Furniture Flippin’ Good: Side Table Edition

In college, some of the fraternity guys I used to hang out with used to call me “Hurricane Megan.” I would walk into the cafeteria and they would yell, “Aww here comes hurricane Meg, hold onto your trays!” I never did ask them why, but I think even after all this time my parents would have to agree. I am constantly blowing in, starting up some project then jetting off again. The latest one was a year in the making, but we finally got around to getting it done. My Mom bought these horribly ugly nightstands (yet great potential) and one day they appeared in our house. She told me she thought they had a great shape, and they did, but I was not feeling any vision just yet.

A year later the nightstands still stood untouched, until one weekend after I flew home it suddenly struck me… the creative lightening bolt that strikes my soul every time I get an itch to do a project. My parents are some kind of wonderful if you ask me, because they have never once stifled this itch of mine. They have always seemed to embrace it, dropping their own plans to go with me to a fabric store, or to buy hardware, etc. They always find a way to harvest my little dreams and help me make them come to life.

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The photos above actually make the BEFORE photos of these nightstands look good, but a photo is obviously NOT worth 1000 words because you can’t see that the top is a cheap, black piece of plyboard, and the paint is nicked in several places. Whether you can see it or not, these babies needed a little makeover, and that’s just what we gave them.

The very first thing that we did to these two little beauties was to pop those tops. We took a sledgehammer and just knocked them gently off the top of the tables. Next followed a good sand down, and a soap and water scrubbing. You don’t have to use any special soap. I used plain kitchen dish soap and water and it did the trick just fine. If you are refinishing a dresser or small nightstands like this, it is always a good idea to take the drawers out first and number them. One drawer does not necessarily always fit in all spaces** wise words to remember, so you are not trying to puzzle out which drawer goes where later in the project.

IMG_1661After the nightstands were all squeaky clean and sanded, the fun part began. Painting! I love paint because it can take a piece of furniture to the next level in a very limited amount of time. I have been on a gray kick lately and we had a can of eggshell Aviatrix by Sherwin Williams at home, so we officially spent a whopping zero dollars on the paint for this project.

IMG_1655I have no wise words of wisdom about painting, except that you may want to invest in a nicer brush to avoid the project looking streaky. It is also helpful to brush the paint in the same direction. Don’t go all Picasso on a piece of good furniture, it will just end up looking a mess! Listen to One Direction while you are painting and you might remember :p If you are really looking for a smooth finish you may have to put in a little extra work and do several coats. For these nightstands we only had to do two plus some spot checking at the end.

My dad played a huge role in this rehab, because I was absolutely NOT putting those plywood tops back on those beautiful, sophisticated, little gray tables. I commissioned him to make some tops out of wood. We went back and forth about ideas, originally thinking we would do a solid piece of barnwood. Next, I really started thinking I wanted the tops to have several pieces of wood, so we thought about using some two by fours and attaching them together. Then my dad had a brilliant idea to use some leftover wood flooring from their recently redone hardwood floors. He got to work, and before we knew it we had brand new table tops! I wish I could give you a tutorial of how to make these beautiful tops, but baby you’d just have to have a Dad like mine. The tops were natural wood at first, we stained and sealed them before attaching them to the tables.

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This photo was taken before we stained and sealed the new wood tops.
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We were in the process of picking knobs at this point!! Also, the BEFORE and after table tops!!

The very last thing to do was to choose knobs and put everything back together again. The above photo shows the two knobs we were choosing from. We ended up going with knobs from Hobby Lobby – retailed at $5.99 a knob, but of course we got them on sale and spent about $20 for all. Click the photo below for more info.

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IMG_1670IMG_1669The end result was everything we hoped it would be and more! It was a process like every other project that I dig out of the woodworks, but so worth it in the end. We ended up spending very little on this rehab because we had many of the materials already. I think we spent a little less than $45 on the whole thing. Not bad for two totally revamped side tables! With very little effort and cost, I held up to my reputation, came home and destroyed the house again, and my Mom finally got the end tables she had envisioned when she first bought them. So it was a win win for both of us 😉 Anyways y’all, the forecast is clear right at this moment, so until next time!!

  • Megan Marie

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