Painting a Bedside Table

If you want to update your bedroom decor, painting a bedside table can be an easy and budget friendly way to do so. Painting furniture in general is a popular DIY project to transform your outdated pieces into something fresh and personalized. And a newly painted piece definitely changes the look and feel of a room!

So we’ll walk you through the steps on how to paint a bedside table. Follow these simple instructions and soon you’ll have a beautiful, refreshed bedside table to complement your bedroom design.

bedside table furniture before the makeover

Bedside tables come in various shapes, sizes, and designs to suit different decor styles. They are not only functional pieces of furniture to keep your essentials close by, but also serve as decorative accents in your bedroom.

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However, if your bedside table is looking dull or doesn’t match your current bedroom theme, giving it a makeover by painting it would be a great idea! With painting, you have the freedom to choose any color and finish to match your personal style.

Painting your bedside table is also an affordable alternative to buying a new one. Instead of throwing away a still functional piece, you can just paint it in a different color or design that you prefer. And it’s such a fun and satisfying DIY project that you don’t need any fancy skills or tools for!

Supplies Used to Paint a Bedside Table

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Preparing to Paint a Bedside Table

Before jumping into painting, it’s important to properly prepare your bedside table. Start by removing any hardware, such as knobs or handles, with a screwdriver. This makes it easier and cleaner to apply paint, and you don’t get unwanted paint on the hardware itself. Here’s how to clean old furniture hardware to give your hardware a refresh as well.

Unscrewing hardware from drawer

Next, give the entire surface a good cleaning with a product like Krud Kutter and a damp rag. You want a clean surface to work with. If there is any dust or grime when you paint, it will show through the paint and affect the final result.

After cleaning, proceed to lightly sand the clean surface with 220 grit sandpaper. This helps to remove any leftover sheen from the previous finish and creates a rough surface for the paint to adhere to. You can sand by hand or use one of these best sanders for furniture to make it easier. Just make sure to clean up all that dust afterward by vacuuming and giving the surface a once over with a tack cloth.

sanding surface of furniture with sander before painting

Finally, before applying paint, apply a primer but not just any primer. Pick up a stain blocking primer like clear shellac in a spray can. These best primers to stop tannin bleed will not only act as primer that helps paint adhere better, but they also prevent stains from seeping through.

If you skip this step, you might end up with some ugly stains or discoloration on your bedside table after painting. I don’t think you want that to happen, so it’s definitely best to invest in and apply a good primer. Here’s all about wood tannins coming through paint to learn more about the common issue of wood tannins affecting paint and how to prevent it.

spray clear shellac before painting

With the clear shellac spray can version, apply 2 coats of primer and let it dry overnight before painting over it. It does have a strong smell, so it would be a good idea to wear a respirator while using it and work outside if possible.

Painting Bedside Table with Homemade Chalk Paint

At this point, we are ready to paint our bedside table! And we are going to use homemade chalk paint for this project. You can either buy chalk paint or make your own with some simple ingredients by following these chalk paint recipes.

For this makeover, mix 5 tablespoons of calcium carbonate powder with a small amount of warm water until it becomes a smooth glaze-like consistency. Stir well to make sure there are no lumps left. Then, mix this into 1 cup of Behr latex paint in black, and you have your homemade black chalk paint ready to go!

creating home made chalk paint

Apply 2 coats of the black paint onto the bedside table with a paint sprayer like the Wagner FLEXiO 595 for full coverage and flawless finish. If you’ve wondered which Wagner FLEXiO is best, the 595 is actually one of the top picks! It’s budget friendly and perfect for all your DIY projects – Check out our Wagner FLEXiO 595 review to learn more about this sprayer.

If you want a bit of a distressed look to your furniture, then this is the time for this optional step you can take to give your piece a little more character! We decided that we wanted this piece to be a little distressed around the edges, so we lightly sanded around the edges and details with 220 grit sandpaper. Learn more about Distressing Furniture: 6 Techniques Anyone Can Do in this post!

Sealing Black Painted Bedside Table

We won’t stop at painting the bedside table – we’ll also make sure to properly seal it for long lasting results. Sealing your painted furniture will protect it from wear and tear, as well as spills and stains.

There are many options for topcoats for painting furniture, and for our black painted bedside table, we’re using waterbased polyurethane in satin finish. We’re still applying it with a sprayer for that consistent smooth and even finish, but you can also brush it on if you prefer. There’s also a spray can topcoat from Minwax, and you can learn all about it in this Minwax Polycrylic Spray post.

Polyurethane in Satin to seal paint on furniture

Apply 3 coats of topcoat for the best durability – spray one coat, let it dry completely, then repeat. The last coat needs at least 24 hours to dry completely. Our tutorial on how to spray polyurethane will show you how to do it properly and successfully.

Don’t forget to put back your cleaned hardware! And while it’s tempting to start using your freshly painted and sealed bedside table right away, it’s important to let the paint and topcoat dry for at least a week before using the bedside table. But the paint will actually take about a month to cure completely, so be extra careful with it for about a month. After that, you can freely use it without worrying about any damage or stains.

And whose bedroom wouldn’t love this chic and elegant black bedside table with its sleek and modern makeover? Especially after seeing the before and after, you’ll definitely want to take the time and effort to paint your own bedside table. You can paint it any color you want, and it doesn’t have to be black (although I must say, black painted furniture is very classy!).

close view of bedside table after the makeover
full view of bedside table after the makeover

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

side view of bedside table after the makeover

Painting a Bedside Table

black painted bedside table

This painting a bedside table makeover transforms an outdated piece into a chic and elegant black bedside table using homemade chalk paint.


  1. Remove any hardware from the bedside table with a screwdriver for easier and cleaner painting. You may also take the time to clean and refresh the hardware for a complete makeover.
  2. Clean the entire surface of the bedside table with a product like Krud Kutter and a damp rag so no dust or grime will affect the final result. It's important to start with a clean surface for better paint adhesion.
  3. Lightly sand the clean surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any leftover sheen from the previous finish and create a rough surface for paint to adhere to. Don't forget to clean up all the dust with a tack cloth or vacuum.
  4. Apply a stain blocking primer like clear shellac in spray can before painting to prevent tannin bleed and guarantee better adhesion of paint. Let it dry completely overnight for best results.
  5. Make your homemade chalk paint by mixing calcium carbonate powder with water until it becomes a smooth glaze and then adding it to your desired color of Behr latex paint. Apply 2 coats for full coverage with a paint sprayer like the Wagner FLEXiO 595 for that consistent smooth and even finish.
  6. Properly seal your painted bedside table with a topcoat like waterbased polyurethane in satin finish to protect it from wear and tear, spills and stains. Apply 3 coats with a sprayer and let the final coat dry for at least 24 hours.
  7. Put back the clean hardware onto the freshly painted and sealed bedside table, and let it cure for at least a week up to a month before freely using it. Admire your chic and elegant black bedside table with its sleek and modern makeover!

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bedside table furniture before the makeover

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