How To Make Over 70’s Thrift Store Nightstands

For once I remembered to document a furniture make-over!  I’m almost as proud of myself for remembering to take pics of each step as I am of the finished product.

Anyway, enough back patting on my part and on to the re-doodle do!

So, how often do you come across a pair of tacky 70’s style night stands?  I seem to find them all the time.  I refuse to pay more than $40 TOPS for the pair, mainly because they are so abundant.

I found this sad duo at my local American Way store in good old Burbankia of California.  (it sounds so much more fun and hip to say Burbankia).


I liked these two because they were very solid.  I always, ALWAYS always check for the dove-tail drawers.


If they don’t have that one quality….forget about it.  The dove-tail cuts tell me this is a quality piece of furniture and although I am the first to sing the praises of Ikea or Walmart or Target, I like good quality Made in the US of A for refurbish projects.  My motto is, if a piece survived the 70’s  it can survive anything!!

The night stands were solid, but like a lot of furniture from the era it had that weird shiny ‘fake’ type of wood on top.  Right now I am having a major brain fart and cannot think of what it’s called.  If anyone knows what I’m thinking, please leave me a comment and help a girl out.  Side note: I always forget what geraniums are called too.  Certain words, don’t compute in the old noggin.

And away we go!

I removed the drawers, cleaned and vacuumed them.


I always try and label everything. Drawer #1 and #2 and their corresponding hardware.  Hardware gets put aside in my trusty Ziploc bags.

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I sand and clean, then start with painting the shell in a white primer.  I always flip the pieces upside down. It prevents me from missing big huge spots.  I do about three very light coats.  My assistant is always nearby ready to rub fur against the clean paint.

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I then spray the hardware with my handy-dandy brass colored Rustoleium spray.  I do about three coats, sanding between each.  I finish with clear poly so they don’t get nicked._MG_4689

For these two pieces, since the front panels of the drawers are a nice wood finish, I lightly sanded and then used an Oak colored stain.  It pretty much covered the little scratches.  Since this is a vintage piece of furniture, there are going to be flaws here and there, but it has too look well tended to.


I did three coats of primer on the shell and then spray painted a white gloss to finish off.


Everything then gets a clear coat of polyurethane and HERE YA GO!

Assistant #2 as always feels the need to Photo Bomb my hard work.




I brought them inside and happily they look great anywhere, not just by the bed.

They will look sweet next to chairs and couches too.




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