{nightstand makeover & DIY chalk paint}

April 24, 2012

A few weeks ago, while going for an after-dinner-walk, the hubby and I found a set of nightstands on the side of the road, set out for trash, that looked like they’ve been around since the 60s.
Even though they had been rained on a little and one of the bottom doors was missing, we each snatched one and happily headed home with our finds.

Since we wanted the nightstands to be matching, we decided to take the functioning door off as well and have open shelves on the bottom.

After taking the bottom door off and thoroughly cleaning the nightstands, we applied a fresh coat (or two) of paint. I thought these $0 nightstands would be the perfect project to try out a DIY version of chalk paint.

To mix the DIY chalk paint:

Dissolve 1 part of plaster of paris with 1 part of hot water
& then mix it into 3 parts of latex paint

We still had a bucket of white latex paint on hand from when we moved into our apartment and added a few drops of turquoise acrylic paint to it to get the desired color.

The paint works like a charm, is really easy to apply & dries very quickly, so you don’t have to wait too long to apply a second coat.
The best part about the chalk paint is, there’s no need to sand or prime. Just clean your piece of furniture and get to the fun part! ;)

I did apply a coat of wax after everything was dry, to protect the paint and make it easier to clean the nightstands.

A couple days ago, we finally found some wrapping paper that we thought would match perfectly and were finally able to finish our project.

And now I finally have a place to put my books (and yes, I’m re-reading The Hunger Games right now! ;) ) and little knick-knacks that I keep by the bed.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stand back far enough to take a picture of the whole bed, so I had to piece the pics together. .  But, there’s a king-sized bed in between our new nightstands. ;)

I’m partying here! ♥

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment or subscribe to my RSS feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader or email inbox.


  1. Great job on the revamp! Those are so nice. There have been so many times I have seen items on the side of the road for trash and I want to revamp them. The problem is I do not have enough room in my house.

    • Thank you so much, Rebekah! :)
      I know exactly how you feel about the room problem. Our apartment is only about 640 sq. ft. and I have passed and quite a few roadside finds, just because we don’t have enough room to put it.. Luckily, we actually were still looking for nightstands. So, everything fell into place with that project. Yay!
      I hope you’re having a fun day!

  2. Oh those are so lovely! You totally scored on that walk!!! Thanks for the chalk paint recipe too. Can’t wait to try it!
    Danni Baird recently posted..I’m a Teacher Today!!!!My Profile

  3. Gorgeous!!! I love what you with the inside of the drawer and bottom. Megan
    megan recently posted..Bulletin Board by MeganMy Profile

  4. They look great! I would never think to put it together the way you did.
    Joslin recently posted..Getting Things DoneMy Profile

  5. Nice work!!! I tried my hand at chalk paint recently & really like the affect. Loving your blog, found you from over at I Heart Naptime. I’ve been searching like crazy to figure out how to make the cute little welcome box with tabs… Do you have any info on this??? Thanks!!! :)
    lauren @www.SummitStreetJoy.com
    Lauren @ Summit St Joy recently posted..Upcycled Glass Vases: Faux Ceramic VasesMy Profile

    • I know! I love how easy it is to apply and work with. I don’t think I’m gonna ever go back to any other kind of paint. Haha
      Hmm.. About the tabs. I saw that your blog is hosted through Blogspot, so unfortunately the plugin I’m using would not apply to your blog. I do see some blogger friends using this plugin on Blogspot, though. I hope this helps! :)

  6. The paper you used to line it was perfect! Such a wonderful make over!
    Lani Derrick recently posted..We Met.. We Wed.. We LivedMy Profile

  7. The perfect ending for a date…finding something to transform by the curb!! And you did a great job. love the colors!
    Veronica recently posted..LEO WALL STICKERS GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  8. Oh, so Cute! Love these little guys! Great job! By the way. that’s a different chalk paint recipe than I use. How did it work for ya?
    xo Becca
    Becca recently posted..✥ Reader Feature: Tour Netherlands Remodeled Home ✥My Profile

