We’ve already created our headboards, so creating nightstands was next on the agenda. Furniture that can be used as a nightstand is relatively easy to find in thrift stores. The pieces used in these projects were not perfect but cost less than $13 a piece.
The wooden end table Reese chose for her nightstand makeover had some discoloration and the nightstands Ricks revamped had this god-awful lacquer that was probably popular sometime between 1960 and 1980. We saw potential in each piece, which ultimately led to what we think are two beautiful outcomes.
Thrifting is a great way to look for timeless furniture pieces that can be personalized with just a few simple supplies, like paint. The key is focusing on quality and seeing the potential in a piece. Here are a few tips to get you started:
• Don’t buy without a plan. Before you buy it, envision how you will use it and where it would go.
• Don’t buy if you can't fix. something if you don’t know how to repair it yourself (or don’t know someone who can repair it for you on the cheap, or free). It will do you no good to spend your money, no matter how little money it is, if the item needs repairs you can’t make.
• Be on the lookout for wood. When you’re shopping for furniture, keep an eye out for solid wood pieces. Real wood lasts longer and is usually the best quality.
• Know what you want. Have an idea of what you’re looking for before you shop. If you’ve already got a vision in your head, it will stop you from buying things you are less likely to use.
• Know what you need. Storage capacity is important. Make sure it meets your criteria for form and function. It might be tempting to buy a piece just for aesthetics, but if you intend to use if for storage, you might be frustrated with your purchase.
Ricks chose these nightstands because they have enough surface space to hold lamps and books, and their deep drawers will provide functional storage for clothes. It was also important to her to find matching nightstands so they’d be equal heights.
Reese’s nightstand only has one drawer, but it works well for the small items she needs to get to regularly. Other than the small drawer, the stand is essentially hollow on the inside, so she added baskets to give her more storage space. Since Reese didn’t need two stands, the uniqueness of the piece was an advantage.
A word about spray paint
Ricks originally tried Krylon brand spray paint, and it was terrible. It sprayed on clumpy, and she got more paint on her hands than on the nightstand. We initially thought it was a bad batch, but when she tried the paint in another color, we determined it just isn’t great quality.
We next tried Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover spray paint, and both had great experiences with it. Since this project, we’ve used the Rust-Oleum in three additional colors for other projects. We highly recommend it, as we’ve seen it bond well to several different surfaces.
But be cautious of weather. If it’s cold outside when you take on a spray-paint project it will take a lot of time to apply multiple coats. We recommending picking a warm, sunny day that’s not too humid when you have nothing more to do but hang out at home. Start early and prepare to be on the job most of the day.
A little elbow grease netted us both nightstands that we’re pretty proud of if we do say so ourselves (and we do).