One of the best things about refinishing furniture is that furniture can be passed down from generation to generation but be updated so it doesn’t look like it is old and worn out. With this chalk painted nightstand makeover, the biggest change, other than the finish, was repairing the legs.
Get more of my favorite Tips for Repairing Old Furniture here!
My client inherited this old nightstand that was once her grandmother’s.
It is solid mahogany with 4 drawers, but the top was pretty badly beaten up with scratches and water rings all over.
Not to mention the finish was coming off.
The worst of it was that the back legs had broken. They once had flared out like the front legs, but the beautiful curve had broken off both of the back legs.
Thankfully we were able to update this piece and repair the legs so no one would know that it was once broken.
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- Orbital Sander
- 60 Grit Sanding Discs (these are the best brand)
- Bondo and Bondo Scraper
- Utility Knife
- Behr Latex Paint Color Matched – Sorry I don’t know the color 🙁
- The Best Water-Based Topcoat
Chalk Painted Nightstand Makeover
- Sand the Top of the Nightstand
- Fix the Missing Chunk of Wood on the Legs
- Paint with Homemade Chalk Paint
- Clean the Hardware
- Topcoat the Chalk Paint
Step 1: Sand the Top of the Nightstand
First, we used the orbital sander with 60 grit sandpaper to sand the top of the nightstand down to bare wood.
Step 2: Fix the Missing Chunk of Wood on the Legs
Next, we took all of the drawers out and tipped the nightstand onto it’s top.
This made it so much easier to fix the back legs.
After lightly sanding where the legs had broken off, we mixed up a batch of Bondo.
This stuff works miracles. It dries fast and hard, unlike wood filler.
*Update: Check out this post on repairing furniture with Bondo to see how I could have used Bondo and Hot Glue to make the back legs look like they originally did!
Using the plastic Bondo scraper, I spread the Bondo onto the legs, filling in the broken area.
After it was completely dry, I sanded each leg completely flat.
Wahoo! The legs were finally repaired and everything was ready for some paint.
Step 3: Paint with Homemade Chalk Paint
I removed the hardware from the drawers, cleaned the nightstand off, and taped off the drawers.
Then I filled some minor scratches in with wood filler and then sanded that wood filler down when it was dry.
She wanted the nightstand to match her pillowcase, so we picked a color-matched can of latex paint from Home Depot.
We mixed that latex paint into chalk paint with this homemade chalk paint recipe.
I brushed on 2 coats of paint to get full coverage.
Click here to learn how to get a brush-free finish when painting furniture!
*Update- I had no idea about “bleed through” when I painted this. Somehow I was lucky and didn’t have those stains coming through. I hope that my client doesn’t have issues with them now.
If you are painting furniture and you want it to look good, please read this post about how to prevent bleedthrough, so you don’t have ugly stains all over in your paint.
Step 4: Clean the Hardware
The hardware was covered in dirt and grime, but it easily came off with bar keepers friend.
We usually have to scrub a lot to get hardware to this point, but the grime came right off of these ones.
Read this post about cleaning hardware to learn how to get your hardware nice and shiny again.
Step 5: Topcoat the Chalk Paint
After a few coats of paint and some light distressing, I gave it a few coats of poly to make the paint even more durable, and to make it more wipeable.
You can wipe the poly on, or you can even spray poly on with a paint sprayer (my personal favorite way to do it).
Chalk paint is very porous, so it really needs to be top coated. Unless you like your paint to stain and collect dust like none other. haha
Now this mahogany nightstand has a new life.
It went from being old and worn out to being perfect for her bedroom where she can enjoy it for years to come.
It is such an honor that Brooke (like many others) chose us to transform her grandmother’s nightstand!
More Nightstand Makeover Ideas:
- Repurpose an MCM Desk into Nightstands
- DIY Blue Painted Nightstands
- DIY Emerald Green Mismatched Nightstands
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