Refinishing my Night Stands

I have been all over the place lately. Working on the bathroom, painting the master bedroom, working on his/her closets and one more thing was refinishing furniture.

I decided that my 2 night stands needed a update. 
I didn't want to go spend money and buy new night stands, since these are nice solid wood and I like the curves and lines they have.

I thought they would look great stained a nice deep walnut with my new wall color. 

Here is the problem, I painted them black a few years back.

As you can tell, they are a bit beat up:

And here is the after:

It was a lot of hard work, but worth it in the end. I am no longer afraid to refinish furniture!

I will show you step by step on how I did this, If you are interested, then read on. 

Keep in mind that this is my first time refinishing a piece of furniture. I have stained and sealed my butcher block counters, but this is my first time striping paint off. 

At first I thought I could just sand the paint off, but the paint just balled up on the sandpaper making me change the paper very often and my hand felt like it would fall off. 

So I decided I needed to strip the paint off instead.

Here are a few things I used:

 stripper, GLOVES,  metal container and cheap paint brush (which you will throw out), metal spatula, metal bristol brush,
plastic drop cloths, a roll of paper towels and some rags, trash bag

At first I picked up the sprayable paint stripper, but I quickly realized it wouldn't work.
The stripper flew everywhere, including my feet and arms stinging me. 

It was thinner then a regular stripper, and didn't do a very good job.

I then picked up this paint stripper from Sherwin Williams and this stuff did the job!

I applied the stripper on my surface, working one 1-2 sections at a time. 

***I first went and applied the stripper on all sides and drawers, thinking that the longer it sits, the easier it will come off. That is not the case, the stripper just dries up and then you will need to apply more stripper, wasting product. 

After about 15 minutes, The paint started to bubble like so:

I got a trash bag ready.

Then I took my  metal spatula and scraped off the paint.

I held a piece of paper towel in my hand and scraped the paint onto it. Then I threw it out.

After one coat, I scraped off as much as I could, then put another coat of stripper.

After 2 coats, this is what I had.
I took an old rag and rubbed the surface clean. 


Use a metal brush for your corners and hard to reach areas. 

The stripper works better on horizontal surfaces, plus it is just easier to work on it that way. 
If you have a large dresser, you obviously can't flip it every which way, but with a night stand I was able to do it:

I striped all the sides, the next day I did the sanding.

I used my mouse sander to get into all the nooks and cranies. 

I used a 120 sandpaper followed by a 220 to smooth the surface out. 

All sanded down and ready for stain

I filled in the holes with this stainable wood filler, after it dried I sanded it down with fine sandpaper:

I vacuumed the surface and then used a Tact Cloth to make sure there was no sawdust on the surface. 

Before staining, I conditioned the wood using this wood conditioner, I used a staining sponge to apply the conditioner. But a brush would work just as well. 
(I had the wood conditioner and stain left over from my counter tops)

Here is the stain I used, It is the same one I used on my counters:

I used a nice angled brush to stain.
Don't use foam brushes, I used those on the counters and it was a pain to get rid of all the air bubbles. 

In between coats of stain, I stored my brush in the fridge to prevent it from drying out.

Here is the nightstand transformation in between coats:

I applied the third coat on Friday and then I  did two coats of a semi gloss oil based polyurethane on Sunday. 

I let the night stands stand out in the garage for a few days, then I brought them into the house.

They stood like this for a while until I decided what hardware I wanted to use:

I finally decided on these pulls by Martha Stewart from Home Depot, which meant that I have finally finished my project!

Thanks so much for visiting. 


  1. Great job, Rita!! That does look like a ton of work...hats off to you & DIY!

  2. WoW - these nightstands look great. And I love those little gold handles, so cute!

  3. Great transformation! I would've painted it and that would have been the wrong choice. It is so beautiful down to the wood and the stain is perfect. Thanks, Angela @ Mrs. White Twig and Tea

  4. Wow! What a beautiful job! I have an old trunk that belonged to my mother that I want to refinish for my daughter's room. I have been dreading it because I really don't know what to do. Thanks for the inspiration and valuable tips. I am getting more courage now...
    TALU :)

  5. They look fantastic!! Refinishing furniture still intimidates me!!
    Selene @ Restoration Beauty

  6. I love these! I am such a fan on natural wood... and I have made the mistake before by simply painting instead of sanding! It does take a ton of work to strip paint and restain, but the results are gorgeous! I just found your blog through a link party and am your newest follower! Thanks for great inspiration!


  7. You put so much work into that makeover but it was well worth it ... they look incredible! I love the dark stain you chose! Thanks for linking up again this week at Project Inspire{d}.

  8. Wow, this turned out great. I have done a few furniture re-dos but I have never used stripper. It makes me a little nervous but after seeing this I want to give it a try!

  9. LOVE IT! This is EXACTLY like my project I am about to attempt and had no idea where to start! LOVE the tips and I even looked at a mouse sander today, but wasn't sure if I should get it or if I would need it :) SOOOO HELPFUL THANKS AGAIN!!!