DIY Fix on Nightstand
simmermom
August 24, 2013
This nightstand has perfect storage for me so I'd like to keep it, plus the money saved from a DIY will help us get a headboard that much sooner! The walls are green with the accent wall being a darker green (not sure I love the accent wall but dh really does :/), the curtains are a goldish color, and the bedspread is white with embroidery in the same gold tone. The print over the bed has golds, blues, and greens. The hardware in the room is oil rubbed bronze. We are going for a semi-formal look.
Any ideas how to make this look less dated and beat up?
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simmermom
More angles.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:46AM
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apple_pie_order
Does the finish dissolve in paint thinner? More photos up close of the wear and tear would be good, taken in sunlight if possible. Put a coin in the photo for scale.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:52AM
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simmermom
Unfortunately, that's the best light in this room :/ Very bad natural light in my house. I'm not sure about the finish but I'm sure my husband can take whatever it is off- he's a carpenter. Here's a picture with a quarter.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:56AM
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apple_pie_order
Try uploading the photo again.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:58AM
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simmermom
Here is some damage, too.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:58AM
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abbyjean
I am afraid that piece is too short for beside the bed. Look at the pics you just posted and see how dwarfed it looks. A side table by the bed needs to be as tall as the top of the mattress to be in proportion and then a lamp will work better at that height, too.

Do you have another place you could put this?
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:03AM
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apple_pie_order
Thanks. The scratches look smaller than the quarter. I think you can easily strip just the top, sand it down and re-stain it. Minwax makes great stains with polyurethane. Take the door off, go down to the hardware shop, and pick a couple stains that are a close match. You'll need to mix them to get a good match, then overcoat the rest of the nightstand, too. A couple coats of clear poly when you are finished will give it a lot more resistance to water rings and scratches. Another option is to try the Fromby's line of furniture refinishes which are excellent, too.

Your husband could install an additional stained wood base, or plinth, to raise it up a few inches which may be a more comfortable height for a nightstand. You can darken the hinges and pulls with a spray can of new finish, but it may not be worth the effort. Sometimes a very light coat of wood stain (not polyurethane) rubbed on and rubbed off immediately will also darken metal hinges. If you try that, make sure you move the hinges while they dry to keep them from seizing up, and oil the hinges lightly when dry.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:08AM
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simmermom
Ugh :/ I knew something was wrong in this corner but didn't know how to fix it. I thought a floor lamp would be the wrong decision bc of the spots above the head of the bed, but you're right- the nightstand is too small.
The bedroom is still under construction so I don't have anything else to show you of the room style- do you have any ideas of a nightstand that'll look nice and still give me this much storage?
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:10AM
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simmermom
@appe_pie_order, that's a great idea!! I know he could add a nice base to it! Thank you for your help! So you'd keep it stained and not paint it a color? And I definitely plan to change out the hardware- I don't care for the knob.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:12AM
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giniaginia
It may look nice painted white high gloss...adding simple feet , would give it the height and make it seem lighter. Your husband could taper 2x4 legs.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:27AM
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giniaginia
or a more girly design
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:29AM
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apple_pie_order
Painting it could be fine, too. I can't tell what quality the wood is from the photos, but I usually don't want to paint over good quality wood that was selected for appearance when the piece was made.

You can also have a small piece of glass cut to protect the top.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:39AM
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abbyjean
Check craigslist in your area and you will find another treasure. I can see a small CHEST working there as you have the wall space for one of those there. That would give you the height and the length and the storage.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:40AM
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lucindalane
Is the whole thing wood? I've found that often pieces are a combination of wood and particle board. A friend gave my sister an old set of combo coffee and side tables whose doors are plastic-obviously very "vintage" seventies stuff. Since your husband is a carpenter he'd probably know the best way to handle the different surfaces, if that is the case. If its all wood, then you could certainly re-finish it. If you add the extra stuff to make it taller, then it probably would be easier to paint it. Either way, you can fix it so it can look nice where ever you decide to put it. It definitely is worth salvaging.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:47AM
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simmermom
@giniaginia, that's great!! I really love the style of the first one you posted!