    • Thank you, Becca! :)
      Oh, I LOVE the chalk paint! The recipe works pretty well. I didn’t notice much difference to the store-bought chalk paint that my mom and I used on a project of hers..
      I just looked up your recipe and saw that you use 1 part POP, 2 parts latex paint & only a little amount of water. I guess you can really just mix these 3 ingredients together until you get the right consistency, which makes it SO easy to make. Love it!! :)
      xoxo! Vanessa

  9. meine kleine schatzsucherin, schatzfinderin und schätzemacherin ;-)
    es wird zeit dich mal wieder zu besuchen und deine neuen werke zu bestaunen …
    fühl dich umarmt von deiner auf dich sehr stolzen mama
    amy recently posted..:give away ;-)My Profile

  10. Great make over. I love it and how you transform the simple furniture into something that is really fab!
    Carol recently posted..Murano glassesMy Profile

  11. Vanessa! I adore these nightstands! What a lucky find! I love what you did with them! And I’m glad to hear that even with white chalk paint you don’t get any bleed through from the wood! These turned out great!!
    Katie recently posted..Catching Up and Party this Friday!My Profile

  12. AHH! This is FABULOUS!! …and that wrapping paper! So wonderful!
    P.S. Just finished The Hunger Games last night…for the first time…almost went to the theater by myself this afternoon…

  13. I love it! You did a great job!

  14. Great makeover! Love it and you did a wonderful job. It’s always fun to find something that we know can be soooo much better redone. Love it– xo Diana
    Nana Diana recently posted..The A is for Awful– B is for Bestest– C is for Cafe in BloglandMy Profile

  15. Awesome find! Love the makeover on them, they look fabulous now!
    Kei recently posted..Sewing challenge ahoy!My Profile

  16. What a great find! I’d love to know how your paint holds up; it looks wonderful!
    Abbie recently posted..New Year’s Resolutions a Bit Belated: Menu BoardMy Profile

  17. Just wondering why you decided to paint them with chalkboard paint?

    • Hey Marci! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about chalk paint and after having used it on a project for my mom’s, I decided to try a DIY (cheap-o) version of it. I just love working with it. It’s so easy to apply and there’s no need to sand or prime before you start painting. Which is a huge bonus for me, since I’m super impatient. Haha
      Let me know if you ever try working with chalk paint. ;)

  18. Wow. I love it! Where do peole always find these cute wrapping paper they use in home projects? I can never seem to find anything that will work in makeover projects.

    • Ooh, I really hear ya, Leigh! I never seem to find cute wrapping paper like I see other people using. We really lucked out with that one — but we have been looking for a few weeks.. We found it at a local and small craft store. But it takes a while to really find the perfect piece..
      Thank you for the sweet comment! I hope you’re having a great week!

  19. these finds can make your day!! love the finish look! i like the legs in the original color, too :) great great job! and lucky!!!
    Donatella recently posted..DIY colorblock Céline pants (as seen on Jenna Lyons)My Profile

  20. Hi Vanessa, I love your nightstand makeover! Just wondering where you found the wrapping paper to line the shelf/drawer?
    Courtney recently posted..Little Ones in the Big CityMy Profile

  21. Adore the inside lining! what a sweet surprise.

  22. Love it! Thanks so much for linking up! I cannot wait to test out chalk paint on a piece of my furniture…

  23. I just can’t believe you found those on the side of the road! I love it when that happens. I love what you did with them. Thanks for sharing over at The Winthrop Chronicles!
    Sarah recently posted..shabby apple shout outMy Profile

  24. These look amazing! I can not believe you found such a score on the side of the road for FREE. I’ve been looking for mid-century modern everywhere and it’s pricey. There’s always only junk by the side of the roads and Craigslist around here!

