80 for the two of them. Not a steal by any means, but they are sturdy wood and in great shape. I went to pick them up which was an awkward enough experience in itself. I was ready to lift one out and came to realize the gal hadn't emptied the drawer!

So for those of you who think crafting is not for you - this stuff is easy.

Step 1: Buy used furniture

Step 2: Cleaning, sanding and staining.
I cleaned the nightstands with antibacterial wipes to get off all the dust and other awkward things like candle wax (I don't even want to know!). Then I took a little sandpaper cube and got to work. I tried to evenly sandpaper the entire wood surface, then cleaned it again to get the wood dust off. I did not sand the drawers, because I was not planning to stain them. Then I bought a black wood stain and a staining brush. I was light on the stain because I didn't want it to drip. I also just did one side at a time and let it dry before flipping it to avoid drip marks. I fully intended to do a second coat but one seemed good enough! I was really tired of getting my phone off the floor in the mornings and was anxious to get these babies up and ready to use. Make sure to let it dry in a dry warm place or it does this weird bubbly action.

Step 3: Cover the drawers in contact paper.
I was very disappointed with the contact paper at the local hardware stores so I took to the internet. Much better section there! I was debating a bright orange pattern but settled on neutral colors so I could change my bedroom colors and still keep the nightstands. First, remove the current knobs - usually they just screw off on the inside of the drawer. Then measure and cut the contact paper to cover the front of the drawer with a little extra to go over the sides. Take off the backing and stick it on, easy as that! Well actually, not entirely easy. It takes a lot of patience to have the pattern stay straight and to work out any air bubbles. I used a flat edged piece of plastic (used to clean my stone cooking pans) to work bubbles to the edge.

Step 4: Pick out hardware.
I picked these up at Anthropologie, but I know World Market also carries knobs. As always, take to the internet when you are looking for something particular. You can always keep changing the look of the nightstands by switching out knobs. Just poke them right on through the contact paper and screw in the back.

Step 5: Assemble, put in desired room and grab a glass of fermented grapes. 
Then stand with the glass in your room looking dang proud of what you have accomplished.

Happy Crafting!