@apple_pie_order, I see. I'm really not sure about the quality of the wood- it's so varnished/lacquered that the only thing I'm sure if is that it's not pressed wood or laminate. It belonged my husband's grandfather for years and when he passed, it came to us because we were newlyweds.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:47AM
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apple_pie_order
Alternatively, if you are saving up for a headboard, why not just wait and refinish the small nightstand to match? Or just go with the Formby's refinisher in the meantime; it only takes an hour or so.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:49AM
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apple_pie_order
Thanks for explaining the history. The wood is probably good quality, just dinged up a bit. I'd refinish it because of the sentimental value. The Formby's is: http://www.formbys.com/products/refinisher/ I have used it, it is fun and easy.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:52AM
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simmermom
So, I talked to my husband and we are going to add legs to the table and he says he won't be able to match the stain.
Any ideas on what paint color would be best? I want something very high gloss.
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 8:49PM
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simmermom
Oh, and I'm not sure why its blistered. It looks like maybe his grandfather left a glass on it?
    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 8:50PM
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simmermom
Help! In store now! If I add feet from the woodworking section here, it'll prob raise the nightstand height to above the mattress height. Is that ok?!
    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:59AM
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lucindalane
You know, I wouldn't think there is any hard and fast rule about that. I would think it comes down to how comfortable or convenient the height is going to be for you, personally. I've seen rooms with desks as nightstands, or old dressers. If you think that the height that the new legs are going to make the cabinet a comfortable height to hold the stuff you need it to hold, that's what matters. Like, if you keep a glass of water on it to drink overnight, is it going to be the right height to just reach over and get it in the dark,or will you have to grope around for it? Or, if you put a clock there, can you see it easily? You are the best judge of that, IMO, and if it suits your purpose, then it should be okay.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:42PM
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abbyjean
I would rather it looked too high than too low........surprised you found feet that tall.......good job!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:06PM
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simmermom
Thanks! The only low feet were round bun feet and I thought those were the absolute wrong style. I'm going to put on a copper handle, paint the nightstand gloss black, and do a copper paint inside the door where it slants- does that make sense? It'll be a rectangular outline of the middle bit. So I was thinking wide, angled legs would suit best but I couldn't find any and I had to get more decorative ones that were 6" tall. I'll upload pics of it when I get it finished :)
    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Margaret B
Simmermom, I have order several things from Osborne's. I highly recommend their products and I am sure you can find the perfect solution on their website. http://www.osbornewood.com/all-furniture-feet.cfm
1 Like    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:12PM
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abbyjean
It was meant to be painted black! And look how nice that will be with the black frame you have over the bed! Love the idea of a copper handle, too. Not sure I know what you mean by inside the door where it slants????
1 Like    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:13PM
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abbyjean
i also want to mention for a DIY like you how easy GREAT headboards are to make......so pretty and functional and cheap! It just takes a piece of wood, some foam and spray glue to put them together and fabric to wrap and staple on. You can choose the fabric you want for your room and with the foam, you can sit up in bed and read and it gives such presence in the room. You can choose the height and if you want straight or rounded corners on it. Just thought I would mention that to you.....can do it in no time at all with very little money!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:14PM
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simmermom
@Margaret B., those are very, very nice! Thank you for the link- I'll especially let my husband so he can see it for his future projects :)
    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:48PM
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simmermom
@abbyjean, thanks! And I love the idea of making our own fabric headboard! We are doing a fabric covered valance, do you think they should both be the same fabric?
I am sorry I didn't explain it well... You know how the door has that inset? And it's sort of beveled, I guess? On that beveled part where it slants to meet the smaller, middle rectangle is what I'll paint copper.
    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:58PM
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abbyjean
Ohhhhh...........now I understand the slanting part. You must have a steady hand!!! That will really pop!!!
    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:01PM
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abbyjean
Ya know......matching valance and head board could be awesome! And you do them about the same way even!
    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:01PM
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