Apothecary Style Vintage Nightstands Makeover

From thrift store finds, to trendy apothecary style nightstands. Learn how we transformed these apothecary style vintage nightstands with the help of adding legs and some chalk paint. 

Get more painted nightstand ideas here!

apothecary style vintage nightstands before

We found these vintage nightstands with amazing drawer fronts that resemble the ever so popular apothecary or card catalog style. We knew that we had to have them just because of that!

But they came with one downside, they were pretty short! Bummer.

So we added some height with some new legs, and completely transformed them with paint.

Let’s dive in!

Apothecary Style Vintage Nightstands Makeover

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Supplies Used to Transform Apothecary Style Vintage Nightstands:

Remove the Curves

We started out by cutting the bottom portion of the trim to get rid of the curves.

We wanted a straight clean look. Plus, the way we wanted to add legs wouldn’t work with the curved trim.

We measured, double-checked, and grabbed our circular saw to cut away the bottom trim.

We used a straight piece of wood with some clamps to make sure we got a straight cut.

wood clamped to the bottom of the nightstand for a straight edge
wood clamped to the bottom of the nightstand to make a straight cut with the circular saw
cutting the bottom of the nightstand with a circular saw

Add a Base to Attach New Legs To

Adding Legs to a Nightstand

We needed something to attach our new legs to, so once we had fresh new straight trim, we added 3/4″ plywood to the bottom of each nightstand.

plywood added to the bottom of the nightstands
Upside down nightstands with plywood attached to the bottoms.

We attached the plywood with our nail gun using 1 1/2″ brad nails, making sure the wood was flush with each side of the nightstand.

This also helped give us back some of the height that we took off in the first step. Once the wood was attached, we sanded the edges smooth with our orbital sander.

Learn more about the Best Sander for Furniture here!

Attach Leg Plates to the Base

We attached leg plates to the plywood on all four corners, and then simply screwed the legs into those.

Check out this tutorial on how to add legs to furniture to see more of this process.

bun feet added to the bottom of the nightstands

Fill the Old Hardware Holes

Since we wanted to update the hardware, we filled in all of the old hardware holes with Bondo and let them dry before proceeding.

Now for the fun part!

Paint with Chalk Paint

We lightly hand sanded everything with 220-grit sandpaper then cleaned them by wiping everything down with a damp rag.

Read this post to learn more about How to Prepare Furniture For Painting.

And then we taped off the drawers to avoid overspray inside of them.

Then we sprayed on two coats of the beautiful Black Liquorice Chalk Paint for full coverage.

Learn my tips and tricks on painting furniture with a sprayer here.

And then distressed the edges with 220 grit sandpaper.

Learn more about the 6 best distressing furniture techniques here!

Note: A really good option is to paint the legs before attaching them to the furniture. It makes it so much easier to paint all the sides of the legs.

((If you haven’t tried Country Chic Paint, you’re missing out! It’s my favorite pre-mixed chalk-style paint on the market! It’s easy to work with, sticks so well, sprays amazingly, distresses like a dream, and I just love their special finish products!)) 

Seal the Chalk Paint

To seal the paint, and add extra durability, we sprayed on 3 coats of Varethane Polyurethane!

Learn ALL of my tips and tricks on How to Spray Polyurethane here!

Or read all about the many Topcoat for Painting Furniture options here!

Add Card Catalog Pulls

We also switched out the old hardware with new black label pulls from D. Lawless Hardware to complete the apothecary look.

The new legs completely changed up the style of the nightstands and the stunning Liquorice Chalk Based paint finished off the high-end look we were going for. 

closeup of apothecary nightstand drawers with card catalog pulls

Apothecary Style Vintage Nightstands Makeover

Adding legs to a set of apothecary nightstands

Learn how we transformed these apothecary style vintage nightstands with the help of adding legs and some chalk paint. 


  1. Remove the Curves
  2. Add a Base to Attach New Legs To
  3. Add Leg Plates to the Base
  4. Fill In the Old Hardware Holes
  5. Paint with Chalk Paint
  6. Seal the Chalk Paint
  7. Attach Card Catalog Pulls

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

black painted nightstands with new legs
side shot of the 2 drawers open
side shot of the faux apothecary nightstands
pinnable image "apothecary style nightstands with Country Chic Paint"

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One Comment

  1. Sue Chaney says:

    I love the black distressed look. It is a favorite of mine.

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