    • Ooh, we’ve been looking for quite a while as well and these nightstands kinda looked like junk at first, too, with the missing door and everything. But, I had a vision! Hehe
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment!
      xo! Vanessa

  25. Too cute! You did a great job. I’m visiting from Somewhat Simple’s blog link party. I’m happy I found you. I’m your newest follower :)

    (my simple messterpiece}
    Carolyn recently posted..Just a cute lil’ table makeover!My Profile

  26. The striped wrapping paper added the perfect mod touch to it! I love the design of the desk, great find!
    Jennifer recently posted..Delightfully Noted’s 1 Year Blogiversary!My Profile

  27. Great project!
    Just wanted to let you know that your post Wire Hanger Chandelier was the third highest viewed last week on Simple & Sweet Fridays. You can grab a button at the Linky party today if you’d like. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.!


  28. These turned out so cute! Love that you took out the bottom drawer and put the paper there.
    Thanks for linking up to this week’s Catch a Glimpse party! I will be featuring this tomorrow. :)
    Allison {A Glimpse Inside} recently posted..Catch a Glimpse Party #77My Profile

  29. Wow~they look awesome. Thanks for the chalk paint directions. What a great job. May I feature you on my blog?

    Thank You & Many Blessings

  30. Are you KIDDING me? You just FOUND those? What a lucky duck — and you made them a million times better! Just gorgeous.

  31. So cute! Love the paper you chose to line this with. And wasn’t that handy that your hubby was there to help you haul away your find. Love it!
    Liz recently posted..House of Misfit FurnitureMy Profile

  32. Wow, those are amazing what a great find. I had to show and tell my hubby, “see other people pick up stuff from the side of the road too”.
    I love the wrapping paper idea and very creative with the last two photots, i like how you cropped them. Funny I just did a chalk paint project too this week, lol.

    • Haha! I’m sure my husband sometimes thinks I’m crazy for hauling off “trash”. But, he’s getting used to it now after seeing a few transformations. He’s actually helping now. ;)
      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Jacky!

  33. These are too cute! You have given inspiration for the end tables in my living that need to be redone so badly. Now following. Love from Whimsically Homemade!
    Megan and Emily@Whimsically Homemade recently posted..Favorite Finds Friday {3}My Profile

  34. Those are just darling. And I just love the price tag. Oh, and that last picture is hysterical …


    Linda @ it all started with paint recently posted..pillow fightMy Profile

  35. Great trash to treasure find.! The nightstands look amazing! Thanks for linking up to our Piece of Cake Party.

  36. Sweet find! Obviously I need better neighbours who don’t hoard their junk because there are never roadside rescues for me to get (or at least nothing good!). Thanks for sharing this one too at Pin-ed it, Made it.
    Melanna recently posted..Pin-ed It, Made It Party 04/27My Profile

  37. Love this project!!!!!
    I currently have a Crafty linky party going on, i would love you to link this project up !!!
    Claire xox
    Claire @ Polkadot~pretties recently posted..YOU Inspire linky party!!!!My Profile

  38. that is adorable! i love the stripes!
    cassie recently posted..POWW Faves & More Thrifty FindsMy Profile

  39. I just found your blog through Pinterest…and so glad I did. I’m a BIG fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint…but not the price tag. I can’t wait to try this on a piece of furniture…thank you for the great inspiration nightstand…they look wonderful. So many pieces of furniture out there waiting for a new home & life with a little facelift. Love your post…and will be joining your blog!

  40. Loving this one, Vanessa! It is SOOOO sweet and that pop of color inside the drawers is so fun:) Hope you are having a great weekend!
    kim@too much time recently posted..Follow Your Heart…To MomMy Profile

    • Thanks a bunch, Kim! :)
      My weekend is going pretty well so far. I’ve been super successful at the flea market today and found a set of 4 kitchen chairs and an aweeesome type case. Yay! Can’t wait to share!
      How is your weekend going?
      XO! Vanessa

  41. Thanks for linking up to the Tuesday To Do Party! Hope you’ll come again this week! This month’s Pretty Packages party is now up for any of your lovely wrapped gifts!
    Jami recently posted..Pretty Packages Party # 14 & Highlights from # 13My Profile

  42. Really cute nightstands. I can hardly believe the transformation! The wrapping paper you used is AWESOME. Stopping by from the Bringing Beauty link party. :) I’d love for you to come by Wednesday and link up on my blog.
    Julie @White Lights on Wednesday recently posted..Mildly Crafty Monday: Scrapbook Paper Wall ArtMy Profile

  43. absolutely fabulous!!! I love the new fresh look!
    how fun that you found them on the curbside!!!

    would love you to stop by my linky party, Inspire Me Fridays., to share this awesome transformation along with your DIY chalk paint Vanessa!

