How this pair of washed out, homeless, 'down on their luck' nightstands got a second chance at life. A tutorial.

These nightstands have been waiting for a second chance at life.
...and waiting...
...and waiting...
But I started a new job just a few weeks ago and everything changed.  I haven't had any spare time for makeovers or ANYTHING extra really. 

Then something amazing happened this weekend ~ we didn't have ANYWHERE to be so I got to stay up late...
...and sleep in...
...and work on these beauties!


They've come a long way.

But you need to know haw far they've come to appreciate their journey.
They were sad little boxy nightstands left abandoned on a Portland side street when we found them.   They had NO LEGS.  
One of them had a sticker on the back that said 'Pair of oak nightstands $640.00' so apparently they were something special back in the day.  But when we found them they just had a crooked piece of lined notebook paper taped to the front of one aged door reading 'FREE'.  

Seemed like a good challenge to me.

It never ceases to amaze me what a little paint and elbow grease can do to transform old furniture.  For this little duo I went with a Dutch Boy paint & primer in Cathedral Grey.

First I removed the hardware and doors then sanded them down inside and out.  Then I gave them a good wipe down with a damp cloth to remove all dirt and sawdust.  I applied a couple coats of Cathedral Grey with a paint brush, letting them dry completely between coats.

I'd found these wooden legs at Goodwill and bought them when I was planning to make an ottoman but then I didn't need them (you can see how I made that ottoman HERE) so they came in handy for one of the tables.  We just went to our local Builder's Supply store and bought four more.  There were other types of legs but I like the 'retro' look of these to go with the older nightstands.

We also bought the metal pieces that attach the legs to the base of the nightstands...

The metal brackets get screwed to the table and the legs screw into the brackets.  Easy!

They were looking good with the new paint color but they certainly couldn't go around with those bare legs showing.  How inappropriate!

I taped over the brass ends before painting then stuck the legs upside down in a cardboard Nike box to dry.  The same box was used to hold the hardware while being painted.

The shiny white hardware may be my favorite part about this duo.

Then again the way the white glaze brings out the detail on the doors is pretty nice too.

The glazing gave them so much more depth...and the cute little legs gave them the height they needed to work in our space.

And WOW do they work in our space!

Free Nightstands
$1.00 jar of paint from Habitat for Humanity.
$20.00 wooden legs and metal attachments.
Glaze, white paint and white enamel spray from our stock.

That's $21 dollars to beautiful!!!

Have you ever found furniture on the side of the road that was just begging to go home with you?  I would love to hear about it if you did.


  1. Gosh, they look beautiful, I am never ceased to be amazed at the wonderful work of diy bloggers on these makeovers.

    Lee :)

  2. These look great! I really wish I had the DIY talent gene, because this looks like it ended up being a great deal.
    - Rachel/ With Love, Rachel

  3. What a difference the paint and new legs make! I love the new look. The grey with the white handles looks so clean and classy! I found an oak sofa table along the curb, brought it home, distressed it and now use it as a TV stand. I have a website too if you want to check it out athttp://timelesstreasuretrove.com/curb-side-freebie/

  4. They look FABULOUS!! I always love a gorgeous nightstand! Great tutorial too. :)

  5. Really a big transition. Last time I tried something like that was when I found out that if something is stained, you have to remove it first, or the stain will bleed through the paint. I have a very unique looking stereo cab to say the least. lol Great job!

  6. Just shared on FB...these are gorgeous Sherry! The legs are GENIUS!!!

  7. Beautiful job! Crazy that the legs cost more than the nightstands themselves! But totally worth it, you really saved them! Love the paint job too, especially over those carved little details.


  8. Super cute!!

    I love the white and grey contrast!!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!!

  9. Love the colour on your nightstands - beautiful!!

  10. Wow. Totally worth it. Looks amazing!


  11. oh wow amazing! you made something look fresh and new just by painting and glazing? really awesome!