Refinishing Furniture Tutorial + a New Nightstand!

Getting a nightstand at Goodwill for $4 is a great deal, especially when it takes less than $15 total to create a beautiful new piece of furniture.

$4 + tax = $4.32
+$11/quart of paint, used about 1/3 = $3.66
+$1 (or about that) for sanding disc 
+$1 for Polyacrylic paint (that stuff lasts FOREVER)
+ all of the things spread out over tons of projects (sander, cost of electricity, paintbrushes, water to clean brushes - I know electricity and water may seem like minuscule things, but they still count!) = $2 max
= $12 for all things considered

Really, this is a simply done piece, but I'm in love.

So far, though, my process of refinishing the furniture has changed a bit since the first post and, as you may have noticed, I've been through the wringer trying to find out the best possible way. In the future, I'm sure this will change, but here is my new process:

Again, the lighting in our house is atrocious and these are taken with my phone at night, when I do most of my work, so I apologize for the yellow glow on everything.


First, I took a good look at the nightstand and discovered that it really needed a good sanding since there were a ton of scratches in the sides and top. Remember...$4. 

 So I took out my orbit sander and ground down the scratches and divots using a 120 grit sanding disc. 

 Since I knew I was going to paint it (with my new Porter Paints Advantage 900 Paint + Primer mentioned in the finance post), I didn't completely sand off the finish down to the bare wood.

In addition, I hate having sharp corners in my house...
(yes, that is a common occurrence) 

...so the furniture I refinish all of the edges with softer, more curved corners. 

One coat of paint is never quite enough, especially over dark wood (though Benjamin Moore's Aura paint comes close).  By the way, that color is a greenish-yellow, as you'll see in a minute.  Also, I did not put down plastic or a sheet or anything because we are going to end up sanding down the floors and refinishing them at some point.  Until then, the paint gives the floor extra character.  That room will eventually be the master bathroom, so there will probably actually be stone tile put down there and the floor boards will be pulled up to replace other boards around the house. 

....and here is the finished product, after another coat of paint and a coat of polyacrylic.  I used a piece of scrap fabric that is brown with little colored flowers on it to protect the surface of the top from the vase.  Even though it probably doesn't need it at all, it makes the stand look a little cuter.  Plus, the flowers match most of the colors in our house, including the vase and the nightstand.  By the way, the vase is also a Goodwill find, which I splurged on for $4.  For some reason, I had a feeling it would be a nearly perfect match to the Mecca Gold Olympic no-VOC paint in our house.  Turns out, it is!


Currently Listening To "Miss You" by The Rolling Stones


  1. Love it! Love that color too...

  2. Absolutely love the finished project. It really is amazing what you can accomplish with some sanding abrasives and a little creativity. Great job and keep up the inspiring work.

  3. I love this. I know I'm a little late to the show with my comment but my son and I are just beginning our first refinishing project and I'm always on the look-out for ideas and tips. Thanks for the great ideas!

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