Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: From End Table to Night Stand. The Ambitious Tale of Little Tables Wanting To Be Something More.

Okay so after writing out the title I inexplicably started singing The Black-Eyed Peas, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the post.

Have you ever wanted to try something that could be cool, but there was also a good sized chance that you could fail beyond all reason?  So instead of doing your awesome stuff first, and possibly messing it up forever, you decide to do it with a crap piece.  Okay so maybe not "crap" per se, but maybe something you were considering putting in the donate pile (because you are too lazy to try to make a profit by having a garage sale).  One that you wouldn't be heart broken if it didn't turn out how you wanted.  That's what this little project was about.  I had recently purchased two rad antique tables that were in desperate need of some love, but I didn't want to screw them up forever.  Therefore I decided to redo our old living room end tables (the ones that were going to be displaced due to the awesome antiques), and give them a new life and new purpose as our new and improved night stands.

We had had these two end tables for eight years, and they had been well used and loved.

See here is my 3rd when she was a baby taking a crawling break in this nice relaxing drawer.

Back off ladies...he's mine!  This picture doesn't demonstrate anything other than Señor Hotness's keen sense of style.

When we had been married nine years we treated ourselves to a new mattress.  This time however we decided to get a kind size mattress instead of the queen we had had prior to that.  Our queen bedroom suite was about 8 years old, was still in great shape, and was a mission style set.  I had been so in love with mission furniture when we were newly weds, but about two years into ownership I was over the mission style love I had been having.  So I had been more than up for a change for years, and was excited that we were finally getting one.  We just got a simple bed frame from Ikea until we found THE ONE...we're still looking coincidentally.  Then because we were moving to East Texas we sold our mission bedroom set, and only held onto the bed frame and mattress.  We fast forward to us living out here now, and we were seriously classing it up by using storage tubs (full of girl clothes, what else) as night stands.

It was about this time that I discovered design blogs, and became unbelievably hooked.  Shortly after I discovered a little site called Pinterest, and that was the beginning of my down fall.  So armed with Pinterest Courage I started scouring craigslist to get some newer (to us), cooler end tables so that I could shift our old ones as night stands.  Then I found the perfect ones to refinish, but picked our old end tables as my first official project to cut my teeth on, so to speak.

The first thing I did was remove the drawer and hardware.  Then I dusted, and cleaned them because my are kids are gross so they were gross.  Its a simple case of transference.  The I hit them with 220 grit sand paper to rough up the surface for paint.  Then I completely sanded the top down to bare wood, and used the funny papers from my Sunday edition paper to cover the top.  The I took them outside and used Kilz oil based spray primer on the bottom, and drawer front.  If I had this to do over again, I would have made sure to have taped off the drawer slide hardware, both on inside of the end table and on the outside of the drawers.  After everything was said and done the drawers still work, but don't slide as smoothly as they once did.  So after the primer dries it will have a sand papery feel to it.  So I lightly sanded again with 220 grit sandpaper.  This step is super quick.  It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to smooth down that slight rough feel.  Then its time for the paint.  I used Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint in gloss.  It came out looking very smurfy, but don't worry I wasn't done yet.  So because I was seriously nervous about glazing them I decided to dry brush them with Krylon Leather (really dark brown) in a quart size can.  While I really liked the blue color of the Blue Ocean Breeze it was still just a little to bright for Señor Hotness.  So dry brushing on the brown toned it down considerably.  This was a new and exciting experience.  I figured out pretty fast not to leave very much paint in your brush.  I let that dry, and stained the top Minwax Dark Walnut.  Just a heads up.  When applying stain glop it on there, and then wipe off the excess.  This also will remove brush strokes.  I didn't do this on these, but thankfully the weird brush strokes are subtle.  That and these are our night stands so Señor Hotness and I are the only ones to see them.  I allowed that to dry for 24 hours, and then put a few coats of polycrylic on the top.  This was what they looked like then.

Not bad for a beginner.

There was still something off about these though.  Then it hit me.  I wasn't loving the shiny nickel finish of the knob.  So I changed it.

So we've had these kicking around our house for a few years now.  They have not been coddled, or gently treated.  They have also been subject to a move, and I think they have held up nicely.

I'm not sure why the color on the newer photo seems off, but they still look like the older photo color wise.

Lessons learned from this redo:  Be careful not to leave too much excess polycrylic in one area as it will leave behind a milky quality on some areas of finish.

Along the very edge here.

When redoing two pieces of matching furniture, that you still want to match, do them at the same time.  I did these one at a time, and the dry brushing was slightly different on them.  One was slightly more heavily dry brushed than the other.  It is a subtle difference, but one that drives me crazy when they are sitting side by side.  Thankfully they have a king size bed in between them.  So I do have one question for you all

are you as in love with the crate as me?  It needs something, but I haven't figured out the finish I want to do so I'm just going to leave it natural for now.

Opinions are welcomed and appreciated though.  Thanks for letting me share my first real furniture redo with you all.


  1. That is fabulous!! And love "Senor Hotness' keen sense of style"!! Haha! :)

  2. If you liked that one Kammy you should see him play basketball in his overalls, lol.