  44. WOW!! Vanessa, you are so incredible. I love the chalk paint. And hello, using wrapping paper for the drawers is just genius! :) Great idea. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!
    Alison recently posted..Snippets of SNAP!My Profile

    • Thank you SO much for your super sweet comments, Alison! I really appreciate you commenting on all the link ups. How do you do it?! I can’t seem to find the time to comment on all the link ups on my party anymore. :(
      I hope you’re having an amazing week!
      Hugs to you!

  45. Thanks so much for sharing this creative post on your nightstand makeover on Simple & Sweet Fridays!


  46. Great makeover of those night stands Vanessa! The paper adds the perfect amount of colour!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    Jill recently posted..Car Organiser tutorialMy Profile

  47. Vanessa, these turned out fantastic! Love the added touch of the wrapping paper and love the pic of your king bed spliced, cracked me up:). Really well done. Found you from Randee’s Organized Chaos linky. I have two nightstands sitting in my basement that I picked out of my neighbors trash:) waiting for their makeover…it’s only been since last summer. One day, soon, I hope. You may have just inspired me to get moving!
    Kim @ Plumberry Pie recently posted..The Mystery Party: Part 1My Profile

  48. What great makeover. And I love the wrapping paper you used. I would love if you shared them on my link party.


    Can’t wait to see what you make next.


  49. did you modge podge the wrapping paper to the bottom? looking to do something similiar with something I bought. Thank you!

  50. Wow those came out beautiful! The wrapping paper was the perfect touch!
    (I need to start going for more after dinner walks!)

    Thanks for joining our Beautify It Monday Link Party!

    –Four Sisters
    Four Sisters recently posted..Peanut Butter and S’mores Brownie BitesMy Profile

  51. LOVE your night stands. What an awesome find! I’ve been tempted to make my own chalk paint and you saying it was easy makes me want to make my own even more! Btw… I featured this yesterday on Sew Woodsy!
    Katie recently posted..Weekly Link PartyMy Profile

    • Thank you so much again, Katie! :)
      You should definitely give the chalk paint a try! If you’re too scared of messing something up, just try it on something small first. But, I am sure you’ll love working with it!!
      xoxo! Vanessa

  52. Checking you out from our Pin-ed It Made It party! I love the diy chalk paint! I use 2tbsp unsanded grout per 1c flat latex paint and it works well, too. I have painted tables, chairs, everything with it! Thanks for linking up! Hope to see more of your things in the future!

    • Thanks a bunch, Meig! :)
      That’s what I love about the DIY version of the chalk paint. You can’t really do anything wrong when mixing it. I loove working with it!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some comment love! :)
      xo! Vanessa

  53. Vanessa,
    I featured your nighstands on my blog today. Love the colors!
    Desiree recently posted..Sticker Time and Party Time 53My Profile

  54. Wow, oh so cute, Today while I was at my booth I was talking to a woman who uses the unsanded grout method. Since Annie’s is to expensive I’ll try both of the methods out. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best!
    Cathy@My1929Charmer recently posted..Sunday’s Best Party….My Profile

  55. Love.

    The End.

