Cottage-Style Nightstands

Give any nightstand a quick, cottage-style facelift with a fresh coat of paint and distressed finish.

Distressed Nightstand

Cottage-Style Nightstands

Materials Needed:

  • solid wood nightstand
  • screwdriver
  • pint water-based primer
  • pint latex paint, in the color of your choice
  • 2" wide paintbrush
  • sanding block
  • painters' tape
  • 80- and 100-grit sandpaper

Remove Hardware, Drawers and Doors

Remove all drawer and door hardware using the appropriate screwdriver. If the hardware isn't removable, cover it with painters' tape. Tip: Keep all screws and knobs in a safe place so they can be reattached later. Remove drawers and/or doors. They will get painted too, but it's easier to paint them separately.

Cover Non Removable Hardware

Remove Hardware, Drawers and Doors

Sand Then Prime Surface

If the nightstand has a glossy finish, use a sanding block covered with 100-grit sandpaper to lightly scuff up the surface before applying primer. Using a 2-inch brush, coat the entire nightstand, including the drawer and/or door fronts, with water-based primer. Allow it to thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step.

Prime nightstand

Sand Then Prime Surface

Paint Nightstand

Next, coat all primed areas with latex paint. To create an extra-smooth painted finish, use long, consistent strokes when applying paint. Paint tends to build up along the edges and in corners, so always be on the lookout for runaway drips.

Finish coat the nightstand

Paint the Nightstand

Distress Painted Edges

Use a sanding block wrapped in 80-grit sandpaper to remove paint and primer from areas of the nightstand that would have seen the most wear over time, such as around the hardware and along the edges and corners of the piece.

Sand and Distress the Nightstand

Distress Painted Edges

Reattach Doors, Drawer Knobs and Pulls

Allow nightstand to dry for a minimum of 48 hours, then reattach and reinsert doors and/or drawers. Tip: If the hardware has seen better days, replace it. To ensure a proper fit, bring the old hardware along when shopping for new hardware and use it as a guide.

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