I picked up two of these bedroom side tables second hand. I think I spent $70 for both (more than I’d usually spend), but I liked the size and the opportunity to give them a fun face lift. If I had planned to re-sell them, I’d have kept looking, but they were perfect for our bedroom space. They retail for $70 each so I got a 50% discount.
I should have snapped a picture before removing the handles. We’ll just say they weren’t anything fancy. The whole unit is just a cheaper laminate particleboard. I’d hardly say they are worth $70 a piece! But let’s move on.
I like a little contrast in colors and textures so I figured I’d do a mixture between paint and stain. But how do you stain particleboard? Well, the answer is, you don’t! So, some additional adjustments needed to be made. We’ll talk about that more below.
I pried off the top board and set it to the side. I’m sure it can be used for another project down the road. I’m a big fan of recycling the materials I use. My husband, on the other hand, is not a fan of all the “stuff'”I pack into the garage.
Next, I roughed up the entire base a little with a heavy grit sand paper just to give my primer a little something to adhere to. You definitely do not have to do this, but it does help a little. If you’re using a really good primer, you could definitely skip this step.
Next, it was time to prime! I decided on a tinted primer. If I’m going to paint anything a darker color, I go with a tinted primer so I don’t have white seeping through when I move onto the distressing phase. Again, it’s all about preference here.
Now, if I was really thinking ahead, I would have taken a lot more photos of the entire restoration process. Instead, I got excited and powered through, only realizing at the very end I didn’t have all the great shots of “during” the process.
So, I’ll just explain the down and dirty of it all.
Once primed, I painted it my color of choice. Black. I wanted deep, dark colors for this piece, so I chose black as my base color and a dark walnut for my stain.
Next, as mentioned above, I needed to figure out what to do for the topside of the table that would take a stain. So, I scrounged around my garage and found some old scrap molding leftover from a house remodel, and cut it into pieces the length of the top of the table. I gave them all a nice sand and positioned them across the top. Of course they did not fit perfectly, so I ran the end pieces through a table saw to the desired width.
Now, here’s a brilliant tip!
Most any intelligent person would already know this, but you’ll want to stain all the pieces first before anchoring them to the table top. Well, I, being one who likes to do things the hard way the first time, did not do this. I arranged all my molding pieces and used some wood glue to secure them to the base. Now, you can either use a bunch of clamps to hold them in place while they dry or just grab several heavy paint cans and set them on top. I choose option two. Quicker and cheaper.
Fast forward an hour!
With the molding pieces secure, it is time to stain! Yes, this is the phase I should have done before gluing them down. It would have saved me a lot of taping time and having to flip the piece over to stain the bottom of the pieces. Have I mentioned yet that I am not expert at furniture DIY? Shocker!
Now, for the drawer fronts! I wanted to bring in the same stained look as the top, but again, you cannot stain laminate. Or at least I haven’t found a way. So, I went on another search through my garage and found a really thin sheet of plywood, cut pieces to fit the size of the drawer fronts, stained them, and glued them on.
Finally, I took a bunch of small silver wood screw (Yes, silver because again…contrast!) to secure the molding pieces to the top, and the plywood to the front of the drawers. I was going for an industrial look. And really, again, it’s all a matter of taste.
So here it is, the finished project!
I have to admit, this is one of my first restoration projects. Again, I wasn’t planning on selling it so there was no harm in trying something a little different. If I screwed it up (Ha! I did “screw” it up…literally!) it would just be my husband & I that would have to look at it.
But, in the end, I truly love how it turned out. It’s totally my style. And it might even look like a $70 piece of furniture…or maybe even more?
The best part of the whole process is having the chance to be creative. I spend most my days sitting at a desk and the garage is like a retreat for me.
I hope you enjoyed the makeover. I definitely enjoyed making it over!