  56. Thanks for linking up cute project @CountryMommaCooks link and great party. Hope to see you again tomorrow:)
    Deana recently posted..Bulk Cornbread MixMy Profile

  57. I absolutely love them! And the wrapping paper idea is fantastic! I myself just got a 1973 credenza for my foyer makeover and have been going back and forth on what I should do with it paint wise! ;)

  58. It’s amazing the thing people leave at the side of the road. Lucky you! And what perfect paper you found to line them!
    Hollie @ I’m Busy Procrastinating recently posted..Fabulous indoor/outdoor rugs from Ballard DesignsMy Profile

    • Thanks a bunch, Hollie!
      Oh, I was SO excited when we found these. Especially because we’d been looking for a set of nightstands FOREVER (even to buy) and couldn’t find any that I liked.. This find was perfect! ;)
      XO! Vanessa

  59. Wow, these are great. The before/after is so dramatic! I love the white and the stripes and the chalk paint looks perfect. I also love how they are matching.
    Rachel (Lines Across) recently posted..Beautiful DIY Flower Pot IdeasMy Profile

  60. Great post and fab project. Thanks so much for the recipe will definitely be trying it, recently spent small fortune on Annie Sloane paint and it’s still not going to be enough (my daughter is renovating a small cottage and is revamping lots of “hand me down” furniture) with her costs spiralling this certainly could be a blessing!! Big thank you for sharing.
    Diane I. recently posted..Grilling…..again!!!My Profile

    • Ooh, I know.. The “real deal” can get pretty expensive! I think this DIY version is a great way to save some cash and still get the pretty chalky finish. Let me know how you and your daughter like it! :)
      Thank you so much for stopping by and the kind words, Diane!
      I hope you’re having a wonderful week!
      xoxo! Vanessa

  61. This was a great makeover!!! LOOKS AWESOME! I’m going to feature this on scrappy saturdays this weekend thanks for sharing!
    Candace Creations recently posted..Land of Nod Floor Pillow Knock OffMy Profile

  62. You have completely inspired me to take a second look at those curbside finds I see in my neighborhood. I had no idea they could be transformed into something so magnificent. Wow! Completely impressed. Those nightstands look great! I love the wrapping paper. Such a nice touch!

    • Ooh, I’m so happy to hear I have been of inspiration to you! :)
      I hope you’ll find a treasure soon. Let me know when you found something to transform!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Christine
      I hope you’re having a fabulous day!
      XO! Vanessa

  63. I want to repaint my dresser… It has been repainted a few times from what it looks like.. I know you say it doesnt need to be sanded before but what if there are multiple layers of paint and chipping??

    • Hey Ashley!
      Depending on how shabby you would like your dresser to be, I would either leave the paint layers on it and work with it. Or if you would like it a little smoother, I would try and chip off everything that is loose and use some sandpaper to roughen the surface a little.
      I am sure your dresser will turn out beautiful either way! :)
      Have a wonderful week!
      xo! Vanessa

  64. Can’t wait to get started. I painted this old table black and hate it soooooooo now I am going to approach this idea. What kind of wax do you use on top?

  65. I love the stripes! I use my own chalk paint all the time as well as retail brands. Which do you prefer? I really think I like the homemade version, but I could do with out the sanding. :o)
    Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces recently posted..Peonies and PaintingMy Profile

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Larissa! :)
      So far I’ve actually only worked with one store brand chalk paint. I usually work with my own. The one I use is called Anna von Mangoldt, but I think it’s only sold here in Germany.
      I really do want to try the Annie Sloan one time though. Hehe
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      xo! Vanessa


  1. […] took this retro nightstand and made it chic and trendy. Check it out over at Nifty Thrifty — {nightstand makeover & DIY chalk paint}. You may also […]

  2. […] #4 Nightstand Makeover – by Vanessa at Nifty Thrifty Things […]

  3. […]  Nightstand Project @ Nifty thrifty  […]

  4. […] 6. Chalk Paint Nightstand {Nifty Thrifty Things} […]

  5. C.R.A.F.T. says:

    […] photo booth picture for 8 bucks! Yes, 8 dollars!! Isn’t it awesome…   4. I love how Nifty Thrifty Things took a drawer out of the night stand and added striped wrapping paper to give the piece a totally […]

  6. […] {nightstand makeover & DIY chalk paint} […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge