Unposted, but not forgotten: Nightstands

Before I redo the nightstands in our bedroom, I thought I should share what I did with them in the first round!

In mid-December, I was inspired by Aubrey+Lindsey’s blog post on a pair of nightstands that had been made from inexpensive IKEA dressers. Some of you may be familiar with IKEA’s RAST line of unpainted, and unfinished pine furniture. The individual pieces are nothing incredibly beautiful or creative, but they are small, simple and cheap.They also lend themselves perfectly to the DIYer who wants to create a unique piece of furniture.

Since we live a few hour’s drive from the nearest IKEA, it is a rare occasion when I get to go. But, we just happened to be driving through Salt Lake on our way home from Christmas at my brother’s in southern California.  IKEA was a perfect stopping/resting point, so I hurried in and made my purchase of two RAST dressers for $35 a piece. There are actual nightstands in that line, but they are itsy bitsy, and I also wanted storage beside the bed. These little dressers have three drawers in them, and although I wouldn’t recommend them for heavy-duty clothes or book storage, they are perfect for miscellaneous bedside storage.
The first thing I had to do when I got these puppies home was to put them together. Luckily, I had the wonderful help of my little one year old to guarantee that I didn’t misplace a single nail or drawer pull.

Approximately three hours and a child in bed later, I had both of them assembled with all pieces in their assigned spots. Well, I left the drawer pulls off, since my plan was to paint the drawer fronts, but everything else was good to go.

My plan was to stain the outside of the dressers with some eco-friendly water-based black stain that I purchased three years ago for a project that I never did. But, as often happens when I know I ‘just’ saw it, I couldn’t  find that stain anywhere. That also happens when you have moved three times since you purchased the stain. I found a similar product at Home Depot, and I was extremely happy with the coverage of the stain, and especially how it didn’t smell and wasn’t toxic.

I used a teal spray paint in satin finish for the front of the dresser drawers, which I don’t recommend. I think I would have been much happier with the finish if I would have used a glossy spray paint. I ended up buying a sample paint in a bit darker teal and doing a wash over the top of the spray paint, to tone down the brightness a bit. You live and learn.


Even though in my inspiration photo they had replaced all of the little wooden drawer pulls with gold metal rings, I decided to save a lot of money and hand-paint the wood knobs instead. I used my acrylic craft paints and some little gold filgaree jewelry pieces to mimic some $8 knobs from Anthropology. They didn’t turn out half bad, I got to pick my own colors, and I saved $96 on knobs!

Overall, I was happy with the finished results for awhile.  I love the little drawers of extra storage, but I am not loving the drawer colors, and I think the drawer pulls are too small.  I have big plans to paint the drawer fronts, make new drawer pulls and seal the entire dresser/nightstand with some water-based polyurethane. And I might decide to tile the tops eventually.

And on a side note, not even an hour after finishing with my new black stain, I found the stuff I already had. Seriously. It was right out in the open, where I couldn’t see